Indian Startups Have The Potential To Create A Huge Market For Handicrafts: PM Modi

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Indian startups can provide assistance to artisans on technology, design, packaging and financing, PM Modi said

The prime minister highlighted the importance of the ecommerce sector for scaling up the handicrafts market

PM VIKAS Yojana can help leverage innovation of the private sector to scale the handicrafts industry: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (March 11) said that Indian startups can play a big role in creating a huge market for homegrown handicraft products. 

Noting that the ecommerce model has the potential to scale the local handicrafts market, PM Modi said that startups can provide assistance to artisans on a variety of facets ranging from technology to design, and from packaging to financing.

“Our startups can also create a huge market for handicraft products through (the) ecommerce model. These products can also get assistance from startups in better technology, design, packaging and financing,” said Modi while addressing a post-budget webinar on PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS) Yojana. 

The prime minister also said that the scheme will further strengthen the partnership between the Indian private sector and local artisans. Through this, he added, the country will be able to leverage innovation and business acumen of the private sector in the handicrafts industry.

“Our aim is to turn today’s artisans into big entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” he added. 

The prime minister highlighted the need to focus on sustainability and said that the government is also working to improve the quality of products, alongside making designing, packaging and branding ‘attractive’.

The Ecommerce Advantage

Previously, the sale of handicrafts was only limited to specific stores, in the heart of major cities, or state handloom or handicraft showrooms that displayed these products. To reach these touchpoints, there were a slew of middlemen who would mark up these products by exorbitant amounts and render them out of reach for most middle-class families. 

However, the proliferation of the internet and increase in the penetration of ecommerce due to companies like Flipkart and Amazon has changed the situation. These sites provide the artisans a new marketplace to sell their products and expand their customer base. 

With social media and social commerce, more and more people are now easily able to access such products from any part of the country. The growing demand for such products has also given rise to homegrown startups such as Peepul Tree, Craft Maestros and Estossia that offer handicraft products from artists to the doorsteps of the customers.

All these emerging startups operate within the ambit of the Indian ecommerce space which is estimated to reach a total addressable market of $400 Bn by 2030. The launch of state-backed ONDC is also expected to unlock new revenue pathways for local artisans and will also incentivise sale of handicrafts. Earlier last year, the centre also directed ONDC to undertake pilots focused on non-digital traders and artisans. 

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