Sujata Bhatheja

My Entrepreneurial Journey

My entrepreneurial journey – from helping colleagues overcome workplace challenges to help my customers meet their requirements for beautiful handcrafted creations from all over India.

Where I come from? 

The start of my journey was just like how any other girl or boy starts in India – pass college, get a degree, and join the list of job hunters. I must have knocked hundreds of doors and given tens of interviews before I landed my first job. It was then only that I had decided that I’ll help other job seekers get the best job they deserve in my career. Thankfully I was in the Human Resources (HR) domain, so I could pursue my profession and my first mission simultaneously. I worked in the Recruitments and general HR domains for more than 14 years from 2006 till early 2020. I served in different types of companies – I used to measure them not in Crores of revenue but the number of fellow human beings in those organizations. I always believed it is the people and the culture that determine whether a company is successful or not. As an HR professional, I was responsible for not only recruiting the resources (I prefer calling them people) but also resolving their grievances and making sure they were able to perform their best. I liked my job. I would often take a walk with anybody who was having any problem and counsel them. I would then speak to whoever was necessary to resolve the issue. I just could not leave a problem of any of my employees unresolved for long. Many times, the work is done by HR personnel goes unnoticed but when I saw the happy faces of my team I used to feel as if a family member who had fallen ill has regained their health.

Making dreams walk reality! 

I was a popular HR and my team was appreciative. But it was now time to pursue the other passion of my life – Indian handicrafts! I always admired the sheer scale and variety of the traditional Indian crafts – from north to south and east to west. I wanted to create a platform where the traditional creations made by local artisans from all over India could be shown to the whole world. Rajasthani block-print work done by local female artists caught my attention in particular. It was traditional yet so beautiful and fashionable. I felt as if my soul wanted to connect with the soul of India by helping in the revival of our centuries-old crafts and traditions. This is when I put a full stop to my professional career and remembered Ganesh Ji as I started my micro-enterprise, my Laghu Udyog titled Ethnic Naaari (EN) from my home. I started alone. I would be so confident and upbeat one day and filled with despair and self-doubt the next day. But I trudged along. I was soon joined by some beautiful and hard-working women in my team. I started by showcasing and selling bedsheets made with original Rajasthani block prints. Later various other products like bedcovers, curtains, sarees, and Kantha Gudri were added to the collection. Today Ethnic Naaari specializes in products related to the ‘Homes and Furnishings’ range.


All the products sold by Ethnic Naaari are hand-made, not mass-produced in factories. Women and men artists from rural parts of India use centuries-old traditional methods passed on through generations. Different woodblocks need to be used for each individual pattern as well as each unique colour. Tens of hours go into making each intricately carved woodblock and then several more are spent to complete every product of EN to bring ENers not just a product but a piece of tradition and history.

It is our duty as well as our fortune that we help in preserving the ancient Indian crafts. The new generation should cherish and then preserve the legacy of our traditions. This is Ethnic Naaari’s contribution to make India self-reliant (Aatmanirbhar) in the field of textiles and to support talented Indian manufacturers and small businesses.

We have a humble setup in Jaipur where we work with artisans from Jaipur and nearby rural areas. The production techniques at Ethnic Naaari are labour-intensive thus providing employment to hundreds of local and rural women and men. Some of the people working with us today used to work on daily wages earlier. Our talented artists and everyone working at Ethnic Naaari are proud to be taking the richness of our traditions to the whole world. Indian textiles and block-printing techniques have been popular across the oceans from time immemorial. Today we are exporting to the US, Canada, Singapore, the Middle East, and various other parts of the world. We are also organizing exhibitions in various locations around our beautiful country. Watch out for the next exhibition by Ethnic Naaari in your area.

Today I’m feeling overwhelmed by the love and support I have received in my short journey as an entrepreneur. Ethnic Naaari is nothing without my colleagues, the artisans, and all of you, the ENers – our customers and well-wishers who put faith in us and allow us to turn the whole world into a beautiful home for all of us – one order at a time 🌼

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