Artisans take e-comm route to better sales, life

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018



Two years ago, Ganga was a worker in a small textile unit in Bihar, trying to make ends meet with her monthly salary. But today she earns earns ₹3-4 lakh a week selling Madhubani painted handbags online on

Similarly, 22-year-old Jaichand Gupta from Madhya Pradesh has returned to his family business of making Maheswar sarees.

At one point conditions were so bad that Gupta had to leave home to work under the Centre’s NREGA scheme, through which he earned a paltry amount daily. Now he sells sarees worth ₹1 crore per annum on online platform

Ganga and Gupta attribute their success to India’s e-commerce boom, which has transformed their lives by giving them and thousands of other artisans, hobbyists and casual sellers a global platform to showcase their products.

Suchi Mukherjee, Co-founder, Limeroad, said the company has tied up with 1,000 such individual artisans whose orders have on average jumped 700 per cent in the past one year. Several other e-tailers such as Snapdeal, Amazon and Craftsvilla have given artisans in the hinterlands an opportunity to scale up.

Better margins

According to Ashish Jhalani, Founder of advisory and consulting firm E-tailing India, many of the established craftsmen and weavers earn 10-15 per cent margins offline. But these go up to 50-60 per cent when they trade online.

The online companies also assist the artisans in pricing and marketing by helping them create products that appeal to customers globally.

For instance, recently launched a pilot with India Post to set up facilitation desks at post offices in Varanasi to enable local weavers sell on its platform.

Shilpa Sharma, Co-Founder and Head of Product Development,, a Delhi-based company selling only handmade products, said the firm has invested in a design team that works with the local artisans in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan

“We also conduct several handicraft-related tourism initiatives where we take customers to these handicraft clusters and help them understand the difference between handloom and powerloom,” Sharma said.

Published on January 05, 2015

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