Globalisation has had a positive impact in creating one marketplace where we can buy and sell goods and services based on the most economical value chains. We have created systems and tools to get the buyers and sellers together, however, the efforts on creating tools and systems for creating transparency across the value chains has been minimal. As a result there are inefficiencies & a risk of exploitation especially lower down the supply chain.
Most of the products that we buy have a long value chain. This value chain is based on a supply chain model that is most economical for manufacturing of the product. These supply chains cross countries and continents and can at times have an informal part which is invisible.
Namahe Ecosystem offers a vision for a new standard that can be used in any industry to bring in transparency and to connect the various elements of the value chain, however far they might be in terms of geography.
We started our first efforts in May 2010, where we got different stakeholders to work together towards a solution In order to tackle the issues mentioned above. This included SEWA (A membership of 1Mn low income group working women in India), a clothing supplier (Fashion Fudge Inc.), workers, a buyer (Plumettaz SA) and the University of HEIG in Switzerland. The project received funding from Venture Kick, a start-up boosting organisation in Switzerland. Under the direction of our CEO (Ajay Lakhwani), the developers from University of HEIG developed a supply chain tracking software.
The order for corporate clothing was placed by Plumettaz SA as part of companies efforts to support transparent supply chains. The clothing was manufactured by Fashion Fudge Inc. in Delhi, India with the support of SEWA. Each worker was identified and the wages paid to these workers were recorded in order to ensure at least the legally stipulated minimum wages. All this information was accessible on Namahe website through scanning the QR code given on the tag attached to each unit supplied to Plumettaz. The project was a success, however, faced a couple of issues in order to scale. First one being the amount of investment required and the second and most important one being the centralisation of information, as this information was prone to be tampered.
Mainstream usage of Blockchain has provided us an opportunity to develop a solution that solves the issues of data sharing by decentralising the information to various ledgers in the value chain thereby ensuring authenticity and transparency of each transaction.
First element of Namahe is to bring all the different tiers and stakeholders within the value chain under one umbrella where the information is not centralised and controlled by certain companies but is available for easy access to anyone from the worker in a far flung village in Bangladesh to the consumer in New York.
Second element of Namahe is going to be the inter connectivity of communities and all other stakeholders. Our partner organisations that are active in community developments across the globe would be able to showcase their projects through the Namahe website. Anyone anywhere in the world interested in contributing to the community developments through the showcased projects would be able to get in touch with these organisations and provide financial and/or non-financial support. Namahe would not have any vested financial interests in these transactions between the stakeholders, except charging a service fee to cover the costs.
Third element of Namahe Ecosystem is going to be a Marketplace for Buyers and Sellers. As our network grows, our ecosystem would get potential retailers, manufacturers and suppliers together to be able to trade on the Namahe platform, thereby, reducing the resources required on both sides to manage the sourcing, administrative as well as operational aspects. Given this clear path to an ideal solution, we are now designing the Namahe Ecosystem and plan to raise development funds through crowdfunding. This platform can be used in any industry to connect the various elements of the value chain, however far they might be in terms of geography.
Namahe wants to create complete value chain transparency using Blockchain. We are developing a solution where the entire value chain can partake in a mutually constructive sharing of information thereby ensuring that there are no hidden informal supply chain tiers.
The Namahe solution would benefit all stakeholders including companies designing and selling the products who genuinely want to ensure non-exploitative supply chains, suppliers, government organisations, NGOs, Trade Unions and most importantly the workers and artisans.
Namahe Ecosystem is underpinned by a platform that allows transparent traceability of interactions between different actors in the supply chain; from the end consumer to the brand marketing the product, to the manufacturers to the end worker who contributed to the parts used in the end product. The Namahe platform will leverage blockchain technology to create a federated network where each node is able to validate and trace the interactions pertaining to itself in a transparent, verifiable and immutable way. Each interested party is shown as a node on the platform. Each node is assigned a role which in turn defines the tasks and asks on them in the network.
Namahe Phase 1 will result in a platform where retailers and suppliers, big and small are registered & interact for delivering orders. Each transaction creates an immutable record, collection of which provide a profile for each party and their history. This forms the basis for a marketplace where profile, experience and history of a worker / supplier can be used in the marketplace.
Phase 2 of Namahe would include a Marketplace for Buyers and Sellers of products.
Namahe ecosystem will deliver a marketplace in the mould of alibaba.com or etsy.com where small and medium size retailer, suppliers and workers are able to trade together in a secure marketplace with confidence without the need for expensive travel trips or paying commissions to the mediators.
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