Kala Tarang was set-up in Singapore by Sangeeta Roy in 2008. Growing up in India, Sangeeta attended many craft fairs and bazaars with her elder sister, who was and still is, an enthusiastic collector of a vast range of Indian ethnic items. Initially a reluctant companion in these craft 'expeditions', over time Sangeeta became fascinated by the range of crafts, the combination of their centuries old history and modern appeal.
When she moved out of India, Sangeeta was surprised to see how little known and appreciated Indian craft is outside India. She remembered something a craftsman had once told her in Delhi, "…we don't need charity, we need more markets". Spotting this opportunity, she decided to use her MBA from IIM Bangalore (India) and work experience in consulting and banking to start something for a cause that she felt passionately about.
In 2004 she started promoting Indian Handicrafts in Switzerland after having moved there from Singapore. She participated in and organized exhibitions in expatriate and corporate clubs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Encouraged by the positive response among the local and expatriate population, when she moved back to Singapore, she started Kala Tarang in 2008 to promote Indian Handicrafts through its own exhibitions.
Kala Tarang is a FOPSE (For Profit Social Enterprise) and hopes to play its part in giving Indian craft its rightful place outside India. It does extensive research on the Indian crafts sector to understand the history, various craft making processes and how the NGOs and craftspeople are forever experimenting to create items of modern appeal. It currently sources from more than 30 NGOs/craftspersons from across India all of whom adhere to the environmentally friendly processes of the ancient past. Kala Tarang attempts to share learnings from its fascinating journey in the world of handicrafts by organizing exhibitions that are as much about appreciating the arts and crafts of India as they are about selling handicrafts.