Rashmi Shukla Of Jaypore Is Rediscovering India With Fabrics

In this interview with Rashmi Shukla, we discuss her career path and the launch of the new Jaypore Campaign, Fabric Of India, which is bringing traditional crafts from all over India to the globe!

Rashmi Shukla, is the Business Head for Jaypore, ABFRL. Rashmi is also the Brand Spokesperson who has years of experience as leader of her industry. Sustainability and learning from challenges has been her go to mantra.

In this interview, we discuss her career path and the launch of the new Jaypore Campaign, Fabric Of India, which is bringing traditional crafts from all over India to the globe!

Rashmi, you have studied in Garment manufacturing technology from NIFT, how did you decide on the subject, and did it play an important role in you stepping up as the business head of Jaypore?

I have always been passionate about design and product development, especially in the fashion and apparel segment. My initial years of understanding the basics of the garment production and designing have been invaluable in navigating the complex and ever-changing business landscape of this industry.

Hence, the progression from understanding the integrities of the industry to driving business and growth was a very natural one for me.

Strong foundations in any job is the key to easier transition in any future leadership role, in my case I studied design and development which when coupled with years of rich experience in the field, has contributed to my ability to nurture and drive businesses forward.

Many of our younger readers who are entering into the workforce and first-time entrepreneurs want to know what is the role of a Brand spokesperson.

My role is as a spokesperson, is to effectively represent a brand’s vision, which requires an overview of the entity you’re trying to create. It also requires an on-ground reality of what it takes to execute the master plan. 

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For the benefit of the younger readers and aspiring entrepreneurs, I would highlight that there is no shortcut to success. Clarity of vision and realistic assessment of the market needs to be bolstered by a daily drive for growth.

You must have faced many challenges in your career, how did you overcome them and what lessons did you carry from them? 

Over the years, I have faced and learned a lot from the challenges and obstacles! And I have discovered constant reality checks are the biggest learning moment of anyone’s career.

Today’s scary challenges teach you how to handle tomorrow’s problems. Sometimes these lessons can help you build administrative skills like strategic, operational, financial or just building good people skills. This approach of visualizing each challenge as a lesson for better future has always helped me in my experience.

Being a leader comes with many responsibilities, and you have to look after multiple branches of the Jaypore, how to do you handle the pressure and look after your mental health.

Yes, being a leader comes with many responsibilities, and it can definitely be challenging at times, especially to manage the pressure and maintain good mental health becomes priority. However, I have found a few key strategies that help me to stay focused and maintain a healthy balance.

Balancing life as a business leader requires a combination of setting clear objectives, prioritizing self-care, maintaining a positive outlook, staying organized, and building a supportive network. It is important to be mindful of work-life balance and make conscious efforts to strike the right balance.

You are leading one of India’s biggest handmade brands, and you are a woman, did you ever face challenges and doubts in your career because of your gender? And how did you tackle.

Personally I feel, women business leaders today have so much more support from organizations, industries, and finally societal narratives are changing and supporting gender equality. It’s a great time for any gender to maximize their potential. More so, for women entrepreneurs and business leaders, despite the challenges and doubts, we have great hope.

I have had tremendous support and encouragement from my peers, superiors and family. Support – is a key ingredient in the success of any business leader, no matter what the gender.

Sustainability is now a global future plan, and how does Jaypore make sure its goals of sustainability are maintained, especially in a time of fast-fashion crisis?

Foremost, we work with artisanal in the grassroot level, and include them in different stages of production. It is also at the very heart of the Jaypore vision to enable Indian craftspeople. 

Secondly, we believe in carrying our artisan communities with us as we grow. Whether it is activating craft clusters, enabling women artisans  (70% of our artisans are women creating craft for Jaypore) or reviving heritage crafts with authenticity.

Thirdly, Jaypore is driving the slow and sustainable fashion wave. Amidst this fast-paced industry, Jaypore leads the slow, sustainable way instead of Industrialized Mass Manufacturing. More than 50% of fabrics used in our products are made up of natural fibres, especially cotton and silk.

These are renewable resources, can biodegrade, and use less water, chemicals, and energy than most other fibres. We make it a priority to source from vendors who adopt responsible dyeing techniques. Apart from that, a lot of our ranges use Upcycling and recycling older fabrics.

Rashmi Shukla Of Jaypore Is Rediscovering India With Fabrics

Jaypore is also about bringing Indian craftsmanship to the world, please tell us about the Fabric Of India Campaign that you have launched.

Jaypore’s soul is rooted in bringing Indian heritage crafts to the forefront with a contemporary aesthetic  so it’s relevant for today’s India. We want to rediscover India!

While our products are a clear reflection of that, our campaigns also mirror it. For example: this year on Republic Day we are celebrating the Fabric Of India campaign, the hashtag #FabricOfIndia was simultaneously launched on our social media to amplify our vision.  

The concept of ‘Fabric of India’ is glued together with a rich and diverse tapestry of people, languages, cultures and traditions. It’s the foundation of our national pride, and we wanted to convey this to our base. 

Our craft heritage is merely a reflection of the nation’s distinct flavours; put together, it forms a beautiful mosaic that highlights the substance or the Fabric Of India.

Through this campaign, we delve deep into India’s craft offerings and celebrate unity in this diversity. We want to celebrate the fabric of this country which is best reflected in its people, cultures, languages etc.

The rich heritage crafts help weave this narrative through its multiple hues and textures. From Ajrakh to Chikankari, Benarasi, Chanderi and Kolhapuri – this campaign truly celebrates Indian craft and craftsmanship through social media and digital content and collaborations.

Is there any career advice you like to share with Women’s Web readers who want to be leaders in their careers like you?

To future leaders, first, there is no shortcut to hard work, and learning comes from doing. Second, seek out mentors who can provide guidance and support, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your field.

Third and most importantly, career success is not a one-time event, but a continuous journey. Keep learning, growing and adapting to the changes, and always be open to new opportunities.

Image source: Rashmi Shukla, and Sasasran Olteanu free and edited on CanvaPro

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Aritra Paul

Editor at Women's Web. She/They. 30. Bi. Bookworm. Comic book connoisseur. read more...

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