Caravan Craft Retail Private Limited (CCRPL), a single brand retail venture that claims to be committed to the revival and promotion of Indian craft and providing livelihood to the country’s artisans, has opened its first store in Maharashtra at Phoenix Market City, Pune. This is the company’s second store in the country. The first being in Bangalore, Karnataka, has received overwhelming response from customers.
Spread over 2800 sq. ft., the store offers an wide range of handcrafted products. The products in segments ranging from apparel to home décor to jewellery, toys and gifts, are a unique mix of contemporary functional design and traditional craft forms. The Home segment has bright-coloured cushion covers, curtains, tablemats and runners embellished with craftwork like Zardozi, hand embroidery and block printing.
Caravan Craft Retail Private Limited has been funded by NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) and Unitus Seed Fund.
Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO, NSDC, say: “While NSDC spearheads the nation’s Skilling Mission with a target of 150 million pairs of skilled hands to be added by 2022 which will include artisans, it is the demand for skilled Indians generated by businesses like Caravan that makes the new skills ecosystem economically viable and productive in the long run. NSDC, for its part, will continue to study the skill gap in the country and develop its network of training partners who will manage the supply side for skilled manpower at every level.”
Caravan is led by Kunal R Sachdev (MD & CEO), who has experience in marketing, retail and operations management. He has held senior management and leadership roles at ITC and Hidesign where he was instrumental in building both the brand and the business.
Other key members of the team include Sudipto Sinha (COO) who is responsible for Business Strategy and Artisanal Development. His past experience as founder of Indica Research and one of the pioneers in marketing research in India is invaluable. Vinesh Singh, CFO at Caravan, comes with a unique and rich experience of both Finance and Retail having spent more than two decades in Retail Operations and Supply Chain. Sachin Rampal, who used to head corporate communications for Reliance Retail, is on board to create linkages with artisan groups for a sustainable engagement with them. Mahesh Rao, ex-owner and Managing Director, Carbon, the jewellery brand, is helping put together the jewellery collection. Michael Foley, arguably one of India’s leading designers, has designed part of the product range for the brand.
The advisory board of Caravan counts Narayan Ramachandran, former Chief Executive, Morgan Stanley India; Bijou Kurien, President & Chief Executive – Lifestyle, Reliance Retail Ltd and Ananth Raman, UPS Fellow at Harvard Business School, among its members.