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Name - Umang Shridhar

Position - Founder

Organization - Umang Shridhar Designs Pvt Ltd

DOB - 17th September 1992

Place - Bhopal

Leader, Humanitarian, and Social Entrepreneur

Early life

Umang was born to an influential and traditional family in the village of Kishanganj, Madhya Pradesh. She had a privileged childhood compared to those of other children in her village. When she was completing her schooling, she came across hardships and financial strains faced by the people of her village. She was moved deeply by this and decided to help them out in her full capacity. Soon her family moved to Bhopal, and given her excellent record in academics, she managed to secure admission to Delhi University for her graduation. She connected with students from various walks of life and completed her graduation in 2013.

The beginning

Nirbhaya incident occurred during the time Umang passed out from her college. She directed an awareness drive for 60 days alongside the Delhi Police and explored the challenges faced by women. She soon founded the Umang Social Welfare Society at the age of 21 and worked dedicatedly for the women in slums and rural areas. It was during this time she learned about Khadi. Being a quick learner, she realized that Khadi could generate considerable employment opportunities for dignified labor. Khadi is made from fabric yearning. Here the thread is made on charkha or handlooms and ensures employment at home. She started a micro-scale partnership firm with a vision to create employment opportunities for women in rural areas. With extensive market and product research, she understood the requisites and began digital printing on Khadi. With digital printing, the fabric of Khadi became soft and could be printed in a wide range of colors. This enabled her firm to secure the second position in one of the national competition organized by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. Umang had finally discovered the resources that could contribute to the process of evolving the lives of common people by becoming a Social Entrepreneur.

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Umang faced tons of issues before and after commencing her business. A lot of opinions often created chaos. But, she gradually learned to pay attention to the right ones and move ahead. Finding an efficient team in a small city and collaborating with different clusters was a tough job. Even finance was a definite problem at one stage. But with persistent efforts, she was committed to face, tackle, and resolve all issues. She firmly believes that one has to prove oneself in various instances of life to achieve success.

Life as a successful Social Entrepreneur

In a span of two years after commencement, Umang’s micro-scale partnership firm transformed into a private limited company
Umang Sridhar Design Private Limited has evolved as an emerging textile company with 150+ kinds of fabrics in Khadi. The company has firmly believed that not just knowledge but skillset defines the value of a person. Umang and her team have collaborated with various clusters across the country like Chanderi Maheshwari, Wardha, Murshidabad, Morena, etc. All the artisans in the cluster are trained to complete bulk orders in the given deadline. All kinds of support, like finance, design, and logistic, is provided to the artisans. Umang’s partner Tany Choke resides in London and handles branding and marketing of the product. Research, skill development, and production are taken care of by Umang. They have a dynamic team that manages the operation, vendors, logistics, account, designs, merchandising, product development, and all other departments. Despite being miles apart, the team is always connected through technology for efficient management of the projects in hand. Today, they cater to the requirements of some of the mightiest players of the textile industry, including Reliance and Aditya Birla Group. The efficient and dedicated team headed by Umang and Tany is a live example of achieving success through persistence, dedication, and will. To beat the hectic competition in the market, their idea is not to sell products that their artisans make. But, it is to come up with new products in the market. The main focus is always on the core of product development.

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Umang’s mentor and proudest moment in her career

Umang has various achievements to her name for her entrepreneurial skills and service to humanity. In addition to her dedication, passion, and hard work, she credits her mentors for this success. The Head of Learning Development at PDC Sarika Narayan from Ahmedabad incubation center and Mr. Pradeep Gosh, who is a Serial Entrepreneur, are her mentors. The proudest moment of her career was reviving the artisans of Morena Cluster and providing them with dignity based labor. She and her team trained the artisans, which enabled them to contribute significantly to a project of the Reliance Group.

The definition of success for Umang

The real meaning of success for Umang was to revive the craft and art that was shut for years. Creating a noteworthy difference in the lives of the underprivileged is her ultimate goal. She efficiently managed to empower life in rural areas across the country, and that is her most valued success. Perseverance and vision keep her going despite all odds.

Umang’s life mantra and advice for everyone who intends to follow her path

You will make hundreds of mistakes in your journey. But, irrespective of anything, one must keep up to their commitments. There should always be a backup plan. Any course or certification is not required. If you love the craft and appreciate the skilled handwork, then you should step into this sector. Nobody else but only you will have to act to change the world. Do not wait for the right time. Commence your journey by being persistent in efforts.

Awards & Achievements

  • Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019 category Social Entrepreneur
  • Top 15 Women Entrepreneur commercializing technology by technology development board of India March 2018
  • Top 5 Startups in Think Social Startups organised by IIT Delhi April 2017
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