BENGALURU: Over the last few years, big retail has embraced the online marketplace. Now, craftspeople are keen to join in and boost their prospects.
Some craftspeople say they prefer smaller online players as they offer better terms than the e-tail giants. Praveen Nayak, a representative of Kushala Kala Kendra in Sandur, Ballari district, says his group went online three months ago. “We prepare 80 items, such as Lambani handicrafts and embroidery items for interior designing,” he explains.
Flipkart was among the companies that had approached the group. “But they wanted us to transport our goods to Bengaluru. Since that was difficult, we decided to go with another company called GoCoop,” he says.
Options are limited for artisans, says Panduranga Hooti of Chamundi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society in Kamatagi, Bagalkot district. “For three years, we had been planning to go online, but with little success. We have now decided to tie up with GoCoop,” he says.
Taking handloom exhibits around the country was time-consuming, and cost a lot of money. The group says it now receives a steady stream of orders online.
Siva Devireddy, CEO, GoCoop, believes artisans and manufacturers of crafts items prefer friendlier online players. “They would rather join hands with groups like us than with big e-commerce firms,” he says.
He describes GoCoop as a ‘social enterprise’ involving 40 craft clusters, networking about 250 co-operatives spread across eight states.