Media Mentions

23 November 2017: Sustainability, the most dominating theme of 21st century, The Times of India

Industree Foundation with Mindtree and Social Venture participated in a panel discussion at Cumulus 2017 at Srishti: Letters to the Future.

From (L to R): Shriya Kariappa and Neelam Chhiber of Industree Foundation, Karan Rai Bahadur (Head Of Consulting – Social Inclusion) of Mindtree Ltd and Aashu Calapa (Director, Million Jobs Mission) of SVP India. Pic: Srishti


“…Neelam Chhiber presented her ideas on how the ‘Creative Million’ project of the Industree Foundation provides creative employment to the rural sector of artisans and others.”

7 October 2017: Bengaluru garment hub’s dirty secret: Sexual harassment in the workplace,


Industree Foundation’s work to train women as supervisors and managers (the WSTP, or Women’s Supervisory Training Program) is mentioned as a solution to the widespread problem of sexual harassment in the garment industry.

“Monitored over the next six months, 25 of the 34 women who attended the programme were found successfully promoted to supervisory roles, with a 30%-50% hike in income. The second cycle in 2015 trained 30 women, but from the same companies. ‘We approached other big exporters, but they were apprehensive that open conversations in the sessions would make their workers aware of non-compliance or too demanding about rights'” -Nishwath Hasan, Educator, Cividep 

3 October 2017: Tech lifts creatives out of poverty, Innovators magazine 


Industree Foundation and Sonata Software were featured in this Innovators Magazine article about ‘tech for good’.

“E-commerce in India is leapfrogging to mobile first and mobile-only platforms and digital technology will remove layers of middlemen to bring artisans closer to their end customers and help increase their incomes,”  -Tridip Saha, Vice President and Head of Europe for Sonata Software.

June 7 2017:  Shaping future innovation in ethical fashion, British Asian Trust

Pic: Not My Style

The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to fight poverty in South Asia, brought together some of the UK’s leading fashion retailers and influencers to join the Innovating for Change discussion about social and economic empowerment in the fashion supply chain.

“We were delighted to convene key leaders and influencers from the fashion industry for this lively debate to share insights and innovation that will make a difference to the lives of people who make the things we love.” – Abha Thorat-Shah, Programmes/Investments Director, British Asian Trust 

Mar 17 2017:  Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth partners with Industree Foundation to empower 100,000 women artisans, The Hindu Business Line

Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth announces its partnership with Industree Foundation for Mission Creative Million, where it intends to make a grant of US$150,000 to further adoption of digital payment solutions among women artisans.

“Connecting women artisans to the networks that power the modern world – like financial services – unlocks their economic potential and accelerates a cycle of equitable and sustainable economic growth. Micro entrepreneurs drive the local economy and through our partnership with Industree Foundation, we look forward to empowering artisans with the tools and training to grow their businesses and advance the lives of their families and communities.” – Shamina Singh, President, Master Center for Inclusive Growth.

Mar 2 2017: IKEA launch new Hemgjord range in Thurrock, Your Thurrock

Industree Foundation’s partnership with IKEA as part of the Next Generation initiative was mentioned in this article about leveraging social entrepreneurship for impact at scale.

“For the most vulnerable members of society, earning an income opens up new opportunities. Women in rural communities often have little or no access to education, healthcare or paid employment. Forming long-term partnerships with Rangsutra and Industree PT gives women in rural India a chance of independence and a better future.” -Vaishali Misra, Social Enterprise Initiative Leader, IKEA of Sweden

Feb 05 2017: The Designer Life, Live Mint

Our CEO, Jacob Mathew is featured on this piece on design professionals.

Pic: Hemant Mishra, Mint

“For Mathew, designing is both about aesthetics and the judicious use of scarce resources, something he tries to implement through his own lifestyle choices.”

January 16 2017: All you wanted to know about Ikea’s India entry, India Retailing

Industree’s partnership with Ikea’s Next Generation initiative gets a mention in this article about the Swedish company’s much-awaited entry into India.

“Working with Ikea gives social entrepreneurs access to a global marketplace, giving them a strong foundation for self-sufficiency and independence. In return, Ikeacustomers get the opportunity to buy limited edition collections of handmade and unique products. Today we work with two social entrepreneurs in India, RangSutra Crafts and Industree, involving 1,200 women artisans.”

January 12 2017: India’s job challenge requires collective action, Live Mint

Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman of SVP India shares his thoughts on how collective action will help solve India’s job challenge. He also gives a shoutout to Industree, which has been identified as one of the organisations for SVP’s Million Jobs Mission.

“Technology is rendering the very idea of jobs obsolescent and we need a redefinition in terms of livelihoods and a living wage. It will take a multi-dimensional approach and most of all, an active partnership between businesses, government and civil society to scale the necessary solutions. This is termed ‘collective action’.”

September 29 2016: Social Venture Partners unveils million jobs mission, Live Mint

Industree Foundation is chosen as one of the social organisations that non-profit body, Social Venture Partners will work to help create around one million jobs in India.

Pic: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

“In India, the organization supports four social organizations—Industree Foundation, Vrutti, The/Nudge Foundation and Milestone Project of NES—in creating large-scale jobs by providing them with funds and expertise.”

July 15 2016: Learning to be self-reliant, The Hindu

Industree facilitated a training programme for 25 artisans in Khammam, Telangana on making palm-leaf based handicrafts

Pic: Devarajan/Industree

“The NBVI initiated a three week-long training programme for women in weaving artefacts from palm leaves, in association with the Bengaluru-based Industree Crafts Foundation, a few days ago.”

January 20 2017: It’s time for India’s creative workers to go global, The Huffington Post

Op-ed by Neelam Chhiber on scaling up India’s creative manufacturing sector.

“Harnessing the creative power of India’s manufacturers will help us build a more resilient society for the future.”

January 10 2017: Close to home – The world of Ikea, The Indian Express

A shout out for Industree from Ikea on how it is sourcing locally from India.

Pic: Ikea

“Local sourcing is the way ahead for IKEA in India, says Smedberg. Currently, they have over 50 suppliers in the country, and the number is steadily growing. From the Stockholm and Kattrup rugs done in Bhadoi to the banana fibre mats and baskets made with Industree Craft Foundation, Bangalore, IKEA’s made-in-India products are reaching global shelves.”

October 29 2015: Women social entrepreneurs are driving transformation, Live Mint

Co-founder Neelam Chhiber joins an elite bunch of women who have been identified as agents of sustained socio-economic growth and change.

“…two have been women social entrepreneurs with their work models focusing on empowering rural women—be it Chetna Vijay Sinha of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, with the first women’s bank providing financial linkages to rural women, or Neelam Chhiber of Industree Crafts Foundation, which is preparing low-income artisans to become owners and have direct market access.”

June 26 2015: Industree talks – Are dying handicraft arts worth saving?, Your Story 

Jacob Mathew, CEO of Industree’s on how the aspirations of artisans are at odds with ground realities.

The pertinent question here, Mathew feels, is who really stands to gain from this set up? And that is where the controversial question of ‘middle men’ comes up. In an age where the Internet provides for a direct relationship between creators and consumers, middle men are now seen as 21st century’s bogeymen. However, Mathew says, “Middle men are required. Let’s just clear that. The question really is : how many middle men and how much should they add to the system?”