Mr. Mallikarjuna Iytha is a Social Entrepreneur and Development sector & Fair Trade expert in India with more than fifteen years’ experience. Presently he is President of Fair Trade Forum-India and Managing Director of F-Tec Skill Development. He is also part of the core team of Ekal Sansthan and Trustee of Ekal Gramottan Foundation. He is actively associated with organizations like SEARCH and as Co-Founder of Believe India Fair Trade he played an important role in establishing a platform for social enterprises in India.
Poverty Alleviation, Market Development for Pro-Poor micro enterprises of SHGs and Producer Groups, Sustainable Consumption and Fair Trade is his expertise area. At present he is actively engaged in strengthening Civil Society movement in India. Mallikarjuna has extensively travelled throughout India as part of Nationwide Network Building initiative in development sector among NGOs, CBOs, MFIs, SHPIs, SHGs, Government officials, Academicians and Social Activists, and established direct contact with grassroots organizations, Artisans and Producers. Successfully implemented various grass root level micro enterprise development, cluster development projects throughout India and well versed with the challenges in the pro-poor enterprise development. Instrumental in creating a Section-25 Company (MFI) to carry out Micro Finance Operation from Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. He implemented and involved with several projects related to poverty alleviation, education, economic rehabilitation of earthquake victims, economic empowerment of marginalized communities, Fair Trade, skill development etc . He is an alumni of prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Madhura Dutta, the Executive Director of AIACA, has 14 years of experience in the social development sector with extensive experience in livelihood generation models using culture across India. She has worked in UNESCO and has contributed towards development of Cultural Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship focusing on creative industry models. Her vast experience on community development matched with her passion in handicrafts has brought her to AIACA, a dynamic organization in the crafts sector. She has a Masters degree in Sociology from University of Calcutta, a Masters degree in Sustainable Development from UK and a PhD from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is also a Commonwealth Scholar.
AIACA (www.aiacaonline.org) is a non-profit Society set up in 2004, as a network of handicraft and handloom organizations and artisans pan India. It works towards developing, incubating and accelerating craft based enterprises for generating sustainable livelihood in rural India. It provides end-to-end solutions for strengthening the value chain through design innovation, business skill development, production management, eco-friendly product development, access to finance, promotion and branding, and facilitation of direct access to markets. AIACA has also designed and is running, since 2006, a unique national certification programme recognized by national and international markets called Craftmark (www.craftmark.org), which is a trademark to certify genuine Indian handmade craft products produced in a socially responsible manner. It connects crafts producers to commercial buyers. Craftmark has an outreach of over 150 members covering a total of more than 50,000 artisans across 23 states of India. AIACA also engages in policy advocacy through research and policy dialogue with multiple stakeholders to bring core issues of this sector to the forefront and discuss practical solutions as well as bring to the fore voices of the artisans and craftspersons themselves as important stakeholders in the process.
Ms. Mamta Sharma is Assistant Director(Insp), Silk Mark Organization of India (SMOI), Guwahati. Silk Mark Organisation Of India (SMOI) is a registered Society under Karnataka Society Act 1960 with Registration No.1054 / 2003-2004 dated 19/01/2004. Silk Mark is an initiative by Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. SMOI has competent Textile Technologists, who are well experienced in Silk Industry and Trade. SMOI is headquartered in Bangalore and has thirteen Silk Mark Chapters located strategically in and around silk clusters of the country. The Objectives of Silk Mark is to protect the interests of the consumer, protect the interest of genuine traders and manufacturers of Silk and generic promotion of natural silk
Shri Sarbeswar Das is Assistant Director, Weavers Service Centre, Guwahati under Development Commissioner (Handloom), Ministry of Textile. Weavers Service Centre is the facilitating agency of “India Handloom Brand” which has been launched to endorse the quality of the products in terms of raw material, processing, embellishments, weaving design and other parameters besides social and environmental compliances for earning the trust of the customers. The “India Handloom brand” would be given only to high quality defect free product for catering to the needs of those consumers who are looking for niche handmade products.
Shri Dhiraj Thakuria is the Managing Director of North Easter Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Limited (NEHHDC). NEHHDC as the name suggests is an organisation that attempts to develop and promote the indigenous crafts of the region by connecting craftsmen to prospective markets and consumers and generating economic, cultural and social opportunities for creators while adding cultural value for consumers. The corporation is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), GoI. It offers a range of products from all the eight North Eastern States.The organisation procures handicrafts and handlooms from artisans and weavers across the region and retails the same through its chain of "Purbashree" Emporia located at Shillong, Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore and a Sales Promotion Office at Chennai. Moreover it promotes the products at various national and international markets through exhibitions and trade fairs.