Anuna.com Connecting Handicraft Artisans with Global Buyers
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Handicraft & Handloom crafts are part of India’s culture for centuries. Official estimates put the number of Handicraft artisans in India to the tune of around 7million, however, unofficially these estimates range up to 200 million. Despite being the second largest employment industry after agriculture in India, the handicraft sector is largely unorganized. Lack of technical know-how to directly connect with the digital economy & low market intelligence are some of the factors that increase the dependence of artisans, and thereby, their exploitations at the hands of local traders, master artisans & middlemen.
Traditionally, these artisans are organized formally or informally into groups and are paid meagre wages for their crafts on per diem basis or per unit produced. The government has been implementing many programs to organize such artisans into district level specialist clusters, to boost design innovations, availability of raw materials, and marketing connects through trade fairs etc. However, despite all these efforts, the artisans are still subjected to poverty and bulk of the profits are enjoyed by the middlemen, who outsource orders to them to craft. Most of the so-called handicraft focused neo-ecommerce brands have also adopted the same approach, whereby they buy from artisans, re-brand and sell their products as their own through online stores and keep most of the profits. Such a model is a disservice to not only the artisan community but also to the end buyers, who end up paying more without significantly impacting the lives of the artisans themselves.
To build capacity & increase financial inclusion at the bottom-of-pyramid, Anuna Education, has been working with the government and various handicraft clusters across India to upskill & train such artisans & farmers on digital technologies & make them self-reliant eCommerce entrepreneurs. The Company has also launched its stand-alone & state-of-the-art social impact marketplace, Anuna.com, that allows global buyers to buy directly from micro artisan enterprises, all the while keeping prices low, mediating & handholding on quality & timely deliveries to increase end buyer satisfaction, as well as, income generation for the artisan enterprises.
As part of this unique upskilling & long-term hand-holding program, Anuna not only trains artisans on digital technologies that help them setup their ecommerce enterprises, but also, helps them in forming their micro enterprises, cataloging & photographing their products, managing the domestic & international logistics, availing the necessary licenses & compliances to run their business successfully, while onboarding their products & enterprises on various ecommerce platforms including its own, Anuna.com. So far, the Company has trained & onboarded nearly 20,000 artisans resulting in some 1100 micro artisan enterprises belonging to over 200 clusters spread across 11 states & 42 districts, serving product categories ranging from lifestyle, beauty, sustainable living, organic wellness, home décor, jewelry, apparels, furniture, dinnerware, kitchenware etc.
Anuna has also recently launched an eLearning version of its training program backed by government certification in ecommerce entrepreneurship, that it is offering for a very nominal fee through its website. The program lets any artisans, even skilled housewives looking to expand their income post the pandemic to study online at their own pace and also opt for extended handholding which results in establishment of their online enterprise, onboarding & sales.
At the other end of the spectrum, Anuna.com, provides exceptional value to global B2B & B2C buyers of handicrafts by not only providing well-made products at very reasonable prices directly from artisans & farmers, but also, allowing buyers to buy in retail, in bulk or to customize any product as per their own specification & design. Anuna.com also builds-in additional level of trust & customer satisfaction by ensuring product quality and providing just-in-time shipping. For its B2B clients that mostly include global sustainable brands & designers, Anuna.com, also provides dedicated account managers to process bulk or custom orders, while ensuring design confidentiality, necessary certification & licenses and the ability to buy from multiple artisans and club the orders under a single shipment that are checked for quality & customer requirements before being shipped. The Company also maintains its warehouse based fulfillment centers that stock top-selling products in the US, EU & Australia.
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.