Founding Story of Brahmaputra Fables

In 2014, Dhruba was in Pondicherry, pursuing a Master’s degree in Chemistry. While there, he, along with other Northeast students, would put up fests and shows that highlighted the culture of the area through song, dance, and theatre. His classmates, who took in this culture that was completely new to them, were awestruck at the novel art forms. “They had no idea the kind of rich cultural diversity in the Northeast, and that’s when I got the idea to introduce Northeastern culture and handicrafts to the rest of India. Till then, there was not much affordability or availability,” However, at that time, the idea of creating a startup in Assam was the preserve of programmers and tech professionals. When Dhruba graduated from Pondicherry University in 2016, he returned home to his village, Sarthebari — famous for its brass and bell metal work — in Assam. Records for Sarthebari’s bell metal industry date back to the seventh century AD, and indicate that the craft was popular among commoners and royal families alike. There are still plenty of skilled bell metal artisans in Sarthebari, but now they usually sell their products to shopkeepers and merchants in cities such as Guwahati. As a result, most artisans lose out on a significant cut of their profits to middlemen. “While middlemen got rich, my friends were still the same,” notes Dhruba, who then vowed to start a website to sell their products. A junior from college agreed to build the website, and Brahmaputra Fables officially launched in June 2017, with 30 artisans on board selling 100 products.

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