Provide platform to connect artisans, small traders and end-consumers
India’s fledgling $3.2-billion ecommerce industry seems to have got a fillip with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Make-in-India campaign. The nascent yet rapidly growing sector, which has been working with small and medium enterprises and helping them sell their products online, hopes to involve more such players. As a social impact venture, an online marketplace CraftsBazaar supports the rural artisan sector through a strong supply chain and marketing focus. Encouraging direct sourcing, CraftsBazaar eliminates middlemen and thus increases income for artisans.
As part of one such scheme, e-commerce major Flipkart has inked a pact with the Textiles Ministry to provide weavers a marketplace to showcase their products. For manufacturers, analytical data will be provided to help them acquire a customer base, and accordingly scale up supply.
Generally, small entrepreneurs tend to contribute over 20 per cent of total sales for online companies such as Fabfurnish.com and Paytm.
Several online firms have begun associating with the Prime Minister’s initiative, which focuses on manufacturing in India, and are using their technology and platforms to support local manufacturers and craftsmen.
Online marketplace ShopClues.com has also launched a campaign wherein it will showcase merchandise from India’s iconic markets, such as the ethnic weaves of Surat, silver jewellery from Jaipur, electronic goods from Nehru Place in Delhi, textiles from Tirupur and chikankari from Lucknow across various States. Radhika Aggarwal, Co-Founder, ShopClues.com said: “We are the first e-commerce player to launch a special ‘Make in India’ initiative. Through this, we intend to turn the spotlight on numerous local manufacturers and small traders, and provide them a platform to gain a pan-India reach so that they can participate actively in the country’s retail revolution.”
The company has over 5,600 brands and over 75,000 merchants listed on its site, of which 4,600 are regional and local brands. Fashion portal FashionAndYou claims that it is seamlessly connecting small retailers with customers. Says the portal’s CEO, Aasheesh Mediratta: “E-commerce is already serving as a great platform to connect artisans, manufacturers, boutique labels and designers with the end consumer. More than two-thirds of our business comes from this segment.”
FashionAndYou says it is also working towards enabling small manufacturers access to a wide customer base, with no investment. Meanwhile, a few companies such as Printvenue.in and Bluegape.com are riding high by selling ‘Make-in-India’ merchandise.