How Craftezy Is Helping India's Handicraft Industry Increase Its Share In Global Markets
How Craftezy Is Helping India's Handicraft Industry Increase Its Share In Global Markets

India’s handicraft industry, which is the country's second-largest employment generator, only has a 0.5 percent market share in the global market. Even though about 67,000 Indian exporters are in the business of promoting regional art and craftsmanship in the domestic and global markets. This suggests a need for a major change in business models and increased commitment towards increasing global presence. 

Efforts in the direction are being made by Ahmedabad-based B2B handicraft marketplace Craftezy. The company works on a commission-based model, which allows suppliers to join with no added cost. (In a commission model, a user is charged a fee for each transaction.) The company provides access and understands buyers' requirements in detail then finds suitable suppliers, negotiates with them, and offers final quotations to save all this time for them and they can sit back and relax. 

Founded in 2020, the company has been garnering decent results over the past two months and processed a GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) of Rs 70 lakhs. 

“The idea is very simple: we want the handicraft industry to get its fair share in the global markets. We are just working towards increasing its share while improving the livelihoods for everyone attached to this industry,” said Meet Shah, Founder, Craftezy. “The primary differentiation is that we care about this industry as a whole and not only the sellers and buyers on our platform.”

Industry-Specific Solutions

In fact, to be successful in its endeavors, the company has been extensively researching and talking with industry players over the past two years to figure out the roots of this industry and improve upon it. The company has thus built a niche marketplace that focuses only on one industry and not any other verticals. 

Generally speaking, there are various ways to source your products: attending trade shows, referrals, web research, dealing with sales reps, or negotiating terms with multiple suppliers. Ideally, one can hire extra staff members to help, which will turn out to be an expensive solution.

Craftezy provides you with convenient access to multiple suppliers and thousands of products to choose from, all in one place. “This puts us in a unique place that helps us provide tailor-made solutions for the Handicraft industry,” Shah added. 

Also, to increase the global presence and stay relevant in these changing times, technology adoption has become mandatory. Likewise, Craftezy is providing a virtual trade show through their platform where buyers and sellers can meet, check out products, compare options, get quotes and make a deal. Also, that happens as per their convenience, the platform handles everything from product discovery to sourcing to negotiations to quality checks, the company stated. 

The company also partners with 3rd party companies to provide better rates at scale without taking any commissions or referrals from these channels. The company also takes the help of its partners for handling and fulfilling orders. The revenue channels are the same for both domestic and international - commission-based. 

Understanding The Demand And Industry

If we look at globally, the handicrafts market stood at $ 647.57 billion in 2020, with the Indian handicrafts market alone contributing to $100 billion worldwide, which shows the potential of the market. Particularly, the demand largely exists for categories from home décor to fashion accessories to handmade toys. $1,200 billion is the projected market potential by 2026. 

The domestic handicrafts industry is fragmented with more than seven million regional artisans and 67,000 export houses. The top ten destinations where Indian handicrafts are exported are Germany, France, the UK, the UAE, the US, the UK, Latin American countries (LAC), Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia.

Some of India's other top handicraft marketplaces are Esty, AuthIndia, Craftvilla, and The Indian Craft House. E-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart also provide the Indian artisans with an opportunity to showcase on their online platforms. Moreover, given the government's push for indigenous products, the GOI increased incentive rates under the merchandise export from India scheme (MEIS) to 7 percent from 5 percent for handicraft items which will help exporters to recover the input costs involved in the production of handicrafts and will lead to competitive pricing and boost export, as per an analysis by IBEF. 

Company's Future Plans

Looking back, Craftezy’s journey over the years has not been straightforward given the need to 'educate people' on how differently the company is useful, the company stated. 

The company is not focusing on funding for now as they believe they still need to prove themselves first and get the initial ball rolling. 

Shah said, "We understand that funding would be significant for our growth, but for the next 12 months, our only focus is to get good traction with our MVP, get enough suppliers on board and then get the fuel we will need." 

Given the rising demand for swadeshi products in the last couple of years coupled with the macroscopic factors aiding in the direction, the sector is expected to see massive growth in the years ahead. 

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