Chennai, NFAPost: ‘Stand for Handmade’ is a new initiative from Amazon India which will help over 10 lakh entrepreneurs including artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs, rebound from the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.
It is part of the company’s efforts to help small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs jump-start their business. Under this initiative, more than 8 lakh artisans and weavers from Amazon Karigar program and more than 2.8 lakh women entrepreneurs from Amazon Saheli program will benefit from 100% SoA fee waiver for 10 weeks, Amazon said. The fee waiver will also be available to the new sellers joining the two programs.
Stand for Handmade storefront:
Amazon has created a ‘Stand for Handmade’ storefront to help generate customer demand for the locally crafted, handmade products from Karigar and Saheli sellers. Customers can discover and purchase products from artisans and women entrepreneurs from different parts of the country by visiting specific pages created for selection from North, South, East, West and Central India.
The store also has a curated selection of products for women, by women. The storefront also showcases traditional handicrafts and handlooms along with highlighting stories of craftsmen and their works, helping take their stories closer to consumers. Since launch in 2016, the Karigar program has made a difference in the lives of over 8 lakh individuals’ part of weaver communities from over 20 states and union territories.
Amazon.in has also partnered with 22 Government Emporiums and 5 Government bodies to showcase authentic crafts to craft lovers and increase market connectivity. Today, Karigar showcases over 60,000 products, including over 270 unique arts and crafts from over 20 states.
In its mission to bring all forms of Indian crafts online and expand the selection for customers, Amazon.in has on-boarded Himadri Emporium (Uttarakhand Handloom & Handicraft Development Council) and Shabari Chhattisgarh State Emporium. This will help over 10,000 artisans and weavers associated with them to showcase their products on the ‘Stand for Handmade’ storefront and reach millions of Amazon customers. These artisans will bring on the storefront unique products like traditional Aipan art from Uttarakhand and Dhokra or bell metal crafted products from Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
“The artisan & weaver community and women entrepreneurs have been amongst the most impacted by COVID-19. We understand the need to help revive their business to keep the rich heritage of Indian Art and Craft alive and our Stand for Handmade initiative is s a step in that direction. The initiative will help generate demand for their products online while helping them with working capital needs as they look to rebound from the economic disruption caused by this unprecedented pandemic,” Amazon India Vice President, Seller Services Gopal Pillai.
“We work with over 10,000 artisan families to support indigenous crafts of Uttrakhand by guiding the artisans and promoting their specialised products with consumers. The recent lockdown has left our artisans devastated. In a step to bring these crafts to wider customers across India, we are happy to partner with Amazon Karigar. We are confident that we will be able to overcome the adversities posed by COVID19 through ecommerce,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand Himadri Emporium (Uttarakhand Handloom & Handicraft Development council) Manisha Panwar.
Recently, Amazon concluded Small Business Day on June 27, 2020, that helped thousands of sellers to rebound from the recent economic disruption. Women Entrepreneurs under Saheli program saw a spike of 5x in orders and similarly, artisans and weavers from Karigar program saw a spike of 4.5x on Small Business Day. Top-performing sellers under Karigar and Saheli programs were ITokri (47x), Aditya Blue Art Pottery (31x), TJ Sarees (27X), Block of India (10x), Sahana Spices (3X) and Brain Freezer (3X).
Over the past few months, Amazon India has taken various steps to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sellers. Amazon introduced a group health insurance benefit for sellers to help them cover medical expenses in case of hospitalisation and treatment due to COVID-19. Amazon has enabled an ‘on-demand disbursement’ feature that enables sellers to get their disbursements daily. The company has also introduced a variety of fee waivers to help sellers navigate the economic challenges during these challenging times.