The Board of AIACA comprises of senior figures in the Crafts sector in India who provide guidance to all AIACA initiatives. AIACA has strived to have a Board that is representative of both the private and the NGO sector organization working with craft workers across India. Currently, the AIACA governing body comprises of the following members:
Ms. Rathi Vinay JhaPresidentMs. Rathi Vinay JhaPresident
Rathi Vinay Jha (President) retired as the Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in 2004. Prior to that she has held many positions related to the crafts sector. She was one of the founders of NIFT and served as its Executive Director from 1987-93. She was also the Managing Director - Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation and CMD - COOPTEX from 1985-87. After serving the government she was the Secretary General of the World Travel and Tourism Council India, and Director General of the Fashion Design Council of India. She was a Member of the NIFT Board of Governors and Chairman of the Durgabai Deshmukh College for Visually Impaired. Currently she is the President of AIACA Governing Board, Chair of Indian Heritage Cities Network ( IHCN ), and Member Board of Governors of Indian Foundation for Arts ( IFA ), Madras Craft Foundation ( MCF ), Plan India, Sasakawa Foundation, The Coorg Foundation, C to K Foundation ( craft sector in J&K ), and the Indian Institute of Craft & Design.
Executive DirectorSecretaryMadhura DuttaExecutive DirectorSecretary
Madhura Dutta (Secretary), the Executive Director of AIACA, has 14 years of experience in the social development sector with extensive experience in livelihood generation models using culture across India. She has worked in UNESCO and has contributed towards development of Cultural Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship focusing on creative industry models. Her vast experience on community development matched with her passion in handicrafts has brought her to AIACA, a dynamic organization in the crafts sector. She has a Masters degree in Sociology from University of Calcutta, a Masters degree in Sustainable Development from UK and a PhD from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is also a Commonwealth Scholar.
Mr. Adarsh KumarTreasurerMr. Adarsh KumarTreasurer
Adarsh Kumar (Treasurer), currently Rural Development Specialist at The World Bank, is a postgraduate from Harvard University. His previous work experience includes stints at the Ford Foundation and Urmul Marusthali Bunkar Vikas Samiti (UMBVS), a handloom weaver’s society located in Phalodi, Rajasthan. Adarsh is also a founder member of AIACA and served as its Executive Director for 6 years.
Ms. Roopa MehtaMemberMs. Roopa MehtaMember
Roopa Mehta (Member) is the CEO of Sasha Association for Craft Producers ("Sasha") and the Secretary of Sarba Shanti Ayog (SSA) its associate development organization. Sasha/SSA provides business support inputs and market access for sustainable livelihoods to artisan groups based largely in rural communities and semi urban areas. She is on the Board of Sadhna, the handicrafts and income augmentation programme of Seva Mandir, Udaipur and the Managing Trustee of Ruro Agro Services Association, a registered trust which develops natural agro based products, trains producers and identify suitable markets. She is also on the Board of COMMACT International and World Fair TradeOrganisation(WFTO). Roopa Mehta is a MBA from Delhi University with further professional qualifications in Social Communication. In the earlier part of her professional career, Mrs. Mehta worked in hospitality and merchandising sector and she was the Chief Executive Officer of a renowned textiles manufacturing & retailing company before joining Sasha.
Mr. VK MadhavanMemberMr. VK MadhavanMember
V.K Madhavan (Member), after finishing his Master's degree decided to take a year off and go and live in a village. In 1991, VK Madhavan moved to Bikaner District of Western Rajasthan to work with the Urmul Trust. He was hooked and stayed on till 1998. He is also a Trustee of The Ant - an organization that works with Bodo tribals in Assam and The Ants Craft Trust, Bengaluru that runs a craft shop for produce primarily from the North-Eastern states of India.
Mr. Vipin SharmaMemberMr. Vipin SharmaMember
Vipin Sharma (Member) is the founding CEO of ACCESS, set up to promote the organized growth of microfinance and to support sustainable livelihoods options for the poor in India. Vipin started his career in 1980 with the RBI, from where he moved to NABARD in 1983. In 1996, he was seconded to the Government of Rajasthan as Executive Director to set up the first of its kind "Rural Non Farm Development Agency". In 2000 Vipin joined CARE India as Programme Director, heading the Microfinance programmes in the region. In 2006, ACCESS was spun out of CARE, which Vipin set up. He is also the Chief Advisor to ACCESS ASSIST, a new affiliate set up by ACCESS. Vipin has a Masters Degree from Delhi University and has attended several programmes at Cranfield Institute of Management, UK; Boulder University, USA and School of Management, Yale University USA.
Ms. Vibha PingleMemberMs. Vibha PingleMember
Vibha Pingle is President and Founder of Ubuntu at Work. Ubuntu at Work evolved out of her research on women micro entrepreneurs in South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, India, Indonesia and Nepal. Her research examined why only a few women micro entrepreneurs are able to develop their businesses, while most remain survivalist businesses. After completing her Ph.D. in sociology at Brown University, Vibha lectured in social studies at Harvard University, was a visiting professor at Brown University, an assistant professor at Rutgers, and a fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. She has been a consultant to the World Bank, DFID, the Aga Khan Foundation, UNDP, and Fidelity Investments. Her publications include: Rethinking the Developmental State: India’s Industry in Comparative Perspective (St. Martin’s Press, NY, 1999), Identity Landscapes, Social Capital, and Entrepreneurship: Small Business in South Africa.
Mr. Madhukar KheraMemberMr. Madhukar KheraMember
Madhukar Khera (Member) is the CEO of Bharat Carpet Manufacturers, one of the leading manufacturers of carpets in India.
Ms. Neelam ChhiberMemberMs. Neelam ChhiberMember
Neelam Chhiber (Member), co-founder of Mother Earth/ Industree, is an Industrial Designer from National Institute of Design, India, an alumnus of Social Impact International, Global Social Benefit Incubator, Santa Clara University, USA and the Harvard Executive Programme. She is recipient of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award, from the Schwab Foundation, World Economic Forum 2011. Neelam is building a blended capital eco system, which is composed of a private ltd. co. Industree Crafts Pvt Ltd. which creates market access, via brand Mother Earth, in Indian and global markets with investors- Future Lifestyle and Fashion, and Grassroots Business Fund, Washington. Neelam believes that design thinking leads to multiple stakeholders, solution based thinking, ideally suited to triple bottom line enterprise development.
Archana Shah studied textile design and graduated from the National Institute of Design (NID) in 1981.
While at NID, she developed a keen interest in the traditional craft skills of the indigenous artisans. She travelled to remote corners of the country to study, understand and experience the vast variety of weaving, dyeing, printing, embroidery and ornamentation techniques practised by different communities. This proved to be a very enriching journey, and the unique skills of the people of various regions, their distinctive colour palettes, and rich design vocabulary became the base for all her future work.
In 1985, Archana started a clothing company, Bandhej, a label influenced by the traditional textile skills, offering a range of handcrafted contemporary clothing created for Indian women, with an eastern sensibility. Over time, Bandhej has created a distinct idiom in its design offering handcrafted, sustainable fashion that has an understated elegance with a chain of stores in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bangalore.
She has designed costumes for a few feature films such as Bhavni Bhavai and Mirch Masala and for theatre, worked on the Festival of India inaugurations at Paris in 1985, Moscow, Leningrad and Tashkent 1987, to design architectural textile installations to create an Indian mood.
More recently she has published a book - SHITING SANDS, Kutch: A Land in Transition. The book is a personal journey of discovery and about her association of over thirty years with the land, people and their craft. She believes, traditional wisdom has a lot to offer.
Archana continues to be the driving force behind Bandhej, a company started with a vision to uphold, preserve and sustain the precious skills and inherent knowledge of indigenous artisans through collaborative design interventions.