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5 brands that bring Indian Handicrafts & creates livelihood for Rural Artisans

Indian HandicraftsCredit: Yeh Hai India

Every state and region in India has its own unique art and skills, and this is deeply embedded in our culture. While, there has been a growing demand for handicraft products both in domestic and international markets, most of the artisans live in rural areas and are unable to cash in on the opportunity. However, with the Make in India initiative, things are taking a good shape and empowering Indian artisans, weavers, and craftsmen.

Here is the list of 5 Indian brands that have also taken a step forward to utilise the creative minds, and provide them with employment opportunities:

  • Tjori

36-year-old Mansi Gupta, born out of love for traditional handicrafts and to cater to the global demand for Indian handcrafted products she started Tjori in 2013 in New Delhi.

Mansi recalls, “While I was studying at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, I saw a huge demand for Indian handicrafts abroad. However, I couldn’t find any Indian brand fulfilling that need. There was no brand to drive the Indian audience there. Hence, I thought of starting something in this niche,”

Tjori is a multi-category brand that sells apparel, wellness, home, and mother and child products. Over 500 artisans and craftsmen are contributing to Tjori’s collection today, The company was started with Rs 10 lakh investment from Mansi’s personal savings, and now clocks an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore. At present, Tjori caters to 195 countries through digital marketing and its website.

  • Ramnarayan Blue Art Pottery

The bootstrapped company Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries was started in 1980, run by Ramnarayan Prajapat, is a second-generation business, which has spread its ventures not only in India but also overseas. It is a traditional craftwork from Jaipur, and Kot Jewar is its production hub.

Vimal Prajapat says, “My family was very poor. My grandfather was a farmer but couldn’t help to feed the family, and so my father started this pottery work. He went to Jodhpur to learn about the blue art pottery and took training.”

Today, it has nearly 250 rural artisans producing these items, and has created employment opportunities for women as well. It is also looking to generate employment for the people of Kot Jewar and neighbouring villages and provide them with a source of income. The venture has participated in various MSME training programmes in recent years.

At present, Ramnarayan Blue Art Potteries exports its products to New York, Canada, California, and recently received an order worth Rs 2 crore from the Netherlands.

  • Triveni Chikan Arts

As we all know that Lucknow is known for its world-famous Chikan embroidery that dates back to the Mughals. It is no surprise then that there are many businesses that are thriving on this ancient craft-form.

Triveni Chikan Arts is one such business which was started by Nitesh Agarwal. The company manufactures and exports hand embroidered Chikankari apparel for both men and women. The business was started with an initial investment of Rs 13,000, and now has an annual turnover of around Rs 3 crore.

The team has 15 people working directly, which includes four of his family members. Other than this, there are around 200 women and a few men indirectly working with them. These artisans do hand-embroidery work, sew handmade laces, stitch buttons, do applique and katia-zaali work, and also specialise in different kinds of embroideries.

Triveni Chikan Arts currently caters to both domestic and international markets. It exports its products to overseas markets like Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma, the US, the UK, and others.

  • Ethnic Craft

Rajan Sodhi, started collecting antiques, chandeliers, clocks, pocket watches, and artefacts from the havelis of Rajasthan. What began as a hobby eventually turned his side to entrepreneurship.

He launched Ethnic Kraft along with his wife Reena Sodhi, who is an interior designer, in New Delhi in 1992. The business was bootstrapped with Rs 5 lakh, and has a retail store in New Delhi at present. From sofa and dining sets to beautifully carved jharokhas (windows) and Indian swings, the company manufactures and exports traditional hand-carved teakwood Rajasthani furniture.

Rajan says, “I was always into art and culture, and when I saw such beautiful work in Rajasthan, I couldn’t resist myself and started the business to take this beauty across the world.”

“We either directly or indirectly employ about 80 skilled craftsmen in our operations and provide them with the raw materials required for manufacturing products,” he added.

The company currently exports to countries like the US, the UK, Bulgaria, Australia, Kenya, the Middle East, etc.

  • eCraft India

Rajasthani handicrafts always mesmerised Rahul Jain, who hails from Jaipur. Whether it is fascinating Katputli puppets, the embellished Mochdi footwear, or the colourful bangles, Rajasthan handicrafts are sought after across the world.

31-year-old Rahul says,“I know how much a piece of Rajasthani handicraft costs. The selling price of the item was four times higher than the actual cost, and I was shocked to see there was no predefined market rate for these handicrafts.”

This experience spurred Rahul to open his own ecommerce company a year later to collaborate with artisans and craftsmen to sell affordable products by cutting out the middlemen. In 2014, Rahul along with Ankit Agarwal and Pawan Goyal founded eCraftIndia.com with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 20,000, from home decor to furnishings, furniture, paintings, kitchenware, and gifts, the portal houses over 8,000 unique products, eCraftIndia.com is currently clocking Rs 12 crore in turnover.

“Our burning desire is to create a global reach for Indian art and handicrafts as we contribute towards skill development and encourage these craftsmen. Therefore, in a quest to bring to the fore these hidden jewels from rural villages and small towns across the country, we built eCraftIndia,” Rahul says.

These brands have taken great initiative, which not only gives them business but rural handicrafts will also get the benefit from it.

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By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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