Edakkandi Meethal Reji
Integration of small-scale handloom producers into global value chains: Insights from Kannur Handloom Cluster, India
This paper examines how a group of small-scale handloom producers from India remain competitive and get integrated into global value chains. Using a case study of a buyer-driven handloom value chain, this paper analyses the nature and characteristics of inter-firm relationships, governance, and upgrading practices in the selected handloom value chain. The study shows how these small-scale handloom producers engage with the handloom exporters and other chain participants, including input suppliers and business service providers, and improve their competitiveness. The results indicate the role of inter-firm relations in facilitating joint and collective actions among the chain participants that lead to collective efficiency. The study identifies two pathways of upgrading in the handloom value chain: a governance-driven and a cluster-driven pathway. The findings have implications for value chain interventions aimed at small-scale handloom and similar producers.
Skill-building and employability training for disadvantaged young people in India: Experience of Gram Tarang Employability Training Services
Young people in India make up 19 per cent of the population and, despite growing demands for skilled employees, the unemployment rate is at 50 per cent for youth across the country. Traditional approaches to preparing people for employment have had very low levels of success, with some students dropping out of programmes, and others unable to find employment despite completing training. This article describes the experience of Gram Tarang Employability Training Services Ltd (GTETS) in providing skills development and employability training to disadvantaged young people in India. Unlike the traditional models of skills training by public and private institutions, GTETS adopts a market-led business model that improves upon quality of curriculum, infrastructure, qualifications of faculty, industry interface to ensure placement, and cost sharing of the training programmes to make it affordable and sustainable.