Sculpture in marble, bronze, wood, paintings, carpets, bamboo crafts, and embroidered sarees – name it and you will find it in India. Handicrafts are 100% unique and are labeled as ‘designer’ or ‘exclusive’ stuff because every region in every state of India has different cultural norms. Rajasthan for Jaipuri quilts, Gujarat for hand embroidery, Narsapur and Surat for laces, Punjab for phulkari, brass and silver work, appliqué work and terracotta handicrafts Odisha are all masterpieces in their own right.
India has around 35 million artisans. The handicrafts export sector does business to the tune of around 3.5 billion dollars and employs over 7 million people either directly or indirectly.
Business started faltering when cheaper bulk manufactured goods flooded the markets from China. The competition was stiff, and the best handicrafts too earned them a meager income because they were forced to rely on brick and mortar stores and local fairs to sell their handicrafts. The market penetration was minimal even here. The middlemen swindled illiterate skilled artisans and pocketed huge commissions in the bargain.
The World Wide Web proved to be the savior for the handicrafts industry. The skill, labor, and passion of the artisans gained global recognition. Portals like classystreet.com quickly grasped the problems faced by the handicrafts shops of Odisha. Classystreet.com plugged all the loopholes in the system and started selling handicrafts online on a commission basis.
People around the globe just had to type the keywords handicrafts Odisha to get a glimpse of all the handicrafts of that state on their screens.
The best handicrafts are immediately highlighted on their homepage along with all the other details. A secure payment system ensures that the money is redirected to the right source. Currently, the handicraft market in India is doubling every five years and contributes to 2% of the global market.
The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) handles all the handicrafts export business in India. The Vice Chairman of EPCH, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, clearly stated that e-commerce portals are the best way to create a stable market for the handicrafts of India.
Keeping in mind the tight global economy, he suggested that our handicrafts offer tremendous opportunities for exporters even in the domestic market.
The industry experts surveyed the markets and rightly concluded that global trade now relied more on selling handicrafts online through portals like classystreet.com.
India has a large number of internet users, and e-commerce portals are sure to put all our skilled labor intensive unique handicrafts on the global map.
The very approach and structure of business have changed as huge hidden, untapped opportunities offered better business opportunities to the local artisans. E-commerce websites finally bridged the enormous gap between those clusters of artisans who lived in unrecognized pockets of Indian states and the online and offline market.
Indian handicrafts now experienced constantly rising demands from countries like the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, etc. The best handicrafts were sold online and created fashion statements, styles, and trends around the entire world.
The sheer convenience of finding a rare piece of art on online portals brought about an increase in the demand for handicrafts. The rise in demand created more job opportunities for the artisans.
The EPCH now expects the Indian government to take the right measures to boost the handicrafts business both domestically and globally.
The Council insists that skill development and quality control measures will generate more business for the artisans. He strongly recommended that these skills need to be imparted through institutions to create a lingering impact on the people around the world.