Craft Category: Handmade Textile

Craft Location: Maheshwar

Specialization: Maheshwari Silk & cotton handloom textile with dobby design

Name of Artisan: Nasir Ansari

Contact No: 9755665786


Address: Ahilya Vihar, Fort, Maheshwar

Nasir is 27 year old young, motivated and passionate weaver living in the beautiful temple town of Maheshwar. He talked to us, perched on the outside porch of his lovely handloom house while his 2 year old daughter is playing with the charkha kept there. It was a beautiful and hopeful setting in which we interviewed Nasir.

Nasir has two brothers and a sister, all of them are involved in the family business of handloom weaving. He is the third generation to carry forward the traditional family business. His grandfather used to weave for the master-weaver of the village in those days. His grandmother also used to be involved in a few activities from home, like, winding and spinning. His father also learned this art and started working at Rehwa Society, a local organization started by the royal Holkar family to revive and continue the tradition of handloom weaving. He served there for 20 years and then resigned at the age of 47 years to start his own enterprise, Mahmood Ansari Handloom in 2008. He did the marketing through his own efforts by establishing business relations with local master weavers, travelled to exhibitions, met clients and designers and always fulfilled the requirements.

Nasir started playing with the loom as a child and started learning to weave. He says, “I didn’t even realise that I became a weaver. It just happened so organically”. After finishing high school, he realised that he has access to a goldmine in the form of the handloom weaving skill and so he decided to pursue BBA from a college in Dhamnod so as to complement his work. Post BBA, he also pursued MBA from SD Bansal College in Indore. Upon graduating in 2016, he full-time became involved in the family business of handloom weaving along with his brother and father. They opened two more enterprises, Naaz Handloom and Julaha Weaves. Initially there were 2-4 looms and weavers employed and currently the business has grown to 20 weavers being employed. Apart from the weavers, there isn’t any other staff employed. Various tasks are managed and handled by the family members itself, like, designing, loom installation, dyeing, folding, packaging, managing and receiving supplies, finishing etc. This helps in ensuring quality being controlled and taken care of.

Nasir experiments with different yarns like, paper, copper etc and also does popularly used, cotton, silk. He specialises in denting & texture. He is always up for trying something new and has the zeal to come up with something special that doesn’t exist in the market yet. This also helps him avoid the barrier of competition. He works with designer boutiques and fashion companies. He makes a variety of products like, sarees, fabrics, dupattas and stoles. Facebook, Instagram and word of mouth by clients are three ways responsible for the growth of Nasir’s business. In 2009, he joined a business training program conducted by WomenWeave. This training changed his entire perspective about the business. Earlier he would just weave a saree and give it to the master-weaver but now he is exploring new possibilities in the business and making most of every opportunity.

Nasir believes that, education’s purpose is not only to get the secured job but it prepares you to fight the odds in any and every situation in life. He says, “I gave answers to the questions in MBA exam by connecting my practical handloom experience to theory”. This impressed his fellow classmates and professors. He further explained with an example of the definition of Management. Book language said, the art of getting work done from people is management. And I connected this to my real life experience of getting work done by weavers, dyers and ensuring the supplies are coming on time. Education and work have always complemented each other for Nasir.

About the market, Nasir says that, “fluctuations are in every business and to be successful you just have to know how to manage those fluctuations”. He identifies when is market going low and why is it going low. And accordingly he comes up with innovations and improvements in his products. “That is how sustainability is achieved in a business, when you can ensure smooth functioning of all spheres of the business”, he says.

When there are challenges related to large order and less time, he employs more weavers. And when there are any issues faced related to dyeing, he approaches experts outside of Maheshwar to get the dyeing done. He never fails from going that extra mile to satisfy and fulfill the client’s requirements.

His dream is to get an exposure in the international market and supply in many different countries through attending various exhibitions. Nasir’s dedicated attitude gives us hopes that he will get there soon.