Business Case for Gender Mainstreaming in Cotton in Maharashtra

Business Case for Gender Mainstreaming in Cotton in Maharashtra

India is the largest producer and second largest exporter of cotton in the world, providing direct livelihood to 6 million farmers, while about 40-50 million people are employed in
cotton trade and processing. Women perform a majority of the tasks involved in cotton cultivation, but play a limited part in agricultural decision-making, have limited involvement in market-facing roles and limited control over profits. They often fall on the shadow side of farm-related interventions and have reduced access to agronomic knowledge, skills and extension services.

To assess the potential of women cotton cultivators and build a deeper understanding of gender roles and responsibilities in cotton cultivation, Sattva and IDH conducted a gender analysis of cotton cultivation — ‘Business Case for Gender Mainstreaming in Cotton in Maharashtra’.

Sattva_IDH_CottonFarmers

In the report, the gender analysis framework developed by Sattva helped build an understanding of the gender division of roles and responsibilities on the farm, participation in decision-making, and access to productive resources. The framework also analyzes the underlying gender and socio-cultural norms, which could influence the division of roles and access to ecosystem support. The results of this report build a business case for strengthening the role of women cotton cultivators.

Click on the DOWNLOAD link on the left for the full report.

To explore gender mainstreaming in the agriculture value chain, contact us today at impact@sattva.co.in

Shambhavi Srivastava

Shambhavi is a Senior Research Manager at Sattva and brings in 8 years of experience in research and public policy projects in the sectors of rural livelihoods, women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion. Shambhavi brings with her strong expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods using mixed-method approaches, statistical tools and experience with leading outreach and dissemination activities on the field and in the ecosystem. She has served as a Principal Investigator (PI) on numerous gender, public health, financial inclusion and rural livelihood projects.

Prior to Sattva, Shambhavi worked as Research Manager for Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR LEAD), India where she served as the PI and programme lead for policy projects in the Financial Inclusion vertical on multi-stakeholder projects in collaboration with partners such as DFID, Access Assist, SIDBI, Ministry of Finance and the University of Munich.

Shambhavi holds a Master of Arts degree in Cultural and Social Geography from the University of British Columbia, Canada, a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations and Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and a Bachelors in Political Science from Lady Shriram Delhi University, India.

Shruti Deora

Shruti is part of the Transformative Advisory team in Delhi, leading delivery for clients in the education sector, for bringing systemic transformation at scale through process standardisation, technology and capability development.

She has over 8+ years of experience in various roles across industries – as a management consultant in KPMG Advisory, creating solutions and supporting implementation for large scale business transformation projects in India, South Africa, Uganda and UAE, as a Chartered Accountant, handling market research for investments with Franklin Templeton, as well as a stint with the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs. At Sattva she has worked on key projects of Sattva Knowledge in the impact investment and education landscape across Asia, and on issues of education and gender equality.

Shruti has a Bachelors in Commerce from Mumbai University, is a Chartered Accountant and is a graduate of IIM Kozhikode.

Shalini Rajan

Shalini is a consultant with the Sattva Solutions Group, working with key CSR clients in delivering impact through implementation and advisory services.

She has worked as a consultant at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS), Bangalore on a collaborative research programme on climate change adaptation. She has worked closely on adaptation trends and patterns observed in peri-urban areas around Bangalore. She has also worked at the Currency Derivatives team at Goldman Sachs. Shalini is committed to using the power of technology to deliver improve governance the grassroots. She is also passionate about mainstreaming sustainable practices across the board, and bringing women at the fore of sustainable development.

Shalini has an Economics (Hons.) degree from Christ University, Bangalore and an M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Anjali Menon

Anjali works in the design and implementation of Gender Diversity Solutions as part of the Solutions team in Bangalore.

She has prior work experience in both the private and development sector. Post her work with L&T as a process engineer, she interned with a CSR foundation in the design of their women’s livelihood programme as part of the Young India Fellowship (Ashoka University). She has also managed a sustainable livelihood project for an NGO in Hyderabad. At Sattva, she has been involved in the end-to-end programme execution and monitoring of a CSR pilot initiative aimed at the skill development of women for customer experience roles.

Anjali holds a Bachelors in Technology (Chemical Engineering) from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli.

Malvika Dwivedi

Malvika is a part of the Transformative Advisory Team in Mumbai.

She has over 4 years of experience in the development sector. She worked at Pratham, as a Regional Coordinator for Pratham’s skill development programme, monitoring progress of trainees placed in jobs (with specific focus on migrants). She has also worked at an early-stage social enterprise, where she focused on building the organisation’s strategy with the objective to deliver skills of the future. At Sattva she has worked across various types of projects including – research on integrating women in the value chain, organisation building for a large-scale child right’s organisation, and programme design and management for CSR clients. She is committed to fixing systems and building stronger systems — be it strengthening an organisation so that it can scale effectively or figuring out a way to bring women entrepreneurs into the mainstream.

Malvika has a Masters in Development Practice from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

SelectHER: Women in the Workforce

What would happen if 50% of the workforce in the world and in India were women?

. The world could add $12 trillion to GDP in 2025, doubling the contribution of women to global growth in the coming decade
. India alone can add $2.9 trillion to its GDP by fully bridging the gender gap in the workplace
. This means a 60% increase in GDP, than business-as-usual in 2025

What does this mean for Indian society?

. Gender equality in society
. Better education for future generations
. Improved family well being

Through our primary and secondary research, we have found that there is significant business value in hiring women, especially in customer experience roles.

. Gender-diverse business units have 14% higher revenue in retail and 19% higher average quarterly net profit in hospitality, as compared to less gender-diverse units.
. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care

Having quality talent in customer facing roles has become a priority for the high growth industries with a B2C focus.

. 89 percent of companies worldwide expect to compete mostly based on customer experience in 2016, versus 36 percent just five years ago
. The same is true for India as well, where 74% of the CXOs indicated that the importance of customer experience is growing within their company

Sattva embarked on a mission last year, along with Global Development Incubators and Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN), supported by J.P. Morgan, to provide a high-quality pipeline of female candidates in customer experience roles for bridge-to-luxury retail brands.

Over the past year, we trained 100 women and placed 77%. However, the learnings were significant and we observed multiple demand-supply mismatches that were systemic by nature and cannot be solved by skill training alone.

There is a need for disruptive, holistic solution over and above skilling. Sattva is looking to solve this problem by moving the needle from a skilling-only solution to a systemic solution engaging stake-holders across the value-chain.

Key Tenets for SelectHER Phase 2:

. High-growth industries with future-focused customer-experience roles
Employer as Partner through the candidate life-cycle, over and beyond the “training” period alone
. On-the-Job employability skills to be the significant differentiator
. Leverage technology to reduce friction, information asymmetry

Stay tuned for more updates on the programme!

Micro-entrepreneurship

Sattva is working in collaboration with Smart Power India (SPI) to address issues of gender gaps and bringing rural women into mainstream employment through setting up a micro apparel-manufacturing centre. The centre aims to connect willing women to mainstream market by providing them training and sustained employment.

Sattva’s approach for the micro-apparel manufacturing centre is designed in such a way that it addresses the key problems of the rural communities of Uttar Pradesh highlighted above and tries to solve a small part of the larger unemployment and migration problems. The intention of the above micro enterprise development projects is to scale this business model to more and more villages and create a cluster of these micro apparel centres into a small-scale industries which provides employment to local communities and empowers women in the region.

Salient features of the apparel manufacturing centre:

1. The workforce to get at least 40% of the selling price on a per piece basis, which is much more than the current percentage of 10-20% of the selling price.
2. Women to form major percentage of the workforce in our centre
3. Entrepreneur driven centre in which the selected entrepreneur is from the community
4. The centre would be handed over to the community to be run by them in course of 2-3 years.

In other words, we are looking at this as a solution, i.e. more than just a “unit cost”, and enabling impact that has to go beyond measurement, to also look at scale + sustainability.

ADVISORY – SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

OBJECTIVE
A group of social entrepreneurs developing technology innovations to optimise water usage for food production were looking to take their idea to market. They wanted to develop a robust business model in order to create impact in emerging economies. In our role as advisors, we helped these founders take ideas off the ground supported by a right business model, go-to-market strategy, and execution to scale their efforts.

SATTVA’S VALUE-ADD
As advisors our primary role with these entrepreneurs, whose innovations were mostly at seed or early stages of development, was to develop an actionable strategy to grow their venture from idea to market. We worked with them closely to establish the best business model to validate their innovations as well as identify the ideal consumer base in every market. We designed a business model strategy for three to five years which included correct pricing to ensure a product-market fit for long-term sustainability. Our mission was to condition entrepreneurs with business thinking and this involved working proactively with them to zero down on the core value-proposition of their product. Once they hit the market we delved into specific capacity building around sales, marketing, operational planning, financial forecasting and partnership strategy for the foreseeable future. From June 2016 we have meticulously helped these entrepreneurs move through each stage of their journey to reach the ultimate end goal of impact on the ground.

KEY LEARNINGS
We documented our actionable strategy for each aspect of business and entrepreneurship in a playbook which we believe can be customised for use by any innovator in the ecosystem. This knowledge material is a valuable asset for all players in the sector. Alongside, we contributed to change the mindset of social entrepreneurs to prove that innovations can lead to viable and sustainable businesses. Also, we were able to give them actionable strategies to survive and scale ventures, thereby boosting overall confidence in the sector. Innovators were able to strengthen their go-to-market strategy and capacities for next three-five years.

HIGHLIGHTS
Number of entrepreneurs advised: 12
10 Regions covered: Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal
Innovations included: Seed tape, affordable green-house technology, contract farming, precision agricultural devices, and weather management phone service

IMPLEMENTATION – MICRO-ENTREPRENEURSHIP

OBJECTIVE
A solar power company delivering viable electricity solutions through decentralised renewable energy mini-grids, wanted to spur socio-economic growth in rural and semi-urban areas. They wanted to create an ecosystem to encourage this segment of people to become entrepreneurs on the back of reliable supply of energy. Our work as knowledge and implementation partners was to bring rural women into mainstream employment through setting up of micro-apparel manufacturing centres.

SATTVA’S APPROACH
We designed and executed a programme based on an entrepreneur-led model here. The first step was developing a site selection framework using certain basic criteria:
– choosing a location for the manufacturing centre close to a solar plant to ensure a steady supply of electricity, – within a radius of 200 kilometres from the market,

The focus was on selecting married women to train since the study suggested that such selection would help maintain high retention rates. We covered 8-10 villages under outreach to encourage women to visit the centre and gauge their interest in joining the programme. Selected candidates were charged a monthly sum of Rs 100 to ensure accountability and retention. This 20-seater centre, in Kamalapur near Lucknow, trained women in apparel making over six months. Our on-ground training partner trained women to use automatic machines. Post this we worked on a job-order model securing bulk orders from vendors (wholesalers or retailers) in Lucknow which in turn were executed by these women over the next few months as part of on-the job training.

KEY LEARNINGS
The program had far reaching socio-economic impact as it saw women from orthodox families venture out of home into mainstream employment. As a result they were now empowered to improve personal livelihood and educational aspirations. In parallel, it highlighted the importance of creating market linkages for rural entrepreneurs as a crucial component for any skilling program. Our approach demonstrated that a well-designed model is imperative, but motivating and building trust with women is as important to mobilise them. During the course of the programme we saw women build personal relationships with each other and work together with complete solidarity. The company was able to make the first crucial step in solving problems of migration, gender gap in mainstream livelihood opportunities and unemployment in Uttar Pradesh. The Kamlapur centre served as the anchor in that area, enabling the energy service company to be sustainable enough to provide energy at community level covering more beneficiaries. Also, the client is now confident of replicating the model for similar projects in other locations.

OUTCOME
No. of women in program: 20 women
Centre location: Kamlapur, Uttar Pradesh
Increase average income: Rs 2000-3000 per month from Rs 200 per month
Age bracket: 21+ years