Asama, How An Insta Handle Changed Lives Of Artisans In Assam – ” My Grandmother Inspired Me To Do It”

My business ideas By Surbhi Rathore | 4 min read

asama - assam startup

Richika Agarwalla and Noopur are the founders of this mind-blowing business Asama that eased the life of Artisans. A start-up that got its roots in a small village of Assam named Alimur. So the story is the brand and its foundation is very interesting. We at Mad4India thought why not start the day with something really inspiring and motivating?

So here is the story of Mrs Richika, Founder of Asama- from Assam. It is a simple story, a sweet story tho. While we were somehow spending time in our walls, binge-watching web series and making dalgona during the corona phase, she was continuously worried as the day passed.

Source – Richika

She was raised as a pretty passionate girl in the streets of Alimur, a small village in Assam. Life was good for her and she was able to find a comfortable life in one of the nation’s major cities. But after Corona entered her life, she began to wonder what her village’s dwellers were doing to survive. As it was an artisan’s community and no work could be done until the tourist visit the village or the artisans move out to the streets to sell their products.

The livelihood of these hand-to-mouth artisans was now impossible given that the entire nation was currently shut down. Continuous worry was not the solution, but what could a simple girl from a humble family do to help them? And she thought to herself. –

“If not much I can at least create an Instagram page for these people and share their work and story with the people who are binge-scrolling Instagram. That was all. Asama was created. “

OWNERRichika Agarwalla and Noopur
CONTACT9435130314, 8822753491

Asama is established in the Assamese village of Alimur. Aasma basically collaborates with local weavers to create exquisite interior decor, gift items, and home crafts for home decoration. Each piece of art is unique and authentic, the craftspeople make each item by hand taking enough time for a perfect result. They are entirely environmentally friendly because they are manufactured by weaving natural fibre.

Rapid Fire With Richika of Asama – Thoughtful Stylish

Let us know a little about yourself.

I am a chartered accountant by profession. I am from Assam. Born and brought up in a small village named Alimur in Assam. 42 and married, I have a son of age 15.

What made you think of an idea so easy yet so extraordinary like Asama?

We saw artisans from our village suffering due to the pandemic. They were not able to even meet the ends. So initially we simply opened an Instagram handle. In the beginning, when the idea popped up it was random and we thought it was just our pandemic fever that led us to do so but with time we realized how helpful the idea and the thought behind it were.
The idea was actually to help the Artisans. It helped them grow economically as well as we saw tremendous growth in their confidence.
We were unaware of how big a difference is being created because of this little step of ours.

May we know something about your support system?

My strongest support has always been my family. My family has a tea garden in the village and my parents live there. My Grandma has always provoked me to do something for our village people and with Asama, I feel I am fulfilling her wish.
My partner and my Son have always been my backbone without them I feel I wouldn’t even have taken a single step forward.
I use my parent’s home in the village while managing the operations of Asama and I cannot thank them enough for their unconditional support and love. And of course last but not least my Co-founder Noopur who is also my sister and partner in crime.

What were the Problems during the start of your venture?

The best part about our business is we never took a debt, any load. We grew from scratch and that was the best-ever decision. Yet as all new businesses have their own struggle we had one too, Training the Artisans was a task. The people we were helping were unaware of their own good and how important their art is.
They were underconfident and needed training.
Initially, it was quite a task to get them to the training centres but with the time that too settled for us and now in today’s time we work with more than a team of 60 women.

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Source – Instagram

What inspires you the most, what keeps you motivated?

The desire to do more for our village and the people motivated me to grow. Stories of other successful entrepreneurs, inspiring stories, motivational stories etc helped me in this journey as well.

Any advice you wish to give to the future generation?

There is plenty to learn all around. Just because someone is interested in one field should not restrict gaining skill or knowledge in another. Who knows what comes in handy. Keep learning new skills and be curious to explore what is around you. My artisans were around me all the time. And it took a pandemic for me to discover them.

What are your hobbies, other than work, what do You enjoy doing in your free time?

I read different genres of books. I love to sing. I love to cook and do crafts. & also I simply love plants.

What is one piece of advice you wish to give to a young business entrepreneur?

:- Whatever you do, consider the long-term impact of the activities on your business, on people and on the environment.
:- Having a myopic vision may lead the entrepreneur to take decisions which are not good for the ethics of the business, sustainability of the future generations or the morale or health of the people, in the long term.
:- Even if you take a hit in the short term, in the long run, it will pay you well.
:- Remain grounded and start from scratch as we did. Please don’t take unnecessary stress and avoid debts.
:- Every small business deserves to flourish just keep working on your dreams.

What excites you most about your industry?

There is a lot of potential. I feel we are just scratching the surface. We need to harness the skill and ability of village artisans.

What tools and processes make up your workflow? What apps, gadgets, or tools you can’t live without?

All our reporting at every stage is done on Excel on cloud-based storage. Besides we use checklists for each process, which has helped in reducing errors.

What are you currently reading, Any recommendations?

Presently, I am reading “A short history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson. Management books, journals, and magazines give a new perspective, so I try to include them in my reading list intermittently.

One achievement of yours while working as an entrepreneur that amuses you the most.

I made the website on Shopify for Asama. I was not comfortable using a new tool, however, I learnt to customise and use Shopify from YouTube. Also, Asama requires me to network with various people every day. For an introvert, it is challenging, but I am still trying to get around it.

Source – Instagram

Describe yourself in three to five words.

Student for life. I keep learning and keep exploring. challenging, but I am still trying to get around it.

How to find the art by the Artisans

It is simple, the idea that changed the life of artisans of Assam is ‘INSTAGRAM‘,
One follow on the page won’t change anything for you but for the team, one more woman will go empowered. Follow –

You can also visit their official WEBSITE. Do give your home a touch of nature, do touch the story of Assam through the lens of Richika & Noopur!

Feature Image- Richika

If you like this story, you can also check out – Namrutha’s mind-blowing idea of Upcyclie Making Upcycled Products Using Waste Materials, If you don’t have a cool bag yet. This one is for you.

If you know about more inspirational stories about a person, company, new idea, or social initiative, and want us to write it on, share such information with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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