When Hema Balakrishnan started working with clay in 2003, she never imagined her enterprise would evolve into the eco-socio venture that it is today.
Hema started small by working from home and trained a few women to help her make these pieces. She supplied her works of art to leading design boutiques, but the credit model was a challenge.
Along the way, she met a few more terracotta artisan groups who were struggling to get fair prices for their work. Compelled to find a solution, Hema got involved in every stage of artisans’ work; making sure aesthetics, quality and finish were never compromised. Simultaneously, she reached out to the right customers who were looking for and valued handcrafted jewellery.
She has grown the enterprise from one artisan group to an 11 terracotta artisan groups, i.e about 200 artisans from all over India and ensured a sustainable income for them.
A Post Graduate in Personnel Management, she started her career in 1993, as a Career Counselor and worked as a Placement Consultant at Randstad India.
She is an alumnus of the 10000 Women program, a Goldman Sachs funded Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs in 2009.
In March 2012, she was chosen by the U.S Department of State to attend the prestigious, International Visitors Leadership Program on Women and Entrepreneurship in the U.S.
She was an investee at UnLtd Hyderabad in 2014, an organisation that finds, funds and supports Social Entrepreneurs.
Hema is also a passionate speaker and story teller at several forums, and conducts workshops to mentor women entrepreneurs. She was a Panelist at the TEDX women Hyderabad event in June 2015 and a Speaker at TedX IIM Raipur. Color D Earth was one of the 12 selected enterprises at Facebook’s first India SME Council.
Passionate about all things green, organic and handmade, she hopes to create more earth conscious communities!