The National Entrepreneurship Awards, of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, since 2016, has been Identifying, Promoting and Rewarding young upcoming entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of the country. However it is seldom that one comes across an entrepreneur who builds a business out of preserving tradition, lineage and pedigree, unique to the land they come from.
Ms Rita Gatphoh, Peter Marbaniang, and Navackotti set a unique example, when they got together and set up artisan workshops in the tribal and remote areas of Meghalaya. This was the first step towards creating Dak_Ti Craft. Dak_Ti , a Khasi Term, means impressions of the hand and also how to protect it. The response from these workshops encouraged Rita and her team to set up this traditional craft as a means of livelihood. The business model was to guide the skill and enthusiasm of these artisans to create products from natural produce and materials from the North East. Some of these materials include Bamboo Cane, Pineapple Fibre, and Clay which are abundantly available in the region. This translated into a three-fold advantage for all the stakeholders. Firstly, it channelized the energies and skills of the local artisans, motivating them to take up self-employment. Secondly, it created a positive ecosystem in their milieu for sustainable livelihoods with their skill sets. Lastly, it gave the innovators an enabling environment, leading to increase in happiness quotient. They were able to popularise their natural products beyond the North East markets though introduction into retail outlets in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa etc. This business model has been able to leave an ecology footprint, leading to a win win situation for all. This also inspired the Dak_Ti team to show case Meghalaya to the world with all its Food, Music, Arts and Crafts. So in due course Dak_Ti can aspire to become a popular Brand Ambassador of Meghalaya.
When Rita Gatphoh and her Team were awarded the National Entrepreneurship Awards in 2019, their joy knew no bounds. This recognition by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India was followed by recognition by GIZ. This will serve as a stepping stone for ensuring that Rita, Peter and Navackotti work with renewed vigour to ensure that no stone is left unturned in their successful entrepreneurial journey.