FindingTheVoices with Koijam Vasunraz: Building a factory during the conflict of ILP in Manipur.
Guest Speaker : Koijam Vasunraz, Textile entrepreneur, Founder of Manipur Creations.
Language: Interview in English
Location: Manipur Creations, Imphal, Manipur, India
In this episode, Konsam Vasunraj describes the early stages of the development of his textile industry Manipur Creations. He shares about the difficult journey he faced while shifting from Chennai to Manipur, bringing all his heavy machinery on the road. He talks about the numerous unofficial tax particular groups imposed on them on the road from Dimapur to Imphal.
The horrific condition of the National Highway also added to his hardship. He calls this experience as one of the worst experiences in his life! He somehow reached Imphal safely along with all the laborers and machineries but unfortunately that was not the end to his problems. It was the time when the state of Manipur was burning and tension was riling high because of the ongoing issue of Inner Line Permit System. People came out to the streets and highways to protest and many roads were blocked as a result. Konsam Vasunraj describes how he had to take alternative routes in order to avoid the burning blockades on the roads and the infuriated mob.
He shares about how he managed to save his 11 non-Manipuri workers even without help from the local police station.
After dealing with all the turmoil, he was able to get his factory operational and has been functioning smoothly ever since. He talks about the Manipur Creations showrooms he has opened so far and says that he has plans to open at least one showroom in each district of Manipur. He says that he also wants to open stores in small towns even though the idea is not financially advisable.
He believes in the principle that everyone in Manipur has the right to buy and use his products. He is also targeting to sell his products at 40% less than market price so that everyone will be able to afford.
Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.