Meet the SHEROES - Megha Gupta
Image Source: DharaviMarket.com
Dharavi in Mumbai has long since been known for being Mumbai's largest slum area. However. within these by-lanes one finds some of the most talented craftsmen who make quality products of all kinds. Seeing this void, Megha Gupta chose to bring e-commerce into the heart of Dharavi and that's how DharaviMarket was born. This interesting profit-for-venture start-up aims at bringing the quality products made by these people to the rest of the world,
Let's hear what Megha has to tell us today,
How did the idea of DharaviMarket come about?
I started my career as a journalist for Mid-Day after completing my Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media in 2006. I reported on issues concerning infrastructure in Mumbai. I decided to study the subject in detail and went to the University of Sheffield, UK, for an MA in Town and Regional Planning. I always knew I wanted to come back and apply my skills here. After I returned in early 2008, I worked with some of the best names in urban planning; assisting them in areas of research and publication of public infrastructure projects and affordable housing ideas. It was during this five- year stint as an urbanologist that I got involved in a project about the daily commute methods of people in Dharavi. For six months I spent 16 to 18 hours a day in Dharavi observing and understanding local manufacturing activities, lifestyle of the people, social networks and popular communication modes. “This is when I realized that there is so much activity in Dharavi,”...
How does your venture benefit the buyer and seller?
DharaviMarket.com is a for-profit initiative aimed at making the skills of the squatter settlement more accessible to the middle and upper classes while providing the local, skilled craftsmen and artisans direct access to both local and global markets. It aims at providing, world class, quality goods at cheap prices as one would directly buy from the manufacturers while giving the craftsmen a price worth their craft and effort.
What are your short to long term plans for this venture?
Long term- make dharavi a world class destination of manufacturing goods. short term- work with more and more craftsmen, bring them online and create a direct dialogue between customers and craftsmen.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this line of work?
Lack of literacy skills, especially in the IT sector.
What advice would you give aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Start small, think big. Take small steps, and one day you will realise what a big leap you took when you began your first small step.