Neeta donned many hats in the initial years of Banjaras – from sourcing to sales. Today, she is a more of a mentor at the store. Many of the administrative, staff and retail aspects are handled by her daughter, Nidhi.
Neeta devotes time to fabric development, sourcing, craft development. She talks to student groups from the industry, pursues advocacy for the artisans in a small way and takes on few clients.
She learnt Bharatnatyam for many years, dabbling in it even recently. Neeta trained to be a beauty therapist and ran a salon in Pune before Banjaras. The staff pulls her leg whenever she indulges in her favourite pass time – lovingly running her hands through the shelves of fabric.
Nidhi considers Banjaras to be her younger sister by 2 years. In 2007, when she was in 12th grade, a staff crunch made it necessary for her to help at the store.
Her role today encompasses planning events, training staff, store layout and administration. She brings in a youth quotient to the store. A movie buff, she has traveled to over 15 states of India with her family, but has a soft corner for the arts & fabric of Rajasthan. She is now working on “Ïtyadi” – a line of accessories and jewelery.
Nidhi graduated in French from Fergusson College, Pune. She pursued a post graduate degree in Fashion Retail Management from School of Fashion Technology, affiliated to SNDT university, where she was Student of the Year in 2013.
Banjaras follows an inclusive approach to employment. Training encompasses not just fabric knowledge but also grooming & etiquette. Staff has been supported if they desire to learn – whether it is skills or academic education. This has transformed people from modest backgrounds into confident, enthusiastic store operators. Trips made out of Pune have helped Team Banjaras bond better.