Team – Smita Mankad
Management & Social Impact Consultant
Ms. Smita Mankad is an Economics (Hons) graduate from Lady Shriram College for Women (1989-92) Delhi University, and an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (1992-94) Mumbai University, India and has 20 years of experience in the corporate sector, combining business skills and social impact interventions successfully.
She started her career with TATA Motors in export finance, and after 6 years with ABN AMRO Bank in corporate banking product management, moved to Fabindia where she has spent 11 years across all divisions of the company – international business, new product development, retail operations and setting up of new stores, systems processes & internal audits, and most recently managing the entire sourcing and supply chain for Fabindia through Fabindia’s wholly owned subsidiary Artisans Micro Finance Pvt. Ltd. (AMFPL), of which she was Managing Director from 2008 to 2013.
In her role as MD of AMFPL she was responsible for setting up and managing the 18 Community Owned Companies that formed part of Fabindia’s supply chain, a unique initiative that gave rural artisans the opportunity to own shares and go beyond the buyer – seller relationship for the first time, thereby directly benefiting from the growth and wealth creation in these community owned companies. Through these 18 companies, she and her team of 600 worked with over 1000 producer groups and suppliers, and through them 80,000 artisans across India. AMFPL brought to them support infrastructure and best practices, new technology, design inputs, quality guidelines, and continuous training. The aim was not only to assure the supply chain but also of revive crafts, create jobs, keep the jobs in rural areas, and bring sustainable prosperity to artisan communities. Fabindia’s supply chain is now the subject of a Harvard case study.
Her responsibilities included bringing great quality, affordable product from rural home based workers across India, to Fabindia’s 170 stores across urban markets. By ensuring operational profitability of the companies, dividend payments to the artisans and investors, and finally a cash-out exit to all shareholders with excellent returns, she met the expectations of the external investors and 20,000+ artisan shareholders who held shares in the COCs.
Smita was chosen to participate in the Fortune – U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program in 2010, as well as the Vital Voices and Bank of America Global Ambassadors Program 2012, which connects leading women business executives from Fortune 500 companies in the US with emerging women leaders from around the world. These networks support her commitment and passion to pay it forward.
She now leads Organic India’s new True Wellness Initiative – a new paradigm in nutrition, holistic well being and preventive healthcare, offering both information and unique effective products through small format stores in partnership with Fabindia. She is also a trained reflexologist.
She remains committed to working in the field of social entrepreneurship and empowerment at a grassroots level and to women’s leadership and mentoring at a global level.