Arti Sharma has 11 years of work experience and had worked in vertical markets like Automobile, IT and Health care where she had worked in Marketing, Business Development, New Customer Acquisition and Customer Satisfaction Departments. Her areas of interests and expertise are Strategic Direction for new business, Product/ Brand Management, Sales Promotion, Corporate Communication, Event Management and Inter-company International Marketing. She did MBA from Pune University and added an executive management degree from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
This journey started in 2012 when Arti Sharma had gone with family and friends to visit Taj Mahal (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. During the stay in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri they were roaming around and had reached an area where a group of women was sitting outside their home in a social gathering place. The whole group was busy with some work.
While passing, Arti and friends noted that they were doing zari and embroidery work. This was a different and pleasant experience for Arti because the threads of zari were taking dream shape in their work. It was that the imagination of their work was getting printed on an ordinary cloth. Out of curiosity, Arti asked about their work and took few photographs and noticed that they were making zari Bags. She investigates those bags to buy, lady refused and replied that those made for Contractor. She got puzzled to know that these women were getting 40-50 rupees per day as labor cost. It was shocking that the wages was very low and to earn this amount they have to work around 8-10 hours a day to feed their families. She further asked why you were paid so less for such an amazing job and where these work goes. One of them replied in foreign, but we get work from Contractor. Whereas contractor gets work from different cities and ask us to prepare various artistic goods. With Craze, she asked are you getting money every day for your work, she replied they get money in a month or two. Arti and friend left the area and noticed that similar kind of work was happening at nearby places and mostly involvement of women was there. This thought was well captured by Arti.
After reaching home, she researched Indian Art and Artisans life in-depth. She got amazed to know that Indian Art & Culture is deeply rooted in Indian Society especially in rural Areas. As a woman, it came in Arti’s mind that something needs to be done for Indian Art and Artisans. She kept on searching and discussing with Friends on this topic. Later in the days, she met Satish Kumar from Shahjahanabad (Delhi) as he was well aware of this kind of work. She went along with Mr. Kumar to visit Shahjahanabad where she found that Artisans were working and he introduced her with them. She saw deprived lifestyle of Artisans in that area. They were making handmade Jewelry and Iron Crafts. After couple of visits, one of the Artisan (Shabana) became her friend.
After few months Arti got married with an IT Professional. Arti’s research was continued even after her marriage and she visited several Delhi markets like Janpath, Connaught Place and Lajpat Nagar etc., where similar goods was available. She found that there were Retailers, big shops, but no Artisan. She asked Shopkeepers about Artisans. They said we have no information, then she checked the products and they were expensive. She got mystified why Artisans were paid so less where the products are expensive. With this thought, she decided to visit Shahjahanabad again and inquired Artisan friend about crafting work and the process involved in that.
She further discussed with her husband and shared emotions & willingness to do something to improve current situations of Artisans. He supported the decision and said that she can go ahead with her choice. With her savings and commitments, she decided to continue further in this Nobel profession and tendered her resignation from the Organization where she was working as Senior Marketing Professional.
After her resignation, she started exploring full-time. She found that similar kind of work is happening in Sambal, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Nagina, etc., and gathered more information on Art of Artisans. This way her search started and a company formed known as Master Piece Crafts International Pvt. Ltd.