January , 2020
Tantuja reviving traditional designs
15:57 pm

B.E. Bureau

Tantuja is a state government undertaking and a leading handloom product manufacturer of West Bengal. With a range of Tangail, Jamdani, Baluchari, Battick, Dhanekhali, handloom and hand printed sarees, Tantuja offers some of the best of indigenous collections. Rabindranath Roy, MD, Tantuja, spoke to BE’s Kuntala Sarkar.

Q. How is Tantuja focusing on growth and what is its marketing strategy?

A. Tantuja has seen a significant growth in the last few financial years (FY). In FY 2015-16, our turnover was Rs 123.20 crore and operational profit was Rs 3.30 crore. This has increased year-on-year. In FY 2018-19, our turnover was Rs 252.58 and our operational profit was Rs 14.32 crore. We are expecting this to grow further in the current FY. However, it must be mentioned that we do not focus only on the commercial market; rather our goal is to provide better livelihood to the weavers by offering them with more opportunities of creating handloom products.

Q. What is Tantuja’s business focus?

A. Tantuja is currently undertaking two types of businesses. Our core business is marketing handloom products manufactured by the Primary Weavers Cooperative Society and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of West Bengal. All over India, we have 84 showrooms. We have 67 showrooms in West Bengal itself. We also produce sarees, dhotis, bedrolls, and gouge bandages for various government departments including the disaster management department.

Q. How is Tantuja upskilling artisans?

A. For the skill development of the artisans, we organise a design competition every year. We offer them monetary incentives and awards at the end of the competition in order to encourage them to enhance their designing skills. We support them through design centres. For the livelihood development of the unskilled or semi-skilled weavers, we involve them in the production of relief material that we supply to various governmental departments.

Q. How is the state government helping the artisans associated with Tantuja?

A. By the mandate of the West Bengal government, we only receive products manufactured by the weavers of West Bengal. The state government, through Tantuja, is specifically producing cheap cotton sarees. The cost of production of each of these sarees is Rs 205 per saree. Here, the government gives a subsidy of Rs 99 per saree and we therefore sell them at Rs 106. These sarees are sold mostly through our showrooms and ration shops. People of the outskirts are responding well to this. This is helping the sector in two ways. First, the poor people are being enabled to buy cotton sarees at nominal prices. Secondly, this is also giving better livelihood options to low skilled weavers.

Q. How is your organisation using online platforms?

A. We have our online platform where we deliver the products through our own logistics department. This amounts to sales of more than Rs 1 crore per fiscal year. Apart from this, we have recently tied-up with Amazon. We are also associated with Flipkart and GoCoop.

Q. How is your export market?

A. Our export market is still in a preliminary stage. Majority of our export is being performed by online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. Indians, Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and people of Indian origin who are living in the US are largely buying our exclusive products through online platforms. We do not have any retail outlet abroad. There are some legal issues that are present in the international market. Additionally, product specifications are also very stringent for the international market.

Q. What are the exclusive commercial offerings of Tantuja?

A. We have our own training come production centres in Pashkura and Kumarchak. Additionally, in some weaver concentrated areas, we have our own procurement centres. We train the weavers to create the best designs for our commercial products. With the help of our design team, we have revived many designs of Baluchari. Our R&D team has beautifully implemented them on ari silk sarees. Also, the unique colours and distinctive specifications we offer are not easily available in the market at our price range. We also procure items from similar organisations in different states in order to offer to our customers a vast range of products.





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