For the first time since its inception, Manjusha, the state handicraft development corporation, made an operational profit of Rs 3.87 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal year. It may be mentioned that after the change of guard in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had taken up a series of programmes to give a
facelift to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) in the state.
The introduction of Biswa Bangla brand has set a mark and helped immensely in marketing of handicraft and handloom products. It resulted in a sharp increase in demand of the products made by handicraft workers and artisans from different parts of the state. The State Handloom Development Corporation, Manjusha, was established in 1978. In the past 37 years, this is the first time when the corporation has witnessed a profit of Rs 3.87 crore and it does not include any subsidy by the government.
The corporation also witnessed the highest-ever business turnover in this fiscal, amounting to Rs 46.75 crore. The MSME department had virtually become a CPI(M) den, with Ramola Chakraborty, wife of Subhas Chakraborty, heading Manjusha. It was often seen that sales personnel at the outlets were uninterested in showing products to customers, but were busy discussing politics throughout the day. After Banerjee came to power in 2011, special emphasis was laid on Manjusha and Tantuja.
Muslin fabric, which was regenerated after the weavers were given training and looked after properly, is now being sold from Manjusha outlets. The products of the artisans and weavers – particularly Dokra, lcay models, handloom sarees and muslin products – have become immensely popular among customers.
Steps were also taken to ensure better management of the quality of products, create wider product base, better management and e-commerce.
Tantuja, the State Handloom Weavers’ Society, has been churning profits for three consecutive years. In 2015-16, it made a profit of Rs 3.30 crore, when the total business turnover stood at Rs 123 crore.