Nengneithem Hengna worked for Dabur India Pvt. Ltd and HDFC Life before founding Runway Nagaland platform for the artisans in Nagaland.
Runway Nagaland is an all-women artisans team preserving and promoting age-old indigenous art and technique of handmade accessories. It was founded in the year 2013 with a vision to empower indigenous artisans and promote handmade products of Nagaland. Runway Nagaland creates employment and livelihood opportunities for women.
Which year Runway Nagaland start? It all started in 2011. It firstly operated as a store, giving a platform to local artisans and marketing their products to states outside Nagaland. In 2013, Runway Nagaland shifted to manufacturing and became the first brand to systematically manufacture and supply Naga tribal jewellery to the rest of the country and from then on it gradually expanded its product range, handicrafts & handloom, promoting handmade products of Nagaland.
Why the name Runway Nagaland?
Runway Nagaland is a platform for empowering artisans and aims to preserve our indigenous art & techniques of handmade and old age practices. I strongly felt the need to bridge the gap between the makers – buyers and to explore the endless possibilities and potential of our handmade crafts and accessories in a bigger market. I wanted to pave a way for myself and fellow artisans to be self-reliant and to also dwell in the world of entrepreneurship. With this aim to create a platform that provides opportunities and space for creativity to be utilized at its best, Runway Nagaland was formed.
What were the initial days of your entrepreneurship like? When I first started my business I faced a lot of challenges being a women entrepreneur, facing stereotypes of being a woman in business, apart from lack of capital investment and funding challenges which all startups go through. Initially, my work was never taken seriously but I always made sure not to waste my time arguing and proving my stand. Instead, I believe in action and true enough action speaks louder than words.
What are the different art forms that are promoted by Runway Nagaland?
We have a wide variety of Nagaland Heritage Jewelleries, Natural fibre crafts such as Baskets, mats, planters, coasters etc and handloom home furnishing items such as cushion covers, table runners made on Loinloom. We also have accessories like Tote bags & handbags made on Loinloom.
How do you keep Runway Nagaland unique from its competitors? “Innovation”. As a company, we always believed in the power of innovation. Our field of work is very vulnerable to plagiarism and handmade art is such that it’s a constant fight against time, we can’t really compete with machines and there are numerous challenges since it’s an unorganized sector. But what makes us apart from the rest are our constant efforts to present innovative designs & comfortable services to both our clients & our artisans which is also one of the reasons for less attrition rate in our organization.
How many employees are associated with Runway Nagaland? We have around 27 full-time employees and 5 on work from home basis. We are also working with SHGs like ‘Community Learning & Business Resources Centre’ Jalukie and
‘Lovi Twine’ in Pimla and Dorcas in Khaibung Village.
How can one buy your products?
• They can directly order from our website: www.runwaynagaland.com
• Instagram: @runway_nagaland
• Whatsapp/call us at: +91 7085059325 or +91 9612608651 Nengniethem’s story is inspiring. It strengthens the idea of what social investing can make happen in the hands of the right people. With a capital of 5 lakh rupees funded by Rang De Social Investors, Runway Nagaland took a big leap in their journey. To all those who believed and invested in Nengniethem, kudos to you! There are many more aspiring entrepreneurs seeking you, invest in them at http://www.rangde.in