Tuesday September 17, 2019
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Exclusive tags to give identity to Bengal saris


New Delhi: Granting of exclusive tags by the Centre to certain varieties of handloom saris woven in Bengal, including Hooghly’s ‘Dhaniakhali’, Nadia’s ‘Shantipuri’, Bankura’s ‘Baluchari’ and ‘Kantha Stitch’, will ultimately bring smiles to the faces of hundreds of weavers, who have long been deprived of remunerative prices for their skills.

This has also added a new feather to the cap of the state government with chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself taking up the issue at the central level.

The chief minister had written to the union textile and agriculture ministry requesting that those renowned varieties of saris be brought under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Protection and Registration) Act (GI Act) to give them an exclusive tag for being unique to the places they are woven in.

Though the ‘Dhaniakhali’ sari is the chief minister’s most favourite wear, the weavers engaged in this trade in Hooghly district, are highly underpaid. At least three days of hard labour are put in to make one ‘Dhaniakhali’ sari, but a weaver gets only Rs 80 to 100 for his produce.

Hence, around 600 to 700 families, involved in this sari-making industry, continue to remain in dire straits for the past three to four decades. As a consequence, the young generation of those families is gradually migrating to Maharashtra and Gujarat for ‘safe and secure’ occupations. The other sari-making industries like ‘Tashar’, ‘Shantipuri’, ‘Baluchari’ and ‘Kantha Stitch’ are also facing the similar crisis.

It takes at least four days to make a ‘Tashar’ sari and in return a weaver gets only Rs. 200 to Rs 250. The cost of their four days’ toil to make one ‘Kantha Stitch’ sari is only Rs 250 and weaving a ‘Baluchari’ sari over a span of three to four days would fetch only Rs. 200. 

Henceforth, weavers who make such wonderful varieties of saris will start getting the right price and recognition for their produce, of which they were being deprived. After the aforementioned saris are allotted their individual logos, they will be accepted nationally and internationally.

This will prevent duplication as none else can weave a Dhaniakhali’ sari anywhere in the country, save and except at its place of origin and also cannot use the same tag for any other variety of sari. Implementation of GI Act for those varieties of saris would help the centre to promote those brands globally.

Notably, the Darjeeling tea was brought under this GI Act in 2003. Once a geographical indicator is awarded for a definite brand, only the produce of a particular area can be sold using its generic name. Hence, now it is illegal to sell any other brew as Darjeeling tea across the country.

(Picture Courtesy: weindiacraft.weebly.com)

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Handy Tips To Quickly Scale Your Business

It may also mean jumping into managing sales and marketing

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It means going through various laws and compliance-related issues. Pixabay

Starting a business is hard, considering all the fund arrangements and the effort that goes into bringing it to life. However, scaling and maintaining optimum growth is, in many ways, even harder. It means going through various laws and compliance-related issues. It may also mean jumping into managing sales and marketing. However, there are ways in which you can grow your business at a faster pace. Here are a few pointers.

1. Build a sales funnel

To automate business and quickly scale it, it is very important to build a sales funnel. While there is a lot of efforts involved, especially on the end of the developers, it can help in streamlining the process and improve sales and thus, revenue. If you do not have a sales funnel, do not wait for too long to create one. Also, before settling on one, analyse the data carefully since each funnel has a different effect on the business. 

2. Use a CMS (Customer Management System)

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Starting a business is hard, considering all the fund arrangements and the effort that goes into bringing it to life. Pixabay

Once your business takes off, it is hard to maintain a manual record of transactions and then spending a ridiculous amount of time tracking them. Not only is it a tiring process, but it also weighs your business down. Investing in or developing a customer management system can take you a long way in reducing the time and efforts required to crunch the numbers and churn the data. 

3. Competitor Research

You should always research what you are walking into as soon as you start looking to scale your business. There might be some companies already offering something similar to what you have, making it all the more necessary to test the waters before diving. Platforms like SimilarWeb and Adbeat help in gathering information on market competition. Adbeat also helps you understand the marketing and advertising strategy of the said competition. If it is working for them, it most likely will work for you too. 

4. Launch Loyalty Programs 

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Whichever way you look at it, getting new customers to buy from you is expensive. In fact, it is said that it takes thrice the amount of money to acquire a new customer than it takes to sell your products to an existing customer. In some cases, and industries, the numbers can go up to an outrageous 10 times. This is where customer loyalty programs come into the picture as they help you in retaining customers and keep the sales steady. 

5. Build a list of email subscribers

Sending routine emails is a great way of making sure your customers know what is new and how they can benefit from the latest developments. However, this is not be done by spamming, but by making an email list. Once you have your lead magnet in place, all you have to do is place it right. Once prospective customers start subscribing, you will have enough user base to send out routine emails and spread the word out. 

6. Licensing and partnering

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However, scaling and maintaining optimum growth is, in many ways, even harder. Pixabay

If you have the type of product that may be licensed, then it can help your business grow without any hassles. The revenue share that you will receive from licensing deals can help you make it big, especially if larger, well-known brands are involved. This can also be done in the case of the hospitality industry, as suggested by Ryan Hibbert of Riot Hospitality Group.

Even if you do not have a product such as this, you may partner with companies with similar interests or target audience in order to increase your outreach. Spotting and closing such partnerships may be a challenge, but if done right, can reap loads of benefits. 

7. Leverage global platforms

Depending on the type of business you are running, you can capitalize on the popularity of certain other sites to boost your sales. For example, if you are in the eCommerce business, you can use Amazon’s FBA services or use Airbnb if you have a vacation home rental service. Simply, using a saturated platform to boost your business can help you a lot.

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Scaling a business can certainly take a toll on you. However, instead of getting hassled by short term issues, focus on the long term outcomes of your work. Putting in time into understanding the behind-the-scenes operations can also give you an insight into what out to be done.