A hand-holding three year commitment with the grassroots organizations, IRFT builds the capacity of the beneficiary community through training and development both at the grass root level and most importantly at the point of purchase . From our experiences, we have understood that the best learning happens at the point where producers meet consumers. The reality of customer needs is stark, the demand for design alternatives, colour – schemes, uniqueness, specialty pricing, quality and quantity are some of the practical lessons learnt at the Point of Purchase. Thus, hand-holding for IRFT thereafter becomes easier and an effective change is possible having had the experience of customer needs. In this process, a trust relationship is developed between the partner organization and IRFT and a series of one-on-one brainstorming sessions follows backed by an acceptance within the team to work towards an Improvement Plan.
With this Bottom-up approach, the organization is now able to identify their own gap areas and initiate a workable Plan of Action. As the organization responds to change, market access opportunities are consistently used to test the improvement track . Thus, continuous learning at the market place becomes very relevant at the final stage of mentoring when key personnel are invited to a series of specially designed experiential workshops that help put systems in place and crystallize practical learning into a formal, doable development plan .
Broad Objectives :
• Market access and exposure to relevant markets
• Increasing sales opportunities
• Better understanding of customer needs and fulfilling supply to match elements.
IRFT conducted the session on ‘Self Help Group Formation’ with women groups from the NGO Trishul. Ms.Kiran from Samruddhi Mahila Sanstha, shared her practical experience and challenges faced during Self Help Group formation and gave a rich insight to motivate and encourage the Trishul mahila group.
October 16, 2016: Held at the Goregaon Sports Club.
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd celebrated sustainability month from 5th June to 25th June 2013. Keeping this in mind Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and IRFT- Parivartan (a path of transformation for producer groups) organized an Exhibition on 24th and 25th June, where 2 NGOs participated. These NGOs got a good response as well as received enquiries from the more employees.
Axis Bank Foundation gives an encourage to NGOs through market exposure with a regular engagement every month for all employees to meet and discuss and supports small marginalized producer groups. IRFT took up this opportunity to support one of its Fair Trade organisations on 27th June, and one of the small producer organization on 5th July, for marketing their products at Axis Bank Corporate office, Worli. Axis Bank employees were proactive and generous both in interest and contribution.
IRFT hosted the 7th consultation of the Western Region Network of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) conference on 23rd October 2012. UNGC is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. The Global Compact is a practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, offering participants a wide spectrum of work streams, management tools and resources -all designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets. IRFT, being the host had proposed an apt theme for the meeting i.e. ‘Fairness in Trade’. The key speakers at the event were from organizations working to promote ‘Fairness in Trade’ through their own initiatives.
Dr. Joy Deshmukh Ranadive, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) greeted the members and had a key discussion on forthcoming UNGC convention. Gaynor Pais, CEO IRFT oriented the participants about role of IRFT towards fair and sustainable livelihoods. The success story of the first Indian Fair Trade label – Shop For Change was shared by Seth Petchers, CEO SFC. Arindama Banerjee Wankhede spoke on fair and ethical practices through supply chain partnerships. Johnny Joseph, Director Creative Handicrafts organized a walkthrough of a 25 year old Fair Trade producer organization. The conference turned out to be a point of confluence between members of UNGC, both not-for-profit and for-profit business ventures.
Diya Making Workshop - Life Skills Workshop with the title ‘Who Am I’ …. - Art Workshop
IRFT is proud to have partnered with MASTEK Ltd. to promote “Creative Handicrafts” at two exhibitions in the month of July. Creative Handicrafts is an NGO which has been certified by World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). The stalls were put up at two different campuses; Millenium Business Park, Ghansoli and at Seepz, Andheri. The exhibitions were organised with the theme of the upcoming festival “Rakshabandhan” and offered the keen employees of MASTEK with a variety of gifts like Kurtis, Soft Toys, Bags and Western wear. This fair trade organisation received a very good response and made commendable sales, especially by the male employees buying gifts for their sisters. The products were highly appreciated because of their good quality, availability in various sizes, economic price and customer friendly approach of the NGO.
Continuing its tradition of giving market access and providing efficient marketing services to small NGOs, IRFT gave a platform to a, Panchgini based NGO named Devrai Art Village. It was at an in house corporate exhibition organised at R-Tech park, Goregaon on 13th August, 2012. The exhibition was organised for employees of five corporate giants viz. Reliance Securities, Reliance Life, E-bay, Samsung and NTPC. Devrai Art Village is a core group of highly skilled ‘adivasi craftsmen’ and artists from the naxalite affected areas of Gadchiroli & Chattisgarh. They have found a safe refuge and a livelihood in Panchgani with a unique and distinctive style of product range having combinations of different mediums such as iron, brass, stone, wood, bamboo and fabric. People were excited to see the beautiful collection of antique, artistic items of utility and made many enquiries for individual purchase and corporate gifting.
IRFT in collaboration with Swadhaar Finances conducted a Financial Education Programme for the beneficiaries of Sujaya Foundation on saving. The session was organized as a community development initiative for Sujaya Foundation. The various topics covered were needs of saving, formal & informal options of saving, hurdles in saving, various small saving tips, bank correspondence, bank accounts, towards achieving a better livelihood and overall sustainable growth for women. The workshop conducted by Swdhaar Finances has helped them to prepare monthly household budget and importance of income & expenses calculation.
IRFT organized an exhibition on account of 30th anniversary of Mastek Ltd. a high-end corporate providing vertically-focused enterprise technology solutions. From its list of producer organizations, IRFT represented NGO – SHARE MarketPlace at the In-house corporate exhibition 2012 at the Belapur office. It was an encouraging gesture from Mastek Ltd. Foundation to participate with NGO and support their cause. SHARE MarketPlace created an impact on the employees in the one day exhibition as they were enthralled by the beautiful - user-friendly, designer products. Their products were textile based handicrafts; which majorly consisted of embroidered or stitched, bags, tablecloth, napkins, bedcovers, wall hangings, packed lunch pouches for sale at offices etc.