Taking Kot Jewar's Blue pottery internationally, this family-run business has come a long way to revive traditional Indian craft
Traditional Indian craft has been passed down from generation to generation and is still practised in different parts of the country. Kot Jewar, a village from Rajasthan is known for its blue art pottery and has glorified its name in the international market.
Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries run by Ramnarayan Prajapat is a second generation business which has spread its wings not only in India but in overseas too. In an interview with SMBStory, 20-year-old Vimal Prajapat shares how his father revived the fading craft of Rajasthan blue pottery and popularised this traditional artisan work across the world.
How did the company start?
On asking Vimal Prajapat how the company started, he says, “My father started the work at the age of 15. He went to Jodhpur to learn about the blue art pottery and took training. He then returned to his village Kot Jewar and initiated the work."
My family was very poor. My grandfather was a farmer but that couldn’t help enough to feed the family and so my father started this pottery work. Today, Kot Jewar is world-famous for its blue pottery.
The company was started in 1980 as a bootstrap. In recent years, it participated in various MSME training programmes and generated some income which they invested in the business.
How did it manage to reach internationally?
Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries export its products to New York, Canada, California and Netherlands and when we asked about how did it manage to reach internationally, Vimal says, “The internet has helped a lot. We have a website where people from across the world order and we make sure to deliver their desired products. My father is not much into marketing and so I and my brother Nand Kishore look after the export of product."
We have our website and social media pages where we receive orders. We are also listed on Amazon from where we get most of our customers.
The wide range of products
The art of blue pottery is the only technique which is produced without clay. It uses quartz powder, multani mitti (Fuller’s Earth), gum and water. The artisans produce a wide range of products in Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries ranging from bathroom sets, flower pots, hanging plates, bowls, tray, soap case, planters and many more.
Blue art pottery has such name because in initial days its products were available only in colour blue. But, we experimented a lot and now the items are available in the colours yellow, green, and light blue beside the original blue colour.
The impact of work on customers and society
The blue pottery is the traditional Jaipur craft work and Kot Jewar is its production hub. Tourists from across the world visit this village to behold themselves with the beautiful artisan work India has for them. “The students visit us to learn the pottery. People from abroad also come here and appreciate this craft a lot”, says Vimal.
“We have 250 rural artisans who produce these items and we have created employment opportunities for women as well. We aim to generate employment for the people of Kot Jewar and neighbouring villages and provide them with a source of income", he adds.
A key milestone of the journey
Vimal shared that they recently received an order from the Netherlands worth Rs 2 crore and completing that order was a challenge for them. He said that creating blue pottery products is extremely difficult and time-consuming. As it involves manual work and is sensitive, the damages are inevitable. However, they managed to deliver the order and achieved a milestone in their business which definitely gave them a historic boost.
The future prospects
Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries is a family-run business. Though they deal with clients across the country Vimal says that they want this business to touch great heights internationally.
Blue art pottery is well-known in India but we want that people outside India must know about this beautiful traditional Indian craft. We want to serve more and more international markets.
Opinion on MSME
We also asked about his opinion on the MSME market in India and how can the same be empowered better. He said, “MSME is a good platform. It allows us to exhibit our products and get buyers. The training programmes should be conducted more often so that rural workers can get more opportunities."
YourStory, in association with the Ministry of MSME, Government of India, held the Brands of India 2019 ceremony in the month of February and Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries was awarded among 41 home-grown MSME brands.
India has many hidden gems in artistic work and such initiatives by people to boost the country’s traditional art form is applauding!