Sahaj Crafts: the challenge of alleviating poverty in Western Rajasthan

Aashish Mehra (Department of Marketing Management, Teerthanker Mahaveer Institute of Management and Technology, Moradabad, India)
Nidhi Mathur (Department of Management, Jaipuria Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad, India)
Vaibhav Tripathi (Department of Management, Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 8 May 2019


Learning outcomes

The learning objectives of this case are as follows: identify and understand the major challenges/problems faced by a social enterprise in promoting handicraft business; examine the value chain architecture of handicraft products; assess the role of the protagonist (Sanjay) as a social change agent in shaping a successful social enterprise; assess Sahaj Crafts' initiatives and analyze whether the key intervention/s planned/executed were required for skilling up of rural artisans and upgradation of handicraft business; know the marketing strategies for handicraft products; and understand the “strategies” which need to be applied for uplifting people's lives at the bottom of pyramid in general and for enlivening of artisans’ clusters in particular. The outcomes are as follows: examining the value chain architecture of handicraft product; understanding the difficulties and challenges of structuring a viable social business model; examining the role of Sanjay as a social change agent in shaping a successful social enterprise; and examining the model of Craft Incubation Center and design education proposed by Sahaj Crafts for improving rural artisans’ livelihood and skills upgradation.

Case overview/synopsis

Sanjay Joshi – the promoter and CEO of “Sahaj Crafts” (a social enterprise established in Western Rajasthan, India), an initiative to strengthen indigenous skills and mainstream rural craft products and artworks – is faced with the question of how to scale up his organization’s operations. Doing so requires that he address these fundamental challenges in terms of – how to deal with unorganized craft communities; match up product orientation to market demands; integrate modern technology / processes in craft business; combat restricted mobility of women artisans; and make effective interventions so that the artisans learn and enjoy working in the current model and solve the financial issues faced by the social enterprise. Providing effective and implementable answers to those questions is vital to Sahaj Craft’s development in attaining its mission to alleviate poverty in the region. Failing to expand operations above a critical scale may leave Sahaj Crafts vulnerable in meeting sufficient demand for contemporary craft products in the mainstream markets.

Complexity academic level

This case study is primarily suitable for post-graduate level management students to teach the concepts of designing and operationalizing a “social” business model in a social entrepreneurship module. This case study can also be used for highlighting business model innovations in the social sector of emerging markets. The case could be taught in the following academic domains: social entrepreneurship; bottom of the pyramid; social inclusion; supply chain consolidation (vertical integration in a value chain); marketing strategies for handicraft products; branding; brand positioning; cost and management accounting.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship



Mehra, A., Mathur, N. and Tripathi, V. (2019), "Sahaj Crafts: the challenge of alleviating poverty in Western Rajasthan", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 9 No. 1.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.