THRISSUR:Just a few months into the formation of the Malakkappara tribal grama sabha, who released the state’s first ever tribal-branded product ‘Kadars’, the Kadar tribal community has proven that they can take on any company CEO at their own game.
They had earlier organised a sale of their products like honey, cardamom and the hugely popular ‘Kannadippaya’ at Thrissur civil station to staggering profits, considering that they had offered a flat 50 per cent discount on all their products.
While the former sale was a move to promote their brand among the public, the upcoming ‘Kadars’ exhibition scheduled to be held right after the Onam season is a tactical business move to woo other tribal groups like ‘Malayan’ and ‘Muthuvan’ into their fold and boost production. Boosting production is their first priority, given that the visitors had even started converging into their tribal hamlets to purchase the products, amber and ‘Kannadippaya’ being the most in demand.
“Currently, production is being run from several Kadar ‘ooru’s and some other Muthuvan communities. The training provided by the district administration is still in process. Once the training and the production is completed, we will organise an exhibition in Athirappilly or Vazhachal, following which we hope that residents of other Malayan and Muthuvan colonies will agree to join in the production. Later on, if they feel the need to launch their own products, they can do so separately,” said Mohanan, Malakkappara Grama Sabha treasurer.
A Muthuvan colony 11km into Sholayar forest has already joined the production, he said. “The shops they usually sold their items to had fixed rates for all products, but we could offer them much higher prices,” they said.
Frigid business terms like ‘target geographic’, ‘business expansion’ and ‘CSR’ are foreign to them only in name. “We have identified Vazhachal as the area with the most business prospects due to its high tourist inflow.
Another Kadar ooru in Vazhachal is in the process of commencing production of indigenous products for sales to tourists and we will be looking for a business tie-up so that we can sell our products in their stalls. We are also replanting bamboos so that nature isn’t depleted with our activities. Such responsibilities are mentioned in the CFR,” said Mohanan.
“We have used borax to strengthen the bamboo and assorted paints to make it more attractive,” said Mohanan.