Dastkar Andhra Marketing Association (DAMA) was established in 2001, as a public charitable Trust to promote and provide marketing assistance to handloom producers, groups and co-operatives. DAMA provides design and technical support to over 400 weavers through 20 primary handloom weavers co-operatives and groups located across 7 districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Dastkar Andhra which started working from 1995 initially engaged with some marketing activities like conducting exhibitions for improving sales of the primary handloom weaver co-operatives. But the range of the tasks involved in promoting marketing became beyond the scope of the objectives of the organization and the decision to set up an independent marketing agency was taken.
The objective of DAMA is to provide marketing support to the cotton handloom sector in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana through the creation and promotion of innovative marketing strategies. It partners with the primary handloom weaver cooperatives, which are designed to be democratic, participative and equitable. DAMA’s interventions are in production (loom support through market orders in the initial stage), stockroom (affording aggregation of product) and marketing through different sales channels.
DAMA’s vision is to promote handloom product across different market segments and help link the producer to the contemporary markets. It closely engages with the weavers working in the handloom co-operatives to help them understand the needs of consumers across different segments
A basic principle of DAMA’s procurement and production system is to aim at providing regular work to each co-operative. This can only be achieved through an effective marketing service providing regular orders to the weavers and efficient capital rotation for the co-operative.
DAMA aggregates products across various co-operatives and co-ordinates and distributes according to market demand. DAMA sells the products from the designated looms directly and supports few other looms in the 16 cooperatives. The average value of production from looms working for DAMA is 30% higher than the non-DAMA looms in the cooperatives. Working with DAMA results in more regular work and higher earnings to the weavers.
Producer Partners (As on March 2020)
|Sr. No.||Co-operative||District, |
|1||Sai Baba HWCS Ltd.||Srikakulam|
|2||Sri Hatakeswara HWCS Ltd.||Srikakulam|
|3||Pasalapudi HWCS Ltd.||East Godavari|
|4||Sri Umashankara HWCS Ltd.||Krishna|
|5||Sri Balasaraswathi HWCS Ltd.||Krishna|
|6||Sri Vigneshwara HWCS Ltd.||Krishna|
|7||Sri Ramalingeshwara HWCS ltd.||Krishna|
|8||Rajavolu HWCS Ltd.||Guntur|
|9||Arumbaka HWCS Ltd.||Guntur|
|10||Railpeta HWCS Ltd.||Guntur|
|11||Ilavaram HWCS Ltd.||Guntur|
|12||Sri Sai Rajendra HWCS Ltd.||Guntur|
|Sr. No.||Co-operative||District, Telangana|
|13||Adarsha HWCS Ltd.||Siddipet,|
|14||Kothapally HWCS Ltd.||Medak|
|15||Kamalapur HWCS Ltd.||Karimnagar|
|16||Potlapally HWCS Ltd.||Siddipet|
|17||Wavilala Khadi Gramodhyog Bandar||Karimnagar|
|18||ChennurCheneta Kala Sangham|
(Independent weavers group)
The natural dyes programme was part of an early intervention in Dastkar Andhra (DA) in an attempt to create new products for emerging markets. Today it is part of the programme to promote environment friendly dyes through providing technical support and training to producer groups in shifting to these technologies, both chemical and natural.
New interventions include identifying gaps in pre-loom technology networks, re-building broken links and establishing pre-loom units like dyeing, sizing and warping units, where necessary. Work is in progress to adapt existing post loom technologies, (for shrinking and washing) available in other industries, to suit the decentralized mode of handloom.
Design is a strong element in our work to market handlooms. Our design innovations are made always keeping in mind the distinct product identities of each region. The various aspects of design work include:
- Merchandizing, or translation of market information into design and dissemination of this process by building capabilities of the co-operative and the weaver
- For enabling design flexibility on the loom, motivating skilled weavers to create new designs / samples
- Design innovations keeping in mind the existing product identities
- Feed learnings of the work with cooperatives directly into DA policy advocacy programme, in order to inform broader directions for investment into the industry both by the market and the State
DAMA’s marketing strategy targets the potential of the domestic markets. The products include fabrics, sarees, dupattas and stoles, all produced in pure cotton on handlooms in the handloom weaver co-operatives. DAMA also value adds to the handloom products of the co-operative with hand block printing and tailoring.
The two main marketing channels are:
- wholesale / bulk sales
- direct sales
The objectives of the two marketing channels are to:
- market the handloom products of co-operatives an weaver groups to existing mainstream markets
- expand market share by working on innovative distribution and marketing mechanisms
- set up norms for translating market information into products so that producers service markets efficiently
- keep abreast with market changes in order to provide the best possible marketing support to the handloom industry
Wholesale/ Bulk Sales
Pre-selling suits some of the retailers as it allows the retailer to plan his stock and gives the producer the much-needed commitment.
Large retailers and small retailers are spread across the big and small cities across the country. This segment is run on high volumes, low mark up and pre-selling model. Some of these retailers sell exclusively handloom / hand crafted products from their stores, building a loyal base of clientele.
One other avenue of sales in wholesale / bulk sales is to sell the handloom products after they are produced. As DAMA buys a minimum amount of quantity from the handloom co-operatives every month, this channel is serviced with the non-customer order production. This channel has grown exponentially in the last four years as these sales are conducive to small boutiques / outlets. They can buy quantities as per their requirement and receive the goods in a short period (say within15 days), unlike customer order sales, where they need to order production friendly quantities and wait for 3 months before receiving the production.
Exhibition is one of the market places where there is a direct interaction with the customer and their preferences. This market information is vital for design development. Translating this information into product and using the same space to test market the products completes the cycle. This system indirectly feeds into the retail and other marketing segments. Exhibitions are ideal for exploring different cities, market places and potential retailers. They also serve the purpose of disposing additional stock.
Sales from DAMA Showrooms
Direct sales through showrooms of DAMA is a platform that gives the comfort of regular shopping for the handloom customer. Another purpose the showrooms serve is to explore aspects of retailing handlooms in a mainstream market place. They provide direct information from the customer to the DAMA design team and allow them to design appropriate products which help in servicing the wholesale customer as well.
dãram is the readymade garment brand of DAMA. The absence of pure handloom in the retail space and the need to market cotton handloom products at lower markups and higher volumes, prompted us to bring dāram into existence. dãram, the readymade brand which offers pre-shrunk cotton handloom garments for men, women and children fills the retail gap for a pure cotton handloom brand, while connecting with the aesthetic aspiration of the customer for a unique product. It also helps to promote the handloom process while making good quality garments available to the customer at a reasonable price.
Objectives of the showrooms
- leverage market information and production capability to give both the consumers and producers what they want. In the long run, the aim is to build values into choice by creating value through an economic transaction.
- showcase weaver and weaver institutions by making tangible their contribution to the production and marketing process and build their ownership in the market space
- offer space and energy to explore meanings of choices and address needs of rebuilding of community spaces
DAMA Handloom Store
1-10-3/1, Boorugu Vihar,
Begumpet, Near Union Bank,
Hyderabad – 500 016.
11:00 – 20:00
Closed on Wednesday
11:00 – 20:00
DAMA Stockroom & Office
Plot no. 19, Sikh Road,
Cantonment Co-operative Housing Society,
Near Delhi Public School,
Secunderabad – 500 009.
10:00 – 17:30
Closed on Sunday