Amounee: beyond silence. That’s what this Gurmukhi word means.
There’s a reason why young Megha Das picked this word from Sikh Guru Govind Singh’s mantra for her enterprise. Her initiative is to be the voice of India’s artisans. And, this young entrepreneur is achieving her dream every step of the way.
The Amounee Story
Amounee, quite a toddler yet, founded in 2018 as it was, already has 25 artisans onboard tracking their real-time sales records on their mobile.
Yes, you read that right. Amounee has connected barely literate artisans, many of them women, from Gujarat villages to advanced technology. They no longer have to take anyone’s word for it. They can themselves check their sales volumes and income earned. That’s Amounee’s commitment to transparency to the artisans whose voice it is.
A truly inspiring real-life story of connecting local talent to the global market: that’s what Amounee is all about.
What’s Special About Amounee
Amounee is an online platform that allows you to access handloom and handicraft items directly from the artisans. That’s where Amounee distinguishes itself sharply from numerous other digital platforms offering India’s artisan products to the world.
Amounee is a digital platform that connects artisans directly to their buyers. The artisans earn what they deserve: the full value of their products. There’s are no middleman involved to make a profit from the artisans’ work while they get paid a pittance.
How It All Started?
That’s exactly where it all started. A young NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) student went to Jodhpur in Rajasthan to work with the Bandhani artists there as part of a college project.
Bandhani is a traditional tie-and-dye art from India, predominant in the states of Gujarat and
Rajasthan. The students realised that the artisans who produced the tie-and-dye dupattas (scarves) got a paltry INR4.25 per piece.
The selling price in the local market was INR 100 per piece and it steadily increased as the scarves travelled to reach larger markets. At that point of time, they sold for INR 500 in metros.
Most students on that project forgot about this discrepancy after the initial hyper reaction. However, there was one change-maker among the students, who never quite forgot the unjust system within which the artisans worked.
Megha Das: The Spirit Behind Amounee
Once she graduated from NIFT, Kangra, Megha got a job that most people her age would give their right arm for. She worked with international designer Manish Arora. But her heart stayed with the artisans who did not earn what they deserved.
As she travelled to village clusters sourcing fabric, she realized the system was equally unjust
everywhere. Her inner calling to work with the artisans at the grassroots level got the better of her. She resigned to take up a project with the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
Megha went to the rural district of Surendranagar in Gujarat to work with the weavers there. She found only a handful whereas official documents had 500 of them listed. Undaunted, Megha took some pictures of their woven creations and put them on the internet.
That led to a sale of INR 18,000.
Megha realised there was no dearth of interested buyers. The problem was the lack of connection between the weavers and the market for their products. Amounee was born to fill that gap.
Amounee Introduces Technology
Once the journey began, Megha soon realised that just augmenting the sales was not enough. The weavers and artisans need to be connected to the larger market scenario by themselves. It is critical for them to get the feel directly.
In came mobile technology as part of Amounee’s initiative.
As of now, Amounee is exploring artificial intelligence (AI) options to make curated market intelligence available to the weavers and artisans on board. The focus is on sustainable market trends.
Contact Amounee & Megha Das
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