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August 14, 2014

Second outlet of Biswa Bangla store opens at Dakshinapan

Second outlet of Biswa Bangla store opens at Dakshinapan

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms MamataBanerjee inaugurated the second outlet of the Biswa Bangla chain of stores at Dakshinapan Shopping Centre inSouth Kolkata. The government-run chain of stores is the brainchild of WestBengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee and has been set up by the micro andsmall-scale enterprises and textiles department to showcase all handicrafts,handloom and other traditional and famous products of the State.

The first Biswa Bangla store, which opened in the domestic section of the Dumdumin the last week of February, is already a hit with fliers. Daily sales havebeen more than Rs 1 lakh on an average so far.

For the first time, all exclusive productsof Bengal, from sweets to muslin saris, have been made available under oneumbrella. The marketing strategy is different from the familiar Manjusha or Tantuja stores.


Sweets: Rosogolla, nolen gurersandesh, langcha and mihidana are the popular picks here. Langcha is procured from Shaktigarh and mihidana from Burdhaman.

Thisand that: Darjeeling tea, apparel, amsotto and kasundi (both from Malda), jute bags and brass and silver jewelleryare available. The prices of items in the jewellery section range between Rs150 and Rs 10,000. Jute bags with an 'I love Bengal' logo on them have beenspecially designed for the store Indigo-dyed saris are being produced byweavers in Nadia's Phulia. The hand spun and hand-woven yarn is dyed in indigoand then woven into Jamdani saris.Khadi shirts for men, silk kurtis forwomen, Kantha and Jamdani matka saris, and shawls areavailable at the store.  Special-editionCDs of Bengali folk music, Tagore, Nazrul and baul songs, and MahsishasurMardini have been produced for the store..

The department of micro and small-scaleenterprises and textiles has handpicked artisans and weavers from across Bengalto supply products to its Biswa Banglastore. Nearly 1,000 artisans and weavers have been trained so far.

The design consultants travel to thevillages to meet the weavers and artisans and discuss exclusive designs forvarious Biswa Bangla products.


The state government had hired a team ofeight consultants through a bidding process to develop niche handicraft andhandloom products. The team's brief was to establish Biswa Bangla as a brand, give the concept shape and set up therequired infrastructure over six months. There are designers and consultantsworking on shop management, branding, packaging and marketing. Around 15 storeemployees conversant in English and Hindi work in two shifts. The idea is totrain them in such a way that if a flier enquires, any of the employees shouldbe able to explain the specialty of a patachitradesign from Midnapore or the uniqueness of a particular variety of rice.