India, a country of rich and diverse traditions, colors, fragrances, festivals, and languages. Today, attributable to the increasing handicrafts manufacturing and handicrafts exports, the Indian traditional handicrafts culture has reached every nook and corner of the planet. The legacy of Indian handicrafts culture promises everything – beauty, dignity, form, and elegance. The majestic appeal of the humanities and crafts of India lies in its exclusivity and mystical tone which leaves people frenzied. The sheer versatility of the varied metals and materials wont to create handicrafts and handcrafted gift items, like wood, stone, metal, grass, papier mache, glass, cane and bamboo, textiles, clay, terracotta, and ceramics, makes handcrafted items from India are truly unique.
Handicraft has always been an integral part of Indian life and culture. From the crude stone weapons of the prehistoric man and therefore the wheel to the ceramic handicraft items, Indians have constantly created magic with their art and talent and left the planet wanting more.
Ethnic, cultural, and spiritual multiplicity together with geological diversity has contributed to the amazing variety and richness of Indian handicraft traditions. Each Indian state has its own signature handicraft that has withstood the ravages of your time and technology, making Indian artists luminaries within the world of art and crafts. The cultural rhythm of India reverberates within the modest dwellings of the Indian artisans for whom handicrafts don’t seem to be just a vocation but also veneration.
Handicrafts market globally is quite 583 Billion USD while India constitutes only to a megre 3.80 Billion USD. The question is more around what’s missing?
Indian Government has been focussed on increasing the capacity, capabilities, and credit availability of artisans while also giving them market linkages but the livelihood challenge is still at large. The Indian startup ecosystem has largely treated this sector as an ancillary demand sector and hence there are niche players associating themselves with forwarding linkages and creating channels of penetration for artisans. While much has been done, India still lags behind to recognize handicrafts or handlooms as being part of their mainstream buying.
Handicrafts in India are so varied that a 1 size fits all approach of a technology-driven startup or a corporation doesn’t work well within the sector. Each subcategory has its own set of tools, machinery, raw materials, and partners. These often come through middlemen since the artisan’s exposure towards the supply within the market and price related to these supplies are limited.
Simply put what’s needed could be a platform which allows trust to grow, doesn’t ask the artisans, their suppliers or a bulk buyer to alter their behavior but merge its technology to cater to the work environment that exists and slowly make the user experience shift to lesser overhead setup like complete digital processing.
We spoke to the Founder and CEO of Bhasha: Life, Mayank Tiwari a NIFT Mumbai Gold Medalist. Bhasha: is a vernacular supply chain technology ecosystem for Handicrafts, Handlooms, and Agriculture.
Bhasha: currently works in 5 states and has been growing its supplier base by 40% Month on Month. Currently, Bhasha caters to retailers, designers and specialty stores through its two concepts Bhasha Buy and Bhasha Club.
Mayank told us they’re able to create an overall cost reduction within the Silk Category of roughly 19-22% out of which 8% is passed on to the retailers while rest is distributed across the supply chain. He also told us Bhasha: aims to empower 1 Crore Artisans, Weavers, and Farmers across the categories to become Micro-Entrepreneurs in the next 5 years.
We believe the long run of Rural India and its growth lies with tech-enabled startups like Bhasha: and that we wish they’re able to create change especially during these trying times when the orders are depleting, supply lines are disrupted and the whole industry is seeing a lot of migration. The need of this hour is empathy, compassion, and grit to build something which stands against all odds to preserve India’s traditions.