Interview with Deepa.N.Sadasivan (CEO / CO-FOUNDER at www.loomfolks.com )
Journeying for 18 years in IT and working on projects from various Industry Verticals, she now pours all her experience in heading her own Co-Founded Company named Loomfolks which stands with a Strong Purpose of supporting a Social Cause along with Growth. She Believes that Courage only shows up in action when we set an intent and take a step ahead to Transcend our old believes and replace them with the ones we most resonate with. Her Mantra “Stay in the Flow”
The motive behind the interaction with her was to know the present scenario of Indian weavers/artisans and to know her suggestions on the same.
Kindly enlighten us about your community and how it started?
Loomfolks is empowering artisans and weavers from various villages spread across in India with land of colours and various cultures, each product is a success story of independent weaver / artisans pursuing the goal of sustainable livelihood & social equality. Loomfolks mission is to further cultivate original design thinking in rural artisans & enable global audiences to enrich their artisanal roots and live a handmade life. A change that is inevitable and something that lasts.
The founding members of Loomfolks traveled length and breadth in India with the support of noted NGOs who are reviving and helping the traditional weavers and artisans to get to a sustainable living through continuous training and educating them to adapt with the technology to cater wider audience to showcase their creativity and craftsmanship.
Loomfolks members travelled through Walajapet- The Silk City, Kanchipuram, Kuthampully – Thichur, Yeola – Maharashtra, Uppada – Village – Andhra Pradesh, Bhagalpur-Bihar, West Bengal.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE IN RUNNING THE BUSINESS FOR YEARS IN TERMS OF CHALLANGES AND OPPORTUNITIES?
Our Business Model(Pre-Pandemic period) – We help market our weavers creations nationally / Internationally and based on the Sales generated we have them shipped to our Mumbai center where we quality check and repack them and ship it to our respective customers. For Generating more sales we used to offer discounts and also provide COD and Prepaid modes of payments.
Our Business Model(Pandemic period) – Now our processes have changed to an extent. We are accepting only Prepaid Orders and in 95 % cases we are having it quality checked through a video call with the weaver and are having them packed and shipped from the weavers place itself.
To get more of our customers confidence we are providing them video based support on request so that they are satisfied to the fullest before placing any order with us. Further we have powered up with our 24×7 Customer Support Service to help with any customer queries and also with making sure that customers are updated with the progress of their respective orders till its Delivery.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT HAVE AFFECTED THE RICH TEXTILE INDUSTRY OF THE STATE?
The industry is highly capital intensive in nature and is dependent for its capital requirements through borrowings from banks and financial institutions.
The Textile and Apparel industry has been majorly affected ever since the implementation of the GST, post which the imports in the sector has surged especially due to the apparels from low cost manufacturing destinations like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC IMPACTED THE SECTOR AND WHAT IS THE PRESENT STATUS OF ANDHRA PRADESH TRADITIONAL TEXTILES AND COSTUMES?
- Badly affected Logistics due Mass Lockdown, which was also causing major halts on deliveries.
- Major cancellations on COD orders, which piled up huge stock that was not This again created a lot of pressure for us & the weavers.
- We could not operate through our offices and were forced to work from home with whatever available resources we had at our
ARE THERE ANY SUGGESSTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE TO UPLIFT THE TEXTILES OF ANDHRA PRADESH?
The weavers of India have always been exploited and not paid enough in return of their beautiful handloom work which is the actual proof of the tradition and the authenticity of India. The Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society which is popularly known as APCO is a cooperative that is working towards the development of the traditional handloom weavers of India. The society is under the control of the Department Of Handlooms And Textiles of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. It also runs a number of shopping outlets in the state.
We at Loomfolks, are proud to be a part of the APCO to provide proper branding and marketing solutions to the Indian weavers that are connected to them. Weavers are the soul of India and we know that. The authentic heritage of India is in the hand of these weavers and we are working really hard to support them. Weavers are a part of our culture and we are very glad to provide them the stage that they always wanted in their lifetime. The limelight and the status that the weavers always deserved will be going to them through this initiative by APCO. Loomfolks not only ensure the rights of the weavers but also ensure the rights of the customers by providing quality product and convenience at the peak.
Interviewer – Ms. Ayman Satopay (Creative Designer at TVC)
Mentor – Mrs. Nikhila Rane ( Assistant professor at S.N.D.T Women’s University )