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How This Entrepreneur Duo Is Personifying ‘By Women For Women,’ With Their Startup iMithila

How This Entrepreneur Duo Is Personifying ‘By Women For Women,’ With Their Startup iMithila

This article is part of Inc42’s brand new series — Women in Leadership — in which we can be presenting tales of women who have now not only excelled in their chosen discipline but also empowered and stimulated different girls to go past their boundaries and boundaries. Read extra stories here.

Last year in July, in an try to sell neighborhood artwork and lifestyle, specific trains which includes Rajdhani Express and Sampark Kranti Express, originating from Bihar were embellished with Madhubani paintings. Around 22 coaches of the Patna Rajdhani express had been protected internal out with the complicated styles and gentle pastels of the traditional artwork shape originating from the Mithila area of Bihar. The end result become so breathtaking that Japan, that is working intently the Indian Railways on a bullet educate, asked the Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry of India to ship a collection of artisans who ought to recreate the art on the Japanese public trains.

Since the 20 th century, Indian historical past and art forms had been famous with creditors and artwork fans worldwide. With its ethnically-numerous records, India has been a melting pot for no longer just cultures but additionally various schools of artwork, tune and structure.

Being stored alive with the aid of traditional artisans throughout villages and cities, few in India’s towns know about the hardships that those artists bear. With incomes too meagre to maintain their lives,  avenues to their paintings are limited and the prospect of penury because the best reward for their determination, more often than now not, Indian artisans lead thankless lives.

Of overdue although, increasingly more individuals, authorities our bodies and social organisations are looking to supply these artisans a platform. And one such art shape that is getting a boost from the governments and startups alike is Madhubani.

The 2,500 12 months vintage Madhubani or Mithila art work discover their foundation inside the Mithila vicinity of Bihar, Although the artwork form changed into observed in the 1930’s. It changed into recognized formally in 1969 while Sita Devi, a legendary Madhubani artist, obtained the kingdom award with the aid of Government of Bihar. In reality, she is one of the most important reviver’s of the Madhubani school.


The artwork-shape is created the use of arms, twigs, matchsticks, pen nibs, natural dyes, and pigments. Some of the initial references to this artwork-shape can be located in the Ramayana. Folklore has it that Sita’s father, requested his painters to create Madhubani art work for his daughter’s wedding ceremony.

One such lady-duo who're giving the Madhubani artisans, mainly women in Bihar a platform, are Ruchi Jha and Renuka Kumari with their startup —  iMithila.

Founded in 2016, iMithila in name and vision works for ‘innovation in Mithila’. The startup is giving a cutting-edge rendition to the art-from which became once famous as murals, wall hangings and pots with the aid of bringing it to normal merchandise inclusive of sarees, luggage, clocks, coasters, and so on.

Madhubani artwork changed into re-found in 1934 after an earthquake hit Bihar. Among the particles lay a relic of the beautiful Madhubani art which became observed with the aid of a British colonial officer, William G. Archer, in the Madhubani District. And, as they say relaxation is history.

The expertise of the art shape was handed all the way down to generations and women have become its largest members, using it to color partitions of homes on gala's. Just like most art bureaucracy, the girls practicing Madhubani art have located solace in silence and used the medium to carry awareness to the stigma surrounding them. The startup is dedicated to giving artisans related to it, a platform for their creative, and economic needs. And a key undertaking for iMithila is putting the electricity lower back in the arms of its authentic artists —  the women.

Today, the iMithila crew has a unique mixture of lady people artisans spread in over twenty villages of Mithilanchal. Interestingly, 80% of the artisans on the platform are women.

How The Canvas At iMithla Is Painted

With the plethora of picks to be had to customers nowadays, the simplest way to be triumphant, generate sales, and stay in advance in the game for an upcoming startup is via giving a twist to hitherto unknown products. In the identical vein, iMithila has gone beyond the usual merchandise related to Madhubani paintings to seize a bigger pool of customers.

The iMithila merchandise are priced among $10 (INR 700) to $214 (INR 15,000) and the corporation has witnessed a consistent 2 hundred% growth Y-O-Y with a team of 10 who training session of Noida and a hundred artisans primarily based out of Bihar. The maximum orders are available in from the states of Kolkata and Madhya Pradesh.

Getting into particular products has been both profitable and tough for iMithila, “Since, most of our products are modern with out of the container designs and wondering, the most important assignment that we’ve confronted is to paintings on product management. It is ready making the selection on which product classes to enter into and at what charge points,’’ stated Jha.

This situation for iMithila has been tackled by way of its internal group and commercial enterprise advisors. Before moving into any class, the startup conducts a radical studies of the scope of the goods in the marketplace. From inception to getting into a new category, their time cycle is six to nine months.

Initially the employer began as an ecommerce brand and spent a whole lot of time and sources on advertising. Ecommerce allowed it to attain different customers quick in comparison to every other channel. Now the employer is in the system of beginning Madhubani artwork galleries in distinct towns in India. “The reality that we're a layout led revolutionary logo operating best in Mithila art form makes us stick out from the gang,’’ said Jha.

Today, iMithila ships globally, and is present on various marketplaces. It is also making its presence felt offline in extraordinary promotional exhibitions and their first brick and mortar in Delhi – NCR.

Although iMithila has a first-mover benefit within the space, Madhubani art has lengthy been bought offline in exhibitions, handicraft shops and galleries. More lately on-line marketplaces such as Pepperfry, Amazon, Flipkart, Mojarto, and many others are inundated with an expansion of Madhubani merchandise.

Helping the Artisans At iMithila

All the goods by iMithila are manufactured inside the portray’s hometown Bihar by way of the artisans and partners of iMithila. The organization pursuits to develop the surroundings of the Tier 3 & 4 cities in Bihar.

IMithila provides the important ability and development training to its partners. Since the quantum of labor is high, it also works at the skill enhancement of its companions and artisans. “Earlier, considering that there was no computerized centers available in Bihar, partners had to either hand stitch them or we have been procuring them from out of doors the state. The concept became to have the entirety made in Bihar. Hence, we first identified our partners after which helped them setup automatic facilities to get those merchandise manufactured locally,” emphasized Jha.

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The higher income at iMithila transpires to higher work and income for the one hundred plus artists related to the organization. With a sturdy on the artisans, the organization has 0 attrition price and don't forget its artisans as part of its internal team.

IMithila makes all the bills digitally to the artisans making them a part of Digital India, and claims to have helped their artisans enrol in numerous government programs which advantage them loads.

Keeping Madhubani Art Alive: The Mission for iMithila

The startup also runs an on-campus program —  Campus Connect where it conducts workshops on Mithila artwork in exceptional academic institutes in cities internationally.

The corporation additionally runs a sub-software —  Startup Mithila to unfold consciousness some of the students and aspiring entrepreneurs approximately startups and all of the related factors in Tier three & four cities of the usa, inspiring an increasing number of students and people to take entrepreneurship as a profession.

In today’s increasingly more westernised culture it is uncommon for Indian heritage to locate commercial reputation outdoor the flea markets visited commonly via travelers. By selling Madhubani paintings in a present day way, iMithila has now not handiest helped neighborhood artisans make a dwelling but also breathed a lease of lifestyles right into a as soon as forgotten part of India’s precious historical past.

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