Wednesday, February 22, 2012

IBM & Kara Weaves

What do IBM and Kara Weaves have in common? Not much, you'd think, but here is how our paths are crossing, right this instant:

In December 2010, we were contacted by Kabi Sherman of the CDC Development Solutions, an organization that facilitates social outreach programs around the world, including for the IBM Corporate Service Corps in India.

CDC contacts several organizations (like small businesses, educational institutions, NGOs, advocacy organizations, associations, local governments) working in social development areas and identifies those that are in need of management and technical assistance. They then put them through to a highly skilled group of volunteers from IBM offices around the world who visit and work with them for a period of 4 weeks to provide solutions.

Sounds too good to be true, right? When Kabi visited us, we had a long discussion of what we do and what would it take us to achieve our goals, as an organization. Here's a snapshot we took as Kabi was leaving:
From left: Kabi, Lakshmi, Indu, Sandhya and myself (Chitra).

After Kabi's visit, we worked to develop a Scope of Wrok for the IBM team and finally dialed it down to two things:
• Developing a sustainable marketing strategy including b-2-b strategies.
• Working on a Fair Trade certification for our supply chain proces.

The kickoff meeting was a few days ago; our IBM-ers are Lou Martin from Spain, Elke Heilemann from Germany and Jennifer Williams from the United States. They will be working with us at the studio for 4 weeks. A short article about this collaboration can be read on the India Infoline news website too. Just four days into the project we are already amazed by the energy the IBM team brings to our studio environment! More pictures and updates on the "cotton ladies" (as they like to call themselves) soon. We are really excited about what this month of collaboration will bring; stay tuned for more IBM news from here at Kara Weaves.
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