Lokendra Singh Ranawat has pushed the make-in-India initiative in favour of the small artisans whose handcrafted furniture needs to find its place in the global market.
Lokendra believes in three things art, artisans and technology. A BTech from GSET, Jaipur, he was always interested in small towns and their economies. After starting his career in the software services industry, he realised that for the local economy to work, local artisans have to be supported, and hence founded Wooden Street. His sweet spot was in commercialising customised furniture through ecommerce. Focussed on design, the startup is bringing back life to a difficult category — truly a voice of the unchampioned.
Lokendra has been an ardent believer that because of COVID-19, our experience of living spaces can be enhanced with AR and VR. In one of his pieces on YourStory, he writes that to grasp the functionalities of a product, one needs more than just labelled images and descriptive videos. And he believes that this is exactly where progress can be made through innovation in Virtual Reality. According to him, technology and retail should blend for superior customer engagement and at the heart of it, all he wants is Make in India to be even more prominent and supported.
“India has historically been a hub of artistic crafts such as glass industry in Firozabad, carpet industry in Bhadohi, and furniture industry in Jodhpur. Many of these cities emerged in a growing India as manufacturers of quality products famed for their distinct appeal and exported throughout the world. But all this changed dramatically once the Chinese started dumping their products in the Indian market. While the tide of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ has been rising continuously, there are cases where things have gone beyond saving. Like weeds, the problem of Chinese imports and investments has cropped up everywhere, difficult to eliminate completely without harming the locals.”