Net-Zero | Heritage Connections to Circularity

Net-Zero activities have no environmental impact, but fall short of regenerative design solutions, which restore environmental qualities beyond their original condition.

Historically, Indians were natural stewards of resources and lived low-impact lives. A World Bank, 2020 report says that Jaipur's water table is expected to be unrecoverable by 2030, if no serious large scale water conservation measures are taken. What happens to the old city or Rambagh Palace in 2030?

This panel explores the question of why India isn't thinking about Net-Zero or investing in regenerative, scale-jumping processes? We’ll also explore how crafts can help.

Chaos | Clash | Clarity: Capitalism, Philanthropy, Social Responsibility and Artisanal Integrity

The tragic alteration in buyers' attitudes and client-patron relationship has caused the artisanal community to grow disillusioned about their trade. Incentivizing the artisanal community with a reinvigorated sense of creativity & passion establishes a appreciative and educated client base. The modus operandi for this panel revolves around artist & artisanry - craft aesthetic and its innovations. 

India loves Fashion: Why Doesn’t Fashion Love India Back?

This panel explores the misalignment of what international fashion needs with what India makes. It features the real-life experiences of experts in sourcing, branding, designing, making and selling Indian-made fashion internationally.

The Bharat Brand: The History & Patronage of India's Artisanal Luxury

This talk seeks to create an informed market critical to the understanding of true making heritage and India’s long history as a source of the world’s finest luxuries.

The talk time travels through how India for centuries dominated global trade in exquisite artisanry: its perfume was sought by Rome, Rome and Europe had a voracious appetite for its muslin, its mojaris were the rage among the Persians and Ottomans, Indian lacquer went to China and Japan, Indian cut diamonds were snapped-up in France, Flanders, Russia, Prussia and Saxony, and its gorgeously dyed chintz flowed out on India’s tides to Holland, France and England.

Under the British Raj, artisanry got replaced by industrial manufacture, and India, which had so long exported its bedazzling goods, became dependent on English imports. Knowledge about how to make Indian luxury began to die out, as Indians learned to become hungry, instead, for foreign and especially English products.

Reclaiming Respect Globally: A Vision for Indian Crafts

This panel discussion explores the intersection of consumer preferences, climate change, intellectual property and technology drivers in the business of culture and craft.

India's making culture arises from pre-colonial process innovations that were among the world's most valuable technological secrets. When information traveled on pigeons or horseback, the best way to protect Intellectual Property was the secrecy of closed hands. Now, every smartphone is a spy that leaks IP. If doing nothing is self-harm, what should Royal families and others do to protect India's cultural patrimony in today's environment?

Crafts are viewed as a sunset industry. But, new drivers could make Indian crafts and heritage raw materials more desired globally than at any time since colonialization. Could crafts be the bridge to a fair, prosperous, sustainable future for 2 million Indians and 3000 intangible crafts?

Old Methods in New Era: Relevance of Historical Patronage Systems of Material Culture in Today's Bharat

A unique reflection on traditional patronage systems that support material culture in India today. It is a broader take on different craft system & their approaches effective in craft learning, unlearning and re-learning. 




Ajay Jain

Ajay Jain is a leading voice in India's art, culture & heritage and a Senior Fellow at the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. His unique process of documenting heritage buildings via remote sensing, climate & hydrogeological studies together with other evolving methods pioneered the water system revival of Jaigarh Fort, Amer.

Mr. Jain is the polymathic founder and CEO of Sukhnidhey Films. He makes critically acclaimed documentaries that are screened worldwide and in the collections of the Archaeological Survey of India and the American Institute of Indian Studies, New York-to list a few. 

Dan May

Dan May is a global leader of style-setting fashion publications and international retail brands. Achievements include:

  • Founding Style Director, Mr. Porter
  • Fashion Editor, 10 Magazine
  • Fashion Director, 10 Men
  • Contributing Editor Men’s Fashion, Telegraph Men’s Luxury and ST Men
  • Contributor to Sunday Times Style, Chinese and Russian Vogue

Mr. May is a fashion polymath who studied photography and styling at London College of Fashion while working both in front of and behind the camera. As co-founder of the resort clothing label SMR Days, he leads the brand’s fashion direction and styling. SMR Days is sourced and manufactured in India with a particular emphasis on supporting Indian craft. The brand is sold at the world’s top stockists, including Harrods, Nordstrom, Bon Marche, Browns, Matches Fashion and Mr Porter.ays.

Gautam Rajani

Gautam Rajani is a Co-founder of SMR Days and leads the company’s sourcing, operations and business development. His experience at fashion’s top brands blends with hometown knowledge of Indian crafts to support SMR’s unique lane in casual, handmade fashion.

Nilesh Yadav

Nilesh Yadav is an Urban Planner who created the Local Area Plan for Ward 74, Walled City of Jaipur and pioneered the first GIS-built knowledge base for Thengaithittu Mangroves, PondyCAN! & Government of Puducherry.

On a quest in Auroville, he coordinated promotional campaigns for Eco Femme, a cloth pad social enterprise. Today, he is the ESG Manager at who co-writes the brand's structural research. As co-founder of the Jaipur Crafts Festival, he is the voice of heritage connections to circularity.

Prerna Agarwal 

Prerna leads Urmul Desert Crafts (UDC) working with over 5000 artisans, mostly women, in the remote Thar desert in India. Through an ecosystem development, Prerna anchors strategy, operations and marketing leading a 35-member team. Blending social business and social development, UDC enhances artisanry and artisans lives while extensively working with marginalised communities including pastoralists, war refugees and farmers. Trained in advertising, Prerna has evolved into a village-based social entrepreneur.

Reshmi Dey

Reshmi Dey promotes skills development projects with various international organizations including the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO). Her life as a hands-on designer and maker of fine glass objects is a series of firsts:
• India's first glass entrepreneur and educator
• Founder of India’s first state-of-the-art Art Glass Studio
• Founder and CEO of Glass Sutra
• 2016 Senior Fellowship, Ministry of Culture, Government of India
• Educator Workshop, Bullseye Glass, Portland, Oregon, USA
• Scholarship to The International Glass Centre, Dudley, U.K.
• Center for the Development of the Glass Industries (CDGI)
• Continuing education in Murano and Venice, Italy

Her most recent project, Glass Sutra in Firozabad, seeks to create the best of craft and design for discerning customers worldwide.

Rituraj Devaang Jain

Rituraj Devaang Jain, Co-Founder of Sukhnidhey Films has produced 117+ documentaries on Indian art, heritage and travel that are honored internationally. Mr. Jain has been a visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur, Centre for Cultural Resources & Training, New Delhi and the American Institute of Indian Studies, New York. In 2018, He’s represented India at UNESCO World Heritage Convention, Bahrain.

Sayali Goyal

Sayali is the Founding Editor and Creative Director of Cocoa and Jasmine, an independent print cultural magazine distributed worldwide with a mission to create a platform for authentic voices in arts, design, craft and travel. With her decade-long experience in textiles, publishing and curation, she continues to consult on multidisciplinary cultural projects. Currently, she is a mentor to students at the University of Arts, London curating the third edition of SAFED, a handspun and handwoven textile installation. She’s also the founding Director of AHAATA, a Punjab design project. 

Scott Frankum

Scott Frankum founded the Jaipur Crafts Festival as a platform for the business of crafts, culture and heritage. Mr. Frankum is a technology developer, creative director, digital strategist and SEO with wanderlust and an MBA. He is a trusted advisory and technology partner to MSMEs around the world. His passion project is

Shaan Agarwal

Shaan Agarwal is the Business Director at Jaipur Modern. Shaan has always had a keen interest in the Indian craft and he believes his dream has come through with Jaipur Modern. He manages the entire business front for Jaipur Modern and looks at different ways to collaborate with the Modern Indian craftsman. He is passionate about creativity and strives to apply that to all aspects of his work.

Along with Jaipur Modern, Mr. Agarwal is also responsible for the planning and strategy for Studio Ardy – a fashion brand. Shaan has also been inclined towards the organic and sustainable lifestyle. He is also always up for discussions on music, movies, literature and philosophy.

Vishesh Sharma

Vishesh Sharma is Marketing Lead at Antaran-the Tata Trusts for the Crafts’ Initiative. Mr. Sharma has special expertise in rural livelihoods and bridging the gap between artisans and buyers. His work as a professional communicator powers maker differentiation and value by helping them tell their own stories to wider audiences. Prior to his role at the Tata Trusts, he was marketing manager at Good Earth, India. He holds a Masters in PR & Communications from the University of Leeds.

Yash Pratap Singh Shekhawat

Yash Pratap Singh Shekhawat heads Techarch Studios, an architecture and design studio specializing in sustainable heritage and interior conservation.  The firm works all over India.

He is visiting faculty at the School of Architecture and Design, Sushant University, Gurugram. He researches and writes on Jaipur, Bikaner and other Rajasthani cities.  His most recent book ‘THAR- Jaisalmer, Bikaner & Jodhpur’ publishes soon.