Indian Women in Enterprise, (I-WE), a not-for-profit organization, is launching Likha Bazaar: Handicrafts, Arts, Apparel & Textiles, an online marketplace. Likha Bazaar is all set for a grand opening on October 2 – coinciding with the 152nd birthday of India’s ‘Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi. The bazaar will be hosted on Lazada from October to December of 2021 as a continuation of I-WE’s year-long celebration of friendship between India and the Philippines.

The Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Indian Embassy in Manila, and Women’s Business Council Philippines have joined hands with I-WE to support this initiative. Likha Bazaar aims to provide indigenous weavers, craftspeople, and artisans an online platform to showcase their products – thereby promoting the continuity of their businesses, which was greatly affected during the pandemic.

Ms. Saira Budhrani, Project Lead of Likha Bazaar shared: “I-WE identified indigenous producers of Handicrafts, Arts, Apparel, and Textiles from both India and the Philippines to participate in this initiative. Likha Bazaar is a platform to shine light upon our skilled artisans.   Some of the vendors are being exposed to online selling for the very first time.  The bazaar will help connect these talented producers directly with a customer base that comprises of local residents and expat communities”. 

I-WE’s strategic partnership with Lazada Philippines has provided the participating vendors with exposure to online selling, digital marketing, support for product photography, and much more.  Ray Alimurung, CEO of Lazada Philippines, said in his Friendship message; “We are looking forward to continuing to strengthen our bond by doing our part by supporting and empowering small and micro-businesses”.

Team I-WE, composed of enterprising Indian women living in the Philippines, has been passionately working for this project – devoting time and talent to revive the sustainable retail market for micro and small businesses.  Likha Bazaar will also shine a light on women producers of authentic handmade products proudly made in the Philippines. And – for the first time – Indian women self-help groups and tribal handicraft producers from India will participate in an overseas bazaar.  I-WE’s enrichment program Director Ms. Sucheta Joshi, who turned into a social entrepreneur for this bazaar, is supporting Indian vendors to showcase their products in the Philippines online market. She explained: “I am excited for this opportunity to showcase authentic products made by women artisans of India from Kutch, Bhopal, Jaipur in Likha Bazaar. If this goes well, we will begin supporting more women-led businesses to be featured in virtual selling platforms”

I-WE the organizer of Likha Bazaar, along with their affiliate partners – Workbank, PCCI, In Touch Community services, and their community partners would like to appeal to everyone to come forward and support our local artisans, weavers, and craftspersons by purchasing gifts or corporate give-aways from Likha bazaar for this festive season. The keynote message of this bazaar is “Shop for a cause: Buy local and help the artisans rise.”  With every product you purchase, especially textiles, you help sustain the livelihood of communities. 

In the bazaar you will find various authentic Philippine textiles such as the Ikat weave by Sky Weaver which signifies the history of the Ifugaos; the T’nalak that is a revered textile by the T’boli tribe in South Cotabato; Pina by Labo Progressive in Camarines Norte; and the Abel which is a specialty of the  La Union women weavers who are in their 70’s and 80’s and are working for their basic necessities. Handicrafts are also a highlight of the bazaar, as these go through arduous plant-fiber processing. Beautiful woven bags from pandan leaves, abaca baskets and other home essentials have been tweaked to modern and up to date designs. Designers are highly encouraged to tap on I-WE’s business to business program for their fabric and plant-fiber supplies.

Away from their motherland, home-based Indian, enterprising women are utilizing their skills and talents to be productive in their adoptive country. They have revisited their old hobbies and turned it into small business ventures, contributing towards their families. Indian handicrafts, jewellery and home decors are now accessible through Likha Bazaar.

There is something for everyone and for every budget, just in time for the upcoming festive season. Lazada ships to selected international markets, so pasalubong is not limited to just family and friends in the Philippines!

 Visit Likha Bazaar at:

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