Director, iMithila Handicrafts & Handloom Private Ltd
iMithila is a social enterprise engaged in promoting hand painted Indian crafts and Handloom products. Started in the year 2016 by Ruchi Jha, an investment banker turned entrepreneur, iMithila is a part of the Government initiated Startup India program and is associated with Startup Bihar program as well. It is also a part of the launchpad program by Amazon and has been awarded a SuperStartup by the prestigious SuperBrand for the current year. iMithila was selected to be a part of the International Trade Fair 2017 under the Startup India Pavilion. Also, Ruchi Jha was among the chosen few to be a part of the prestigious GES2017. Ruchi Jha, holds an MBA degree in Finance and has close to 6 years of corporate experience with companies like HDFC Bank, TCS etc. iMithila is India’s fastest growing brand in Madhubani Painting Product Category. Madhubani Painting, also known as Mithila Painting, is among the oldest art forms of the world. We have worked towards expanding these painting designs from traditional mural form to newer, more widely used modern products like wall clocks in home decor to Sarees and Stoles in the apparel category. We have been striving to find a relevant application of Indian art forms in modern products for everyday use. In the process, we ended up creating a totally unique brand that has several takers who appreciate the craftsmanship. This is helping us create social impact in multiple ways as mentioned below. Firstly, we are helping create an environment of entrepreneurship and modernization in Class B and C cities of Bihar through establishing our contract manufacturing partners. Beside helping them financially, we work towards exposing them to the best manufacturing process and machines. Like our partners now manufacture bags and Kurtis in fully automated factories. These factories didn’t exist before. Hence iMithila & Madhubani painting is helping in Industrialization in a small yet unique manner. We ourselves are working towards establishing a clock Manufacturing unit at Darbhanga. This will be the only place in East India beside Kolkata where such factory will be operational in near future. This is helping us create jobs in different skill sets. It is a big boost to the economy of small towns. Secondly, we are helping the bottom of the pyramid artists find new ways of selling their art by expanding this Folk Art into modern décor and fashion products. Our customers are typically top of the pyramid. iMithila acts as the bridge between these artisans who are creating masterpieces and the art loving customers who are looking for authentic folk art based products. This helps them earn more as painting market in itself is not very easy to generate revenue. For us, this journey will be successful if we are able to create an entrepreneurial environment of small scale industrialization and job creation in our locations/ region of operation. This is the social impact we intend to make.