A major Indian rugs company recently partnered with Vodafone to pay some 8,000 rug-makers via the telecom firm’s M-Pesa mobile wallet service.
According to a recent GizBot.com article, Jaipur Rugs’ strategic partnership with Vodafone will allow its artisans, many of whom work in their homes and live in remote areas of India, to receive their payments instantly.
“Most of them are based in rural and remote areas of the state and do not have access to the basic financial services, so we entered in partnership with Vodafone to facilitate payments to artisans in Rajasthan,” Nand Kishore Chaudhary, founder of Jaipur Rugs, said.
Rajasthan-based Jaipur Rugs, which employs 40,000 artisans across six Indian states, is one of the country’s largest manufacturers of hand-made rugs, which range from Oriental rugs made from either wool or silk to a number of other varieties of rugs.
The Economic Times reports that 80% of the company’s artisans are women who live in more than 600 different villages, most of whom don’t have access to a bank. Artisans will be able to withdraw cash from their mobile wallets from a nearby M-Pesa agent, which will reduce the risks associated with having cash payments delivered to each artisan. By giving artisans the ability to receive their earnings instantly, they’ll be able to scale up their productivity.
Vodafone, the second-largest telecommunications company in India, partnered with Jaipur rugs in an effort to improve financial inclusion across the country and boost quality of life for the rug maker’s artisans, said Amit Bedi, Business Head of Vodafone India. The company also looks to expand its business reach further into the under-developed areas where Jaipur Rugs’ artisans work.
“We see a natural synergy between Vodafone M-Pesa and Jaipur Rugs to offer financial services to the un-banked and the under-banked communities of India,” Bedi said in a statement.