Imphal, Oct. 10
Dr. Najma Heptulla, Governor, Manipur inaugurated the one-day Conclave of Local Craft Entrepreneurs, Traditional Craftsmen and msmes on ‘Promoting entrepreneurship and harnessing untapped potential of geographical indications of Manipur’ at hotel Classic Grande, Imphal today.
The one-day Conclave was organized by Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans and Craftsmen (MEETAC) (An Autonomous body under Department of Commerce and Industries, Government of India) in association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PHDCCI) to deliberate on Startup India, Standup India, Government E-market place and Geographical Indications.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor complimented the organisers for their effort and commitment to uplift the local craft entrepreneurs, traditional artisans and craftsmen in the State. These traditional artisans in the handicraft industry in the State have long struggled due to lack of patronage. She said that the, the charm of hand-woven fabric handicraft has never faded and now there is more awareness among people about such product.
The Governor further stated that to introduce these artisans to newer markets and to the shift in customer preference for sustainable products, the state Government has initiated the Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans & Craftsmen (MEETAC) in 2018 with an aim to revive the lives of Artisans by developing entrepreneurial competencies in them. The Mission concentrates on product development to capture the needs of the younger generation, larger and high-end markets with a special focus on exports. New articles, collections and clothing line through product diversification, in collaboration with well-known institutions like National Institute of Design, Central India Regional Council (CIRC), Indian Institute of Packaging etc will be introduced through MEETAC.
Dr. Najma Heptulla expressing her pleasure said that PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industries (PHDCCI), which is the National Apex Chamber working at the grass- root level with and with strong national and international linkage has joined hands with MEETAC to promote entrepreneurship in the State. The Chamber acts as a catalyst in the promotion of industry, trade and entrepreneurship and through its research-based policy advocacy role, positively impacts the economic growth and development of the nation. She also expressed her optimism that MEETAC with PHDCCI would be in position to make a long lasting impact on the economy of the State, the craft sector in particular.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched brand names like ‘Make-in-India’ to make the country an economic powerhouse along with programmes like Startup and Standup India. Startups are important for economic growth of a nation and one of the main advantages of Startups is that it creates new jobs. It is necessary to develop an entrepreneurship culture in our State to deliver quality products to the consumers for a sustainable business. Similarly, Standup India scheme ensures that women entrepreneurs, an important cog in the craft sector of Manipur, have a fair chance for setting up their own business.
She further stated that rural folks in various parts of the State possess unique skill and expertise to produce hand crafted products like handicrafts, jewelleries, textiles other related products. Geographical Indications (GI) are tightly interwoven into rural lives which employ traditional methods, practices and know-how to produce these goods. With the protection assured by GI registration, pirates and counterfeiters cannot encroach on the markets and the consumers are guaranteed of the genuineness of the product and quality assurance.
Minister (Textiles, Commerce & Industries) Th. Biswajit Singh speaking as the President of the function, pointed out that Providing Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has been another significant step of the present Government. Handicrafts sector have ample equal opportunity to show its product strength from the rural and urban area. Artisans and their Self Help Groups or Federations with legal identity who can aggregate Women artisans and Micro-entrepreneurs, register them as “Seller” on Government e-Marketplace (GeM). GeM is a one-stop Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to facilitate on line procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs. GeM provides local entrepreneurs a one-stop shop for marketing with minimal efforts.
The Conclave was attended by Dr. D.K. Agarwal President (PHDCCI); Dr. Mahesh Y. Reddy, Secretary General (PHDCCI); Anurag Bajpai, IFS, CEO (MEETAC);Dr. H.P. Kumar, Former Chairman and Managing Director (NSIC); Shri Sanjay Joseph, Deputy CEO (Government E-Marketplace); officials from Ministry of MSME, SIDBI, Bank of Baroda; Quality Council of India; Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks; National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad; Founder of Biswajit Sarkar & Associates, an expert in Geographical Indications; other officials of PHDCCI, senior officials from the State Government, Local Craft Entrepreneurs, MSMEs, students of MBA and Department of Entrepreneurship from Manipur University etc.