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A global platform for ethnic products

The legendary muslin of Murshidabad, that charmed the well-heeled of Europe in the medieval ages bringing traders to the doorsteps of the subcontinent, may regain super luxe heights in the global market if the government's plans come to fruition. Debobrat Ghose reports

business Updated: Sep 11, 2011 21:59 IST

The legendary muslin of Murshidabad, that charmed the well-heeled of Europe in the medieval ages bringing traders to the doorsteps of the subcontinent, may regain super luxe heights in the global market if the government's plans come to fruition.

The ministry for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has shortlisted 16 ethnic and exclusive products of India to package and position in the international market with the rich and the famous clientele in mind.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has been appointed as the nodal agency for identifying and developing such products with a rich heritage, which has either remained as a part of folk-lore or not popular globally, yet exclusive.

The 16 products identified are Muslin and Kantha-stitch (West Bengal), Tussar (Jharkhand), Kosa (Chhattisgarh), Endie chadar and Mooga silk (Assam), Silver filigree work (Orissa), Desi woollen blanket and Bhagalpur silk (Bihar), Phulkari work (Punjab), Kullu shawls (Himachal Pradesh), Kota doriya sarees (Rajasthan), Ponduru khadi (Andhra Pradesh), Arni silk (Tamil Nadu), Kora silk and Manila shirting (Kerala).

"Through innovative designing and significant value-addition, we are trying to develop these identified products to cater to high-end domestic and foreign connoisseurs, which had been missing till date," Uday Kumar Varma, secretary, MSME, told Hindustan Times.

The project envisages research, designing, improving infrastructure, increasing production base, enhancing credit flow, skill development, capacity building and effective marketing. KVIC will tie-up with National Institute of Design for product designing.

"Only this way can the khadi institution survive and grow via value-addition," Varma said.

"Khadi brand has to tap into a core need of consumers and needs to evolve from a sensorial and aesthetic perspective to be in tune with current consumption imperatives, followed by an aggressive promotion with a coherent promotion strategy," said Shripad Nadkarni, director, MarketGate Consulting.