By Prerna M
Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Amazon India on Wednesday announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council of Handicrafts Development Corporations (COHANDS), the apex body of 30 central/state government handicrafts and handloom development corporations to support the growth of over 50,000 artisans and weavers associated with over 100 craft clusters. Amazon said the collaboration, under its Karigar programme, will also benefit 55 artisanal clusters funded by the MSME Ministry’s Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI).
Sellers joining the Amazon Karigar programme through this association will be eligible for benefits including reduced referral fees, training support for shipping and delivery of products, imaging and marketing, technical know-how, and business and sales.
“In line with our commitment to digitize 10 million SMBs by 2025, we’re excited to ink this MoU with COHANDS and bring these artisans and weavers under the e-commerce fold. In addition to accelerating the growth of artisans and weavers, the Karigar Program is driven by the intent to expand product selection by bringing in local art forms to make Amazon.in marketplace selection truly representative of India’s rich culture,” said Sumit Sahay, Director, Selling Partner Services, Amazon India.
Amazon said it has onboarded more than 4500 sellers including master weavers, co-operatives, artisans, brands and various bodies to sell online since the launch of Karigar programme in 2017. According to the company, it has partnered with over 30 government emporiums and 5 government bodies to showcase authentic crafts to customers and increase market connectivity. Currently, Karigar programme showcases over 2 lakhs products, including more than 470 unique arts and crafts.
Amazon’s competitor Flipkart also runs a similar programme Flipkart Samarth for artisans and small businesses. In July, the company had partnered with the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council (HCSSC) to support Indian artisans, weavers and handicraft makers by providing them market access, training and incubation support under the programme. Last week, Flipkart had signed an MoU with the District Administration of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh as well to enable national market access for artisans, and weavers of Varanasi under the Samarth programme.