Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN) is operating as a not-for-profit Company since 2007. It is registered under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984, and is a subsidiary of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), under administrative control of Ministry of Industries & Production, Government of Pakistan.
AHAN is governed by a Board of Directors (BoD) bearing representation from both public and private sectors. AHAN head office is based in Lahore with regional offices present in all four provincial headquarters; Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
We aim to generate non-traditional employment opportunities in rural areas by adopting and indigenizing the One Village One Product (OVOP) concept of Japan and One Tambon One Product (OTOP) of Thailand. Our primary objective is to alleviate poverty in rural and peri-urban areas of Pakistan by supporting rural based micro and small enterprises engaged in the production of non-farm goods.
To be the leading organization striving for significant economic uplift of rural communities while making a difference in the lives of poor producer groups of Pakistan.
‘To create an enabling environment for the targeted poor producer groups in non farm sector, particularly women, landless and wage earners in rural and peri urban areas, enabling them to help themselves become vibrant and competitive entities in the economic growth of Pakistan.’
- Facilitate rural male & female craft persons, artisans and poor producer groups in accessing enterprise development services
- Focusing neglected sector of hand-crafted products through:
- Developing and making these products competitive in local and international markets
- Employment generation and increasing income in the informal rural markets, thus leading to rural poverty alleviation.
Major product sectors and products include the following:
- Region-specific Hand Embroidery
- Handloom fabric
- Carpets, Rugs, Mats, Farasi
- Block Printing
- Patch Work (Rilli)
- Shawl weaving
- Embellished Beaded Jewelry
- Blue Pottery/Tiles/Terracotta
- Lacquer Work
- Wood Carving
- Leather Embroidery
- Mazri Products
- Basketry/Mazri/Straw Work
- Marble Mosaic
AHAN was initiated as a project under Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA). Within a short period of just one year, AHAN had actively started working in all four provinces of the country in collaboration with Provincial/District Governments, RSPs, Microfinance Institutions, designers, and other stakeholders.
AHAN adopted a two pronged approach from the outset. On one hand the organization initiated pilot projects in numerous geographic clusters of artisans/poor producer groups while on the other hand it also undertook a research and analysis exercise to determine development potential among local rural enterprises. The objective of this campaign was to determine baseline criteria for the eventual development of a long term strategy for creating sustainable income generation opportunities for a large segment of our society living in rural, semi urban, small cities and towns of Pakistan.
THEMATIC AREAS OF INTERVENTIONS
- Product Development and Quality Assurance
We assist craftsperson and artisans in improving capacity building and deliver product trainings in market demand-oriented product designs, quality improvement and quality sustenance through technical assistance, quality raw material, finishing and production management training.
- Marketing and Enterprise Development
We assist crafts persons and artisans in development and implementation of marketing strategies focusing on market analysis, product selection, brand development, design of promotional campaigns, and test marketing & distribution systems for rural non-farm products of Pakistan.
Crafts persons and artisans are introduced to effective ways of enterprise/business development. AHAN aims to support employment generation by providing awareness and exposure to entrepreneurs in marketing their products and managing their businesses.
- Technology Up-gradation
AHAN provides technical up-gradation to clusters which require assistance in terms of usage of obsolete equipment and medieval methods of production. Additionally, AHAN maintains regular interaction with the clusters for provision of hands on training to encourage transfer of knowledge.
- Linkages with Microfinance Institutions
Access to finance plays an integral role in progress and development of any business. Rural enterprises are primarily financed through Microfinance Institutions and therefore require support services to facilitate interaction between the two. We facilitate networking between rural entrepreneurs and microfinance institutions to provide support to clusters in obtaining easy credit facilities to meet their business requirements.