Flipkart on Wednesday launched an initiative to bring India's artisans, weavers, and handicrafts producers on board. Called "Flipkart Samarth," the initiative is aimed to open up national market access for Indian artisans and handicraft communities by letting them start selling their products through the online marketplace that is touted to have a registered customer base of over 150 million customers. The Bengaluru-based e-commerce company has also promised to support local artisans and weavers in the country by offering them dedicated support for onboarding, cataloguing, account management, and business insights. Additionally, Flipkart is set to take reduced commission and give dedicated seller and warehousing support to Indian craftsmen.
Initially, Flipkart has tied up with five entities to kick off the Flipkart Samarth programme in India. These entities are namely Anuna.in, Indha, Craftizen, Eco Stripes, and NABET India. However, the company is planning to work closely with major NGOs and government bodies alongside livelihood missions to reach a large number of rural entrepreneurs in the country.
There is a special focus towards women-led enterprises, differently-abled enterpreneurs, artisans, and weavers who have lack of access to working capital, poor infrastructure, and inadequate training, the company said in a statement.
As per the information available on the Flipkart site, the participants of the Flipkart Samarth programme will receive dedicated assistance in terms of registration, listing of products, and cataloguing as well as warehousing space and sale events to showcase different offerings online. Further, the company has mentioned on its site that it will offer support of an account manager for free of charge for six months. It is also claimed to offer the "most competitive rate cards" for listing products online and will host seller events to provide easy approachability to rural producers.
Flipkart has introduced a dedicated Flipkart Samarth store that is live on its site as well as mobile apps. The store features collections, namely Handlooms and Weaves, Block Printing, and Embroidery and Embellishments. Also, there are distinct products such as jackets, handbags, clutches, cushion covers, kitchenware, craft diaries, office supplies, and photoframes designed by the artisans, craftsmen, and weavers.
"Through Flipkart Samarth, we are helping traditionally underserved communities access a pan-India market and engage with over 150 million customers. The initiative will help us partner with the government and add impetus to various social empowerment schemes," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, in the statement.
Notably, Flipkart isn't the only e-commerce company in India that's set to start selling Indian artwork through its online marketplace. Amazon India, Flipkart's arch-rival and the subsidiary of US-based Amazon.com, also hosts products from local artisans and weavers on a dedicated India Artisan Craft Store. It is touted to source products from master weavers, co-operatives, and government agencies.
Walmart-backed Flipkart last week revamped its seller onboarding process to ease the first-time e-commerce experience for medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) in India. The company also recently stationed 13 regional teams across the country to help onboard new sellers in person.