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«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»

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They had no routine. Getting them to work in a factory system was very daunting. Absenteeism was very high. The reasons could vary from fishing in the nearby pond; gone for hunting, busy brewing ‘tadi’ (the local brew) or worse I don’t feel like working today”.

Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012

Given the ambition of FORMS, it could not afford to function like this. Two years later, FORMS decided to relocate the production activity from Bastar to Nagpur. It had identified 30 relatively better skilled artisans and brought them along their families including their cattle to a seven and half acre facility on the outskirts of Nagpur city. To make them feel at home, FORMS built dwelling units similar to the one in which they had lived for ages. In the factory premises, it had an animal form.

Production:

By mid 2010, FORMS had employed about 240 people out of which 165 were direct labor. Besides, the sampling team had 10 people who were mainly involved in producing the masterpiece of new designs. A separate team of 25 people was involved in custom-made hand crafted furniture. FORMS used wood, iron, aluminum, brass and mosaic to produced wall décor, statue, figurines, book ends, photo frames, vase etc. many designs used a combination of material for instance wood and metal or wood and glass etc.

Mango wood was chiefly used in all wooden items. The softness of mango wood made it ideal for carving. The wood was supplied by timber merchants, who supplied FOMRS in the pre-determined log sizes. The machining department had 06 copiers of which, 02 copiers had six spindles and the remaining 04 had ten spindles. Nine operators operating in three shifts could produce 500 – 800 pieces a day. From the machining department, the pieces were sent to carving section. Carving section had 30 dedicated workers. Carving was skill intensive and was done manually. After which, the items were chemically treated, polished and painted. Polishing and painting was a labor intensive activity. 120 workers were involved in this task.

Artisans mostly worked in teams and each team had a master gild. The teams often comprised of family members. Particularly for carving, FORMS allowed the artisans to work from home. They would collect the post machining rough-cut wooden pieces in the morning and return the carved items in the evening. FORMS operated on a ‘no variation accepted’ principle, which was by now well understood by the artisans, whose carved pieces were compared with the masterpiece. Any variation beyond the acceptable limits was rejected.

In comparison to wood, metal work involved fewer steps. Items made of Iron were sub contracted to local vendors. The vendor’s foundry was located right next to the FORMS plant. Casting, chemical treatment, welding, polishing and plating for items made of aluminum were done in house. The original ‘bastaria’ metal artwork used a complicated casting technique called ‘lost wax processes. This process made possible production of items that were hallow inside, had no joints and made possible intricate artwork (popularly known as dhokra) the metal items. In comparison to wood, metal work was more labor intensive and rejection rate was also higher.

Mass-producing a craft:

FORMS had the twin challenges of ensuring that the designs were contemporary & mass produce a hand-crafted item. Since the artisans took inspiration from the world around them, the designs were mostly bucolic. Traditionally it was an integrated activity where the artisan did everything from design to production and postproduction activities. At FORMS, design was centralized. Rukshad & the design team provided the concepts and the initial sketches.

FORMS deviated from the traditional ‘bastaria’ craft by;

Dis-integrating the process. Artisans were mostly involved in the production process with limited involvement in 1.

design.

Use a combination of material (like wood, glass & metal) instead of a single material in the traditional form.

2.

Restrict the intricate craftwork to a portion of the item being produced.

3.

Separate the production of items with no intricate craftwork and the ones with intricate craftwork.

4.

Mass-produce the former using non-traditional methods of production.

5.

Use the artisans from Bastar for the later (with craftwork).

6.

The above process ensured that every item produced had a handcrafted element as well as made possible standardization and mass production.

Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Fig 01: Process Flow (wood)

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Boxes with the dotted lines indicate departure from the traditional method Figure 01: FOMRS FAA (animals) the neck of both the horse & giraffe are made of metal (aluminum) & is mounted a wooden body.

–  –  –

FORMS exported most of what it produced. Domestic sales accounted for less than 20% of its total sales. Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, U.S.A, U.K, France and Denmark were the key markets for FORMS. FORMS had a showroom in Noida, where the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) held trade fares twice a year in the months of February and October. The fare attracted mostly new customers. Some of the established customers of FORMS included large chain stores, wholesalers and catalogue retailers. For instance Pier 1 of US was a long-standing buyer. Agents representing existing buyers also visited the EPCH fares. Besides the EPCH fare, in 2004-05, FORMS participated in similar fares in Hong Kong and Frankfurt. This was mostly aimed at meeting new buyers. With the first time buyers, FORMS insisted on Direct Payment (D.P.) and the existing buyers were required to pay an advance of 30% and the remaining 70% on mailing of the scanned documents.





Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012

Typically FORMS had little over 300 styles on display in these fares. The best sellers of the season (usually about 10% of the styles in the collection) were continued in the next catalogue. Some of the all time best sellers had sold over fifty thousand pieces a year, three years in a row. The price varied between $6 to $12, with a mean price of $8 (ex factory, Nagpur). FORMS had a few ‘statement pieces’ in its Noida outlet, which were priced up to $25. These were meant to attract buyers as well as showcase the creative abilities. The minimum order size was 75 pieces per style. Under normal circumstances, ex factory, ex India, it took a minimum of ten days for the buyer to get his consignment.

–  –  –

FORMS produced at least 02 catalogues per year for the EPCH fare besides the annual Christmas collection. Occasionally buyers sent inspirations, which influenced the designs in the catalogue. Maintaining the ‘freshness’ of the catalogue was of prime importance. The ten member sampling team worked closely with Rukshad, who solely decided on the new designs for the catalogue. He was also the fountainhead of ideas for new designs. New designs cost anywhere between 5 to 10% of the total cost.

“It is difficult to produce the ‘fresh look’ catalogue after catalogue. Themes are enduring but designs change. In the Christmas collection, Santa would remain; in the figurine, the lady would remain. Lot of styles in a catalogue is minor change to the existing styles. There is an element of interchangeability in terms of the materials used. Trends keep coming and going. For instance gold and silver colors’ have made a comeback. ” The inspiration sketch, which was mostly prepared by Rukshad was converted into a master piece by the dedicated design team, which in turn became the benchmark for the other artisans. Turning a concept sketch into a masterpiece took anywhere between 5 to 7 days.

“My design team still cannot think in 3D terms. One in ten ideas get dropped given the inability to convert my ideas into a master piece.” Previous efforts of FORMS to work with professional designers were not fruitful. Designers were required to work closely with the artisans to successfully convert the concept sketch into a masterpiece. Designers were unwilling to relocate to a tier II city like Nagpur. Besides, many designers did not have a clear understanding of the implications of cost and labor (man hours) of their designs & the choice of the material.

The Way forward:

FORMS believed that exports would continue to be subdued for some more time. To tide over the crises, FORMS had enhanced focus on the handcrafted furniture for the domestic market and turnkey projects for custom-made wood furniture for the residential luxury-housing segment. This required working closely with the architects and interior designers. Covering all the materials and ensuring adequate work for artisans with different skill sets was becoming increasingly difficult.

Rukshad was extremely apprehensive of showcasing his offerings on the Internet. He believed that the USP of FORMS was the unique designs. FORMS currently showcased a small fraction of its catalogue online. The purpose was to project the capabilities of FORMS as opposed to selling anything online. Rukshad strongly believed that putting the entire catalogue would only mean inviting the whole world to imitate his unique designs.

Md.Sharif believed that in the days to come, FORMS might have to deal with reverse migration. To assist the artisans, the state government had launched host of scheme like free training in craft of the participant’s choice, grant for buying tools & equipment, financial assistance for developing work shed and sponsored study tours to provide greater exposure.

Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012

The state handicraft promotion council had started organizing ‘shilp bazar’, which provided an opportunity for the artisans to showcase their work as well as sell their produce directly to the customers. Shabari the chain of emporiums started by the council allowed artisans to showcase & sell their produce.

Over the years, there was a marked improvement in the civic infrastructure of Bastar. Cell phones & televisions had connected Bastar with the rest of the world. The migrant population exposed to the big city lifestyle was ushering in social-cultural changes. In the words of Md.Sharif, ‘today Bastar is like any other town. Some of our workers who have gone home, as it is a lean period might not come back.

Table 01:FORMS: Categories & their codes:

–  –  –

Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Fig 03: Carving to refine the output of the copier machine. Fig 04: Polishing

–  –  –

This paper examines the various factors that are creating increasing economic opportunity in developing countries for investment in and deployment of renewable energy technologies. Special emphasis is placed on identification of the most critical factors underpinning renewables successes as a driver of economic growth. Best practices are identified and categorized in the hopes that this allows for greater scalability and ease of adoption in countries with different economic, political, and cultural norms as well as variations in geography/climate.

There is little question that investment in and deployment of renewable energy technology can be a major contributor to economic growth and increasing standards of living in developing economies. This assertion is supported by two decades of research, policy analysis, and implementation by non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations (Tollefson, 2011, UN MDG 2000; UNDP 2010; UNHDP 2011; UNTAD 2011), World Economic Forum (2010), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2012), World Future Council (2009) as well as the practical experiences of government agencies (Ogunleye, 2008;

Komatsu, Kaneko, & Ghosh, 2011) social entrepreneurs (Bornstein, 2005), business leaders (World Business Council on Sustainable Development, 2011) policy analysts (Milburn 1996), and other academic and institutional researchers (e.g., Lior, 2011; Martinot, Chaurey, Lew, Moreira, & Wamukanga, 2002). Renewable energy–that is, energy generated from solar, wind, geothermal, tidal currents, and biomass--holds much promise for developing economies for myriad interconnected reasons.

First of these is the fact that developing economies consist of 80% of the world’s population but only 30% of the energy use. In order to grow these economies through manufacturing and development there simply need to be more sources of inexpensive and reliable energy available (Demyrbis & Demyrbis, 2007; Lukumbo, 2011). Secondly, there can’t be increased manufacturing and other technical advancements and development absent a vastly improved quality of life for the residents of these countries. Nearly 1.5 billion of the world’s poor have no or extremely limited access to any type of electricity or clean water.

Without improvements to education, health care, and safety, there is no possibility for large or even small scale economic

development. This is due to the nature of the relationship between energy these human factors. Consider:

1. Energy is required for the most basic human needs for food preparation. Presently, over 1.6 billion children in the world are at risk for malnutrition and adverse health consequences as a result of kerosene being the only form of energy available to power cooking. Kerosene is both costly and toxic.

2. Lack of access to sources of energy, especially for poor rural populations, results in the “ Energy--poverty trap” (UNDP

2009) whereby it takes all the time and resources of people simply to collect water, food, and food preparation so that there is no additional time for education, job training, or economic activity thereby resulting in a perpetuating cycle of poverty.

3. Energy is required to power lighting so that reading and study is available during dark hours.

4. Energy is required to power health care facilities and remote access distribution of medicines. The lack of available refrigeration (requiring an energy source) for keeping medicines fresh results in death of 10 million people per year. (United Nations Development Programme, 2010).



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