Change Agent In Social Enterprise
Pakistani craft is in crisis. It has not reached mass scale like other countries in the region. Craftsmen are abandoning their generation old professions due to two reasons.
- Lack of product development as aesthetically it does not meet the taste of the elite clientele/ and clients with buying power
- Due to a nonexistent channel, artisans do not reap the benefit of their product as they have no point of sale on a regular basis. Usually a middle man is engaged to sell the product which reduces the financial benefits for the artisan and the middle man takes a major portion of the profit.
As a result of the above mentioned reasons the craftsmen are not motivated to promote their craft. Our heritage and crafts are dwindling resulting in a dying cottage industry which could potentially create infinite job opportunity in Pakistan.
Daachi Foundation is tackling this problem on three fronts.
- Bi-annually Daachi Exhibitions are hosted in Lahore. Artisans from all over Pakistan are invited to participate and the Daachi Foundation funds selected artisans’ travel, boarding and lodging and facilitates them with free stalls to sell their product. This also gives the artisans an opportunity to interact with the urban customer and entrepreneurs who in turn engage artisans for various ventures. This subtle and informal interaction results in grooming artisan’s design sensibility.
- By connecting the artisan to the customer, the role of the middle man is eliminated resulting in higher profit margins for the artisan.
- The Daachi Foundation board members personally engage with artisans and give them input for design improvement.
In an environment where craft had no selling platform, Daachi in the past 7 years has delivered regular exhibitions, establishing itself as a brand name to be recognized in the area of product development and craft retail. Craftsmen who joined hands with Daachi Foundation by taking free stall have now thriving businesses, and today purchase the stalls and compete with urban entrepreneurs.In addition, these exhibitions have created over the years, a loyal clientele who prefer buying in their own country, Pakistan, rather than overseas.