Flipkart, e-commerce marketplace, and Karnataka’s Department of MSME and Mines, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the State’s arts, crafts and handloom sectors, by bringing them on to e-commerce and providing market access.

The partnership under the Flipkart Samarth programme will enable local artisans, weavers and craftsmen to showcase their hallmark products to a pan-India customer base. Both Karnataka government and the Flipkart Group will focus on creating avenues to increase business and trade inclusion opportunities for these under-served segments of the society, thereby adding further thrust to Made in India efforts.

Flipkart Samarth seeks to break entry barriers for artisans by extending time-bound incubation support, which includes benefits in the form of onboarding, free cataloguing, marketing, account management, business insights and warehousing support.

The partnership will see renowned Karnataka-based brands- Cauvery - Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation and Priyadarshini Handlooms, part of Karnataka Handlooms Development Corporation joining the Flipkart Samarth programme.

Maheshwar Rao, Karnataka Principal Secretary, Department of MSME and Mines, said, “The collaboration with Flipkart will be instrumental in driving commercial and social development in the State. This partnership will help in taking the local handicrafts and handlooms businesses of Karnataka to a national consumer base. MSMEs in the State will also benefit from skills of branding, digital marketing and financial management while showcasing the locally made high-quality products.”

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said “We are delighted to partner with the Karnataka Government to give the state’s artisans the opportunity to showcase and sell their products on a transparent platform; with a promise of wider market access. These are challenging times, and as a homegrown platform, we believe it is our responsibility to boost local businesses and catalyse ecosystem partnerships to help transform them. Flipkart Samarth will continue helping underserved communities in breaking social and demographic barriers and bringing them into the fold of the formal economy.”

In less than a year since its launch, Flipkart Samarth has been playing a significant role in building capabilities within the rural and under-served society and is today supporting the livelihood of more than 500,000 artisans, weavers and micro enterprises across India. Flipkart Samarth works closely with reputed NGOs and Government bodies and livelihood missions to reach a large number of rural entrepreneurs, with a special focus on women-led enterprises, differently-abled entrepreneurs, artisans, and weavers, who often face obstacles such as lack of access to working capital, poor infrastructure, and inadequate training. Flipkart has assessed the pain points and aspirations of these groups and designed Flipkart Samarth to address their problems and make it easier for them to list and sell online.