Recognising women in screen printing

A salute to all women entrepreneurs and working women in the screen printing sector.

09 Mar 2015 | By Shripad Bhat

International Women's Day (IWD), is celebrated on 8 March every year. According to the UN, “the focus of the celebrations range from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration of women's economic, political, and social achievements.”
According to the website of Women’s Studies Centre, Patiala, Punjab, “An entrepreneur is one who innovates, organises, manages and assumes the risk of an enterprise, and acts as a catalytic agent in the growth process. When an enterprise is established and controlled by a woman, it not only boosts economic growth but also has many desirable socio-economic outcomes... Women have innate flair for entrepreneurship. They are natural organisers and relationship builders. They can perform all the functions of an able entrepreneur in as efficient manner as their male counterpart…”
Printing in general, and screen printing particular, was hitherto a male-dominated business. However, women are now largely joining in the screen printing business either single handedly or in partnership with their family members (husband, brother or father) or taking up managerial positions in large companies in the screen printing department. 
Women at the forefront of screen printing business
We have tried to compile as much information and photographs of women entrepreneurs in screen printing. There could be/there are many other women entrepreneurs in screen printing. We could not really accommodate all of them. Nevertheless, we salute every woman entrepreneur who is taking the screen printing industry a step ahead
Also, women seem to be taking great interest in screen printing thanks to the advanced technology and knowledge imparted by DMI institute, a division of Grafica. The photo collage (file pictures), shows women entrepreneurs/working women in screen printing sector, taking part in DMI's various workshops and hands-on training. In the past, several women print technology students, too underwent training at DMI in advanced screen printing and now they are well employed in various printing companies. 
Riddhi Matalia
Nishi Arts, Mumbai (Manufacturer and supplier of heat transfers for garment industry)
“Once you are business partner, you have to take equal responsibility. So, I take care of responsibility at home, including our kid Zaina (3 years),” says Riddhi.
She is a business partner since the last eight years and takes care of the entire production and marketing operations. She is a fitting business partner for her husband with her B.Sc in textile designing degree from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai.
Their company has deployed a couple of semi-automatic screen printing machines, dryer and screen making set-up from Grafica.
“After my marriage to Anish, I took keen interest in our family business of heat transfer printing since I am a graduate in textile designing. And it makes sense to pursue a career in which you are already qualified. I also learnt quite a lot about screen printing. Since then, I have been fascinated with heat transfers because it is a highly creative field.”
Kratika Mittal
Prayag Industries, Hapur, UP
Kratika is a B.Sc graduate with additional skills in designing. She is married to Prashant Mittal, proprietor of Prayag Advertisers. She is the recipient of Screen Print India ‘Creative Woman Entrepreneur’ Award-2014. 
Established in 2011, her company employs 15 people. Their product portfolio include: screen-printed stickers, decals, heat transfers, besides cloth and sublimation printing. Their 2700 sq/ft factory also houses Grafica screen printing machines besides pre-press and post-press facilities.
Apart from business, Kratika loves music and dancing. She is also a member of IIA “Since screen printing is a creative field I started taking active role in my husband’s business, although it is a male dominated business,” she said.
Dhwani Bhootwala
Creative Graphics, Surat
Dhwani was the runner-up at the Screen Print India ‘Creative Woman Entrepreneur’ Award-2014. She is a diploma holder in commercial arts. Additionally she had also attended DMI’s three-day workshop on advanced screen printing. She is fond of drawing and painting, cooking, making a variety of chocolate and pastries.
She is now an active partner in her husband’s (Piyush Bhootwala) business - Creative Graphics. Their company is engaged in commercial printing, brochures, tags, folders, packaging, etc. Their 2500 sq/ft factory houses Grafica’s fully automatic cylinder press with inline UV, complete screen making set up and a semi automatic screen printing machine.
“I joined the business to help become a part of the growth. I am able to run the show successfully in when my husband is on tours. I feel satisfied when I am able to handle the duty of ‘a thankless job of a house maker’ along with business,” says Dhwani.
“Screen printing is a challenging yet interesting field. It’s a creative job among all other printing processes. Although screen printing is male dominated, I am a 21st century woman entrepreneur who loves to accept the challenges of life and business.
In my opinion, an empowered women is the one who is ready to face the challenges posed by circumstances and willing to overcome it successfully. I felt proud on being awarded with the ‘Creative Woman Entrepreneur’ (runner up) at Screen Print India’14 expo,” she concludes.
Urvashi Tandel,
Meghdeep Printers, Surat
After attending DMI’s three-day workshop along with her husband Natu Tandel, she took keen interest in her family’s screen printing business which includes: stationery, invitation and wedding cards and other commercial printing. Their 630 sq/ft printing unit houses Grafica’s Nano-Print and Nano-UV.
Urvashi feels screen printing is the perfect business for women as it involves low investment. “Since my husband, a qualified artist, is engaged in designing and marketing, I take care of production and administration.”
“In 2010, we bought Grafica’s Nano-Print, a high quality screen printing machine. Nano-Print has brought a revolution in screen printing industry. With this machine, we are able to offer quality print solution besides meeting timely delivery. We have over 100 customers and we are still growing thanks to Nano-Print and DMI’s advanced screen printing knowledge.”
Sunita Jamdade, 
Ankita Screen, Satara, Maharashtra.
Sunita is a housewife-turned-social worker cum printing professional, located at Wai, a small town, some 60km from Satara city in Maharashtra. Her company’s print portfolio includes: various types of stickers, visiting cards, wedding cards/invitation, carry bags, etc. Her 2000 sq/ft printing unit adjacent to her residence houses Grafica’s Nano-Print. She had also attended DMI’s three-day workshop on advanced screen printing besides visiting Grafica’s stalls at various national exhibitions.
Business apart, Sunita is the chair person of the district OBC cell. She has received ‘Award of Excellence from Lions Club, Pune, ‘Best Actress Award’ in Ganesh Utsav festival programme, Award for Social work for women. She loves cooking, acting, music. Savitribai Phule is her inspiration.
She says, “I always wanted to do something different and Screen printing is a good business for women to show their talent. I am an independent and self-employed woman thanks to screen printing.”
She adds, “Being a woman I have understood the harsh reality of pulling the squeegee everyday so much so that it caused lot of health problems for me. I used to get severe pain in my shoulders. Also technically speaking rejection and wastage was very common in manual screen printing so automation was the only solution. If this could happen to me than as a human I should take care of my people. That's why I thought to go for automation. For over 8 years I had struggled hard but, I could not grow in my business because of manual screen printing.
I sincerely thank Grafica for taking care for small screen printers like me Nano Interview by introducing Nano-Print in India at an affordable price. Because of Nano-Print I dared to go for automation, but my confidence doubled after I attended DMI's Workshop where I could easily grasp fantastic knowledge much needed to grow in my business.
“I urge women to take up screen printing as a self employment and take full advantage from DMI Workshop.”
Apart from printing business and social work, during spare time she also helps her husband in farming activities.