This year’s festive season has been extra special for artisans, weavers and handicraft makers across the country as they catered to the growing consumer demand for indigenous products, crafted to bring the rich culture of India to life. Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, also created a special collection of products as part of their flagship initiative – Flipkart Samarth, to bring the rich and diverse art forms of the country onto its e-commerce platform.
Flipkart Samarth is designed with the intention of democratizing e-commerce and building a sustainable and inclusive platform for under-served, domestic communities to empower them with greater opportunities and better livelihood. Through the initiative, Flipkart’s aim is to provide greater visibility to the made-in-India products on its platform – products that reflect the local diversity, culture and capabilities of a heritage-rich country. To drive greater visibility and promote the products available on the platform, the company has also created a dedicated storefront on its app/website so that consumers can get easy access to their desired products.
Today, through Flipkart Samarth, the company is able to impact 7,00,000+ livelihoods. Over the last year, Flipkart Samarth saw a 12x growth in the number of partners who joined the program. These artisans, who became part of Flipkart’s annual festive season sale this year, saw a 2.5x increase in comparison to their usual non-festive sale days. The demand for these products reflected the increasing trend of people supporting local products, with the top-performing categories for sellers of the Flipkart Samarth program being ethnic wear, home decor and natural/organic beauty and grooming products. Encouraged by the success of sellers on the platform, Flipkart Samarth also saw artisans, craftsmen, and weavers from new cities (7x growth from last year), join the program. 60% of Flipkart Samarth’s partners are from Tier II and beyond, including cities such as Dharampuri, Palanpur, Ernakulum, Palghar and Ambala, showcasing the spread of the program across the country.
Speaking on this issue of market access for under-served seller communities on e-commerce platforms, Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said, “The Governments at the Center and States have played a critical and enabling role in helping these under-served seller communities become part of the Flipkart Samarth initiative on the marketplace. Such initiatives play a prominent role in promoting the Government’s ‘vocal for local’ campaign, in turn helping build an ‘AtmaNirbhar India’. We are proud to be able to support the rich heritage of India and provide MSMEs, artisans and craftsmen an opportunity to leverage the power of e-commerce and also support flagship initiatives like ODOP in Uttar Pradesh”.
Dhaval Patel, part of Navrang Handicrafts, is today empowering women artisans from his village by supporting them in selling their products on Flipkart, under the Flipkart Samarth program. He has been witnessing almost 100 orders per day and is grateful for the festive season to boost the visibility of these handicraft products more. Similarly, Boyanika – which supports Odisha’s weavers’ community is now getting orders for their affordable range of locally produced cotton sarees, from across the country. The weavers associated with the brand are thrilled that their products are reaching every part of the nation, and they are getting larger visibility.
From bringing Uttar Pradesh’s flagship ODOP initiative, Khadi products, chikankari, and zari-zardozi work, to Karnataka’s renowned handloom and handicraft brands such as Cauvery and traditional Bengali handicrafts, fabrics and artifacts through Biswa Bangla — Flipkart Samarth has been actively bringing local handicrafts and handlooms from across the country to a pan-India consumer base.
The program has grown from strength to strength by way of multiple MoUs with Government bodies in the states of Jharkhand, Punjab, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, along with an MoU with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to collaborate with their DAY-NULM initiative, spreading Flipkart Samarth’s reach to 23 states across the country.
Flipkart constantly assesses the pain points and aspirations of these groups, incorporating their needs and requirements so that MSMEs, artisans, weavers, rural entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and other under-served communities continue to have an enriching seller experience across its various initiatives including Flipkart Samarth. Through such partnerships, the company is enabling livelihood opportunities for the handlooms and handicraft sectors and help uplift the economic conditions of this fraternity.