Amazon India has announced a new initiative — ‘Stand for Handmade’ to 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. 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 & 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 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.
Gopal Pillai, Vice President, Seller Services at Amazon India said, “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.”
“We work with over 10,000 artisan families to support indigenous crafts of Uttrakhand by guiding the artisans and promoting their specialized 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. We’re thankful to Amazon for creating this opportunity for us to sell our products and we are hopeful that customers will arrive in throngs to support the revival of our artisan businesses,” said, Mrs. Manisha Panwar, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand Himadri Emporium (Uttarakhand Handloom & Handicraft Development council)
M Geeta (IAS), Secretary, Department of Rural Industries, Govt. of Chhattisgarh said, “This is an important initiative for us to launch products from Shabari Chhattisgarh State Emporium on Amazon.in and help our local community of artisans and women entrepreneurs’ benefit from e-commerce. We believe that this will help the local communities enjoy access to millions of customers, create new and viable markets and give their products national and global reach. It will also help us streamline the link between the community and buyers. We are cognizant of the demand for ‘Made in India’ products across India and collaborating with Amazon will give us direct access to customers and revive from the economic disruptions.”
“At Nirvi, our 500 artisans and women whom we employ and train are waiting to make exquisite handicrafts, baskets, Kolhapuri chappals, jewellery, Ghongadi and much more for our customers. Our business has faced multiple challenges due to the current pandemic, but we are happy to share our products to wider customers through Amazon and thank Amazon to stand for this initiative by giving us 100% referral fee waiver through Stand for Handmade initiative,” – Aatish Chavan, Director, Nirvi Handicrafts
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 minimize 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 hospitalization 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.