About us

Drivers of change incrediblyrespecially

At “UPAYa™” we use “fashion as an agent of social change” to turn challenges into opportunities. Every purchase empowers women artisans to overcome socioeconomic barriers and live safer healthier lives. Sakhi initiative is a unique platform that provides women artisans with the skills and platform to become financially independent funded by Hindustan Zinc Ltd. and carried out by Manjari Foundation. Sakhi traversed a significant distance along the path of building a self-reliant social enterprise. Under Sakhi, more than 27000 women have mobilized in 195 villages of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

A key function under the initiative is to promote the brand “UPAYa™” as a premium “Hand Crafted” brand promoting, preserving & celebrating traditional artisanal practices. These efforts have intensified in the last few years and that is how “Upaya” came in the existence. “UPAYa™” has transformed the grassroots craft activity into a fully-fledged social enterprise and offers products with exotic designs, a blend of new generation craft, and traditional embroidery. The beauty of the craft not only engages the senses of the buyers but also gives a level of fulfillment at their end, as the purchase of these products ensures the contribution of the buyers in the empowerment journey of women in a way or the other!

Welcome abode in this journey of empowering women to lead change!



Grassroots women’s movement

Grassroots women’s movement

Thousands of rural women across Rajasthan and Uttarakhand organised themselves into well-functioning Self Help Groups under the Sakhi initiative of Manjari Foundation and HZL.


The seed of UPAYa™ was sown

The seed of UPAYa™ was sown

A number of tiny village-level training centres were set up, equipped with state of the art machinery and skills training modules to build capacities of rural women.


Formation of an apparel enterprise

Formation of an apparel enterprise

The growing success of these centres led to the establishment of an apparel micro-enterprise, guided by expert designers to create a premium handcrafted clothing and lifestyle range embodying the perfect blend of traditional and modern


The UPAYa™ Store went live

The UPAYa™ Store went live

We launched our online store with our very own website showcasing our fashion and lifestyle range


Opportunity in adversity

Opportunity in adversity

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Sakhis generated revenue by undertaking bulk mask orders, some of them earning nearly Rs. 30,000 in a single month.

Training and capacity building:

We have designed training modules that aim at continuous skill up-gradation and skill development of the artisans & garment workers

  • Continuously assesses the skill levels of artisans with A, B, and C analysis of their skill
  • Special training modules are prepared for C grade and B grade artisans to upgrade their skills.
  • Orientation of Quality

    a). Checking measures.
    b). Capacity building of the master craftswomen to run common production center.
    c). Costing, business planning, production planning, and Microenterprise management, etc.

  • Upaya is also engaged in building the capabilities of its artisans as grassroots managers to ensure efficiency at all stages of operations

Current facility & operations

  • Based on the market demand and forecasts the in-house design cell of Upaya continuously works on the new product and design development
  • Facility Center with over 100 machines right from cutting to finishing stages
  • This centre also has the warehouse and a state of the art design cell
  • This center also has the warehouse and a state of the art design cell
  • Deep diving, researching is undertaken to understand the national market trends, buyers preferences
  • Focus is on spring, summer & winter all the 3 seasons for the retail market
  • Cost reduction
  • Effective monitoring of quality control system
  • We are also focusing on the festive season and follows the buyers season and cycle
  • Master crafts persons are been involved in the sampling process
  • Over and above the leaders are responsible for the day to day quality checks at the villages’ level
  • No women go back without work from the center, and payments are done on the spot

Way forward

  • We work from the ground up, building responsible business practices.
  • Marketing focus now is to communicate UPAYa product across customer touchpoints
  • Upaya strategy is proposed which focuses on the ethnic /modern women’s & men’s apparel, home furnishings, and gifts /accessories in the high-end premium market, the mainstream fashion market, and staple products market.
  • Upaya will be partnering with design specialists and institutions to address the need for continuous skill up-gradation for its artisans and fashion designers
  • Focusing on the festive season and follows the buyer’s season and cycle.
  • Handicraft is the outcome of the ingenuity and creativity of the artisan, the strategy is so as to get more remuneration to the artisan women.

Deploying technology to enhance productivity

  • In order to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and be able to track order processes, improve speed and efficiencies and be able to track orders, Upaya has implemented an MIS system.
  • This has resulted in strengthening the backward linkage (namely distribution of work, collection, wage generation, wage tracking, quality tracking) and also in improving the overall business strategy and operations.

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