To an outsider, Pabiben might just look like a typical Indian homemaker, but this is not what she sees herself as. She sees herself as an artisan and a businesswoman.
This perception of herself has led her to run a successful business albeit small but profitable nonetheless.
Pabiben was born in Kukadsar, a small town in Kutch. When Pabiben was 5 years old her father died in an accident. She could not attend school because her mother was a young widow, and needed help with raising other two kids. Pabiben being the eldest helped her mother to care for her sisters.
In the Rabari community, the females learn this embroidery since childhood, but what really bothered Pabiben was that they don’t know its value.
Big designers would purchase their pieces and sell them at exorbitant prices. This was a sore point for Pabiben for two reasons:
- These artisans do not get any recognition.
- They did not get a fair price for their talent and efforts.
Pabiben learned the famed embroidery of the Rabari community, but before she could complete making her own dowry. The elder council of their community banned it because they believed that women spent too much time on embroidery, which led to late marriages.
Wedding embroidering was banned, but professional embroidery was still allowed. Pabiben took advantage of this opportunity and joined the women’s group in 1998 and soon became known as a master artisan.
Meanwhile, the Dhebaria women who worked with Pabiben searched for a way to make different designs. This led to the birth of an art form called ‘Hari Jari’, an amalgamation of hand and machine application of readymade elements like ribbons, laces, and trims.
Pabiben mastered this art and made a sample of a shopping bag. It became an instant hit, and was christened the “Pabi Bag!”
Soon after, the Pabi Bag was introduced to the contemporary market. Pabiben’s work has been shown in Hollywood and Bollywood films and enjoys popularity all over the world today. Her craft is not just a result of hard work and creativity but it also echoes the voice of women empowerment.
About The Brand,
Pabiben.com is an online platform that showcases the skills and talents of artisans to the world. They have 500 SKUs selling bags, accessories, gift boxes, clothes, etc.
It is founded by Pabiben Rabari, Nilesh Priyadarshi, and Nupur Kumari.
Vision: To find out artisans all over India and start a business in their name, and showcase their talent to the world.
Pabiben.com is part of the company named Eye Catching Young Entrepreneurs. In this Pabiben, Nilesh, and Nupur are equal partners.
Their company performs 3 chief initiatives:
- Pabiben.com– Under this they sell artifacts made from Rabari embroidery.
- Karigar Clinic- Caters to artisans who want to become an entrepreneur, support them, and build a brand.
- Karigar Ki Dukan- The artisans to whom they make entrepreneurs, under this initiative gives them a permanent marketplace to sell their products.
Pabiben Shark Tank India
The founders had asked for ₹50 lakhs for 5% equity at ₹10 crores valuation.
Their lifetime sales are ₹2 crores in 5 years. Gross margin is 50% and Net profit is 35%.
Peyush did not invest because he believed that they are running a profitable business and that with investment, there will be pressure to grow.
Aman gave the suggestion to build a big brand by leveraging the benefit of their powerful story. He, however, did not invest.
Vineeta backed out because their business is at an early stage and the scale is small.
Anupam was out but suggested that their brand can be interesting but a heavy P.R. is needed.
Namita’s head and heart were clashing on whether to invest or not. In the end, she listened to her heart and gave an offer of ₹5 lacks for 2% and ₹45 lakh debt with zero interest. She gave this offer solely for the sake of Pabiben and to set an example & give hope to Indian artisans that there is something big for them too.
The founders gave the counter offer of 5% for ₹10 lakhs and ₹40 lakhs debt, which Namita accepted.
Where Can You Find Them
Looking at their noble cause even Amitabh Bachchan commented that “You are a mirror of India that reflects the face of humanity”
“The ability to think and choose, use maximum creativity in our work, match the potential in ourselves, to fulfill our dreams and get self-respect and recognition” These are Pabiben’s thoughts on empowerment
I would like to end with some of the lessons that we can learn from entrepreneurs like Pabiben:
- Recognize the true value of your talent and skills.
- How others see you as, is not important, how you see yourself is what matters.
- True growth can only be brought about by helping to grow your community.
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