Warli art, which is popularly seen as a part of the interior designs in most modern Indian homes, is a beautiful folk art of Maharashtra, traditionally created by tribal women. While Warli is popularly turning into a hobby, few have the passion to turn it into a profession. One such businesswoman is Mrs. Prashansa Mulay—who like her name, has been making laudable efforts to present this traditional art to modern society through her business venture “Shaurya Arts”.
Opportunity in Crisis
A native of Wai, Prashansa holds a degree in MPM from Synergy University, Pune and after marriage, worked abroad in this field for a couple of years. Subsequently, the couple shifted back to Wai, where pregnancy and motherhood deterred Prashansa from working on a full-time job. However, instead of getting bogged down, she decided to turn her hobby, Warli art, into a business idea. Her parents offered to look after her child and with their support and her dedication, she saw the birth of her second baby—‘Shaurya Arts’ in January 2015.
Prashansa realised that besides fabric, Warli can also be done on earthenware, nameplates, glass and various other surfaces. She presents Warli not just as decorative items but also utility items like lampshades and cutlery, and has also ventured into corporate gifting. Prashansa has chalked out a five-phased product life cycle for her Warli products. Firstly, she sources earthen and ceramic ware from the local potter. Next, she gets the base coat applied from the local women of Wai. In the third stage, she does the main Warli art design herself. Finally, the application of the second coat and the packaging of the article is also outsourced.
Introduction to deAsra
Prashansa is a member of the Marathi entrepreneurs network where she met Mrs. Shubhangi who runs a masala business and had received deAsra’s support. After a deAsra representative delivered a lecture to the group, Prashansa decided to contact them. Prashansa was trying hard to do exports, and she got some good guidance from deAsra regarding how she could start an export division for her business.
Since Warli artefacts are not a ‘need’ commodity and cater more to the ‘leisure’ segment, marketing is a challenge for Prashansa. She tries to promote her business through her business groups, social media, and has a done a few exhibitions before. Word of mouth publicity is a great way in which her artefacts sell well. She is trying to find a marketing agency in cities like Pune/Mumbai who can promote and sell her products in these cities. Secondly, her product involves working on delicate material like earthenware and glassware and handling it is a challenge.
Prashansa has many success stories of satisfied clients. As Diwali gifts for a construction company, she made wooden paperweights in the shape of a house with the company logo inscribed. She designed t-shirts for a tourism company on which she represented the company’s different services through Warli. For a Sports Company, she designed customised lanterns that depicted various sports through Warli .
Her products have reached cities like Pune, Mumbai and also to the US and New Zealand.
Prashansa wants to set her business base in Wai and give back her bit to the society by providing employment to the locals. Her HR skills help her communicate and empathise with the people who work for her. Besides Warli, she also wants to explore other Indian tribal arts like Madhubani.
She would be happy to receive deAsra’s guidance in expanding her business through e-commerce and building her own website.
deAsra wishes Prashansa all the very best for her business!