Strengthen your bond this Raksha Bandhan with artisanally handcrafted rakhis on Flipkart
The best kind of gifts are always handmade – especially when they’re crafted by some of India’s best artisans. These artisans keep the country’s ancient art and craft alive by curating unique limited edition designs.
E-commerce majorhas partnered with sellers such as Khatu Crafts from Rajasthan and the West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board to sell authentic, handmade rakhis showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the country. And if it helps empower these local artisans and craft makers from across the country to be financially independent, even better.
Empowering domestic communities
In 2013, when 26-year-old Rahul Kumawat first began manufacturing handicrafts and wooden products such as rakhis, wall hangings, key holders, photo frames, and more, he struggled to find a sustainable customer base for Khatu Crafts.
Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce, the Jaipur-native travelled to various parts of the country in search of a base for his business. Even with 40 orders a day, he knew he needed to expand if he wanted to see any real success.
That’s when Rahul realised that e-commerce could help him reach the diverse set of customers he needed. And so, Rahul partnered with Flipkart in 2015 through their Samarth program and ever since, he has seen his daily orders rise six-fold to about 250 orders a day.
“Flipkart has played a major role in the growth of my business, from increasing visibility through support for products, photoshoots, advertising, and guidance of dedicated account managers,” Rahul says, adding that he also sees a 30-40 percent surge in orders — 1,000 to 1,200 a day — during promotional sales such such Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale, and a 150 percent increase in sales during the Samarth sale event earlier this year.
For Raksha Bandhan, Khatu Crafts has expanded its product inventory to include over 20 different designs of handmade rakhis made by a group of 15-25 local artisans from Rajasthan. Flipkart also helped Rahul with intel on how to price the rakhis to increase his business, and by offering combo rakhi packs with cups, mugs, and keychains.
“For the festival of Raksha Bandhan I also received great insights from the Flipkart team which has helped me increase my sales and grow my business online,” Rahul says, “A lot of customers are purchasing these combo packs and we are witnessing great traction from consumers.”
Also supporting a family of six – his parents, four elder sisters and his wife – Rahul says he has been able to achieve his goals of becoming a successful businessman. He says, “Much like any other person, I had always dreamt of building a house and owning a car of my own, and I have been able to fulfill my dreams through Flipkart Samarth.”
Boosting khadi sales
Another group that’s working with local artisans to promote authentic Indian handicrafts is the West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board (WBKVIB). Though the government body has been around for decades, it partnered with Flipkart as a seller in 2019 and has since been able to bring local Khadi products such as handmade rakhis, sarees, soaps, metal figurines, mats, and terracotta items to homes across the country.
With over one lakh artisans – most from Bardhaman in West Bengal – under their wing, WBKVIB provides funds and tools for these artisans to create these products and improve their livelihoods. The board has also registered 360 societies and Self Help Groups (SHG).
Like many other businesses, WBKVIB also took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. But thanks to its partnership with Flipkart it was able to compensate by listing their artisanal products on the e-commerce website, which also have a geographical index tag to ensure quality, authentic products to consumers.
Sumita Bagchi, Special Secretary and CEO, WBKVIB says, “Flipkart, we believe will help the local artisans become self-sufficient and promote their products to even the remotest part of the country. We are also driving awareness on how digitisation is important to shift from the limited reach of consumers within a certain area for the growth of such underserved communities.”
For Raksha Bandhan this year, the board has brought on more than 300 women artisans to make khadi rakhis. Thanks to marketing intel shared by Flipkart, the body is also selling rakhi combo packs with liquid jaggery, based on the concept of offering a traditional Bengali sweet when tying a rakhi, boosted by Flipkart’s express delivery of these products within a window of 48 hours. Sumita says, “There is huge potential for the art and craftsmanship of these communities and we wish to further expand their opportunities while contributing to the growth of the economy.”