Etsy, an American e-commerce firm for handmade or vintage items has partnered with the North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation (NEHHDC), to support small sellers, weavers and artisans by providing them with market access and enablement support.
As a part of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the company will work with the NEHHDC to develop enablement programs specifically designed for artisans from the North East, including modules on online selling and entrepreneurship, and the opportunity to access a wider market for their products.
The idea would be to equip artisans, creators and small entrepreneurs in the Indian handicrafts sector with important tools and resources to start and manage online businesses. The company said it will provide digital enablement services to these sellers and conduct training workshops to familiarise them with their brand and how to sell on the marketplace.
Brigadier Rajiv Kumar Singh (retd), managing director, NEHHDC said, “It’s a key focus for us to promote the indigenous crafts of the North East region and create economic opportunities for craftspeople. There are more than 21 lakh weavers and 14.5 lakh artisans in the region, but the right kind of market linkage has been missing. This association can be a gamechanger for our artisans and ensure that they are able to explore entrepreneurship on their own terms and reach both domestic and global buyers.”
Ross LaJeunesse, VP, public policy and advocacy, Etsy, said, “Etsy’s vision across the world is to ‘Keep Commerce Human’, and we are committed to using the power of our business and our platform to empower small sellers and entrepreneurs – knowing that by doing so, we in turn empower and improve communities. There is global appreciation for ‘Made in India’ products and we want to enable artisans and craftspeople from the all the states of the North East to be a part of our community of 5.5 million sellers and use our platform to showcase the intricacy, the beauty, and the quality of their art to audiences – and buyers – across the world.“
This partnership will help indigenous products from the area (from categories like textiles, cane and bamboo products, accessories and more) become available online for millions of buyers on the Etsy platform. Artisans from all eight North Eastern states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura will be onboarded onto Etsy. They will receive a fixed amount of free ad credits as a part of this programme.
According to analysis website Statista, the market value of the e-commerce industry in India was approximately $22 billion dollars in 2018. This number was estimated to reach $200 billion by 2027.