Nirmaan Collective Define Their Brand
"Branding" is a central concept in Marketing and Advertising, It is important to know who you are, what you stand for and what you want to be identified with. Recently all the artisan groups associated with MarketPlace in Mumbai participated in an exercise to "discover their brand." These groups have many similarities, but each has its own particular character and even temperament, which came out during this activity.
Some are smaller (10 members) and some larger (30 members), some have been working for 30 years and others 5 years or less. The communities they live in are different, too. Some neighbourhoods are very diverse with people from all over India, while others are more homogeneous. But all the groups share one goal: empowering women through economics.
Because Branding was a new concept for the artisans, the social workers started out with an introductory game. They asked the women to identify others for certain characteristics. For example, they asked, "Which woman always wears flowers in her hair?" After becoming familiar with the idea, the artisans were asked to think about characteristics that their group had and that they wanted to be known for. They wrote down their answers and then discussed them, finding the common qualities and choosing the most important ones.
Because of the second wave of COVID, these sessions had to be conducted virtually. Despite the possible awkwardness of the format, the discussions were enthusiastic, animated and filled with lots of fun jokes and laughter. And it resulted in a tremendous bonding experience.
Nirmaan is one of the oldest and larger groups and has seen a lot of change and growth. It consists of 12 tailors, 20 embroidery artisans, one cutter and two supervisors. Some artisans have been at Nirmaan for 30 years. They have observed the group's dynamics over time and can assess the members' strengths and weaknesses. When clashes arise, these elders often can intervene with wise suggestions to defuse the situation and get everyone back on track.
It is a very interesting group. They are cheerful and there is never a dull day at the workshop which helps boost morale and break the monotony. Sometimes it can get a bit tumultuous but the management is always able to dial it down without dampening the overall spirit.
They are not afraid of voicing their opinions. Every time a change has to be implemented, there is a flood of questions and resistance until they have clearly understood the change. While this can be exhausting at times, on the whole it is admirable that they need to understand how something would benefit them instead of blindly following something told to them.
They are always ready for all the social programs and events and very eager to learn new things. The newspaper reading program is always a blast with everyone participating in discussions. They are a close-knit group, quick to put aside any differences if a member needs their help or support.
They identified these four aspects that describe their identity.
2. Hard work
PRODUCTS MADE BY NIRMAAN FOR FALL 2021