Kashmiri artisans to set up store on Flipkart marketplace as e-commerce giant signs MoU with J&K govt

GK Photo

Flipkart has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to promote the local arts, crafts, and handloom sectors by bringing them into the e-commerce fold.

The MoU was signed through a virtual ceremony between Hashmat Ali Yatoo, Managing Director J&K Handlooms, and Handicraft Corporation and Rajneesh Kumar Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Flipkart group in presence of Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, UT of J&K, said a statement.

The virtual event was also attended by artisans and weavers from the UT of J&K who are looking forward to benefiting from e-commerce as part of this initiative.

The partnership with Jammu & Kashmir Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation under the Flipkart Samarth program will enable J&K’s local artisans, weavers, and craftsmen to showcase their hallmark products to millions of customers across the country. Both the parties will focus on creating avenues to increase business and trade inclusion opportunities for these underserved segments of the society, thereby adding further thrust to Made in India efforts, read the statement.

As part of this MoU, Flipkart will onboard local artisans and weavers in the Union Territory to promote the best of Jammu & Kashmir’s local handicraft and handloom products, besides individual master artisans and weavers associated with the local government. Through the initiative, Flipkart Samarth is looking at enabling employment opportunities for the handlooms and handicraft sectors and help uplift the economic conditions of this fraternity.

Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, UT of J&K said, “It is a historical day today for the artisans and weavers, of J&K as we will progress with this partnership that will not just give a big boost to the rural economy but also promote the versatile handicrafts and handlooms of J&K which are famous worldwide and to a pan-India market.”

Commenting on the MoU, Hashmat Ali Yauto (KAS) Managing Director, J&K Handloom & Handicrafts Corporation, said, “Jammu and Kashmir handloom and handicrafts corporation is delighted to enter into an MoU with flipkart India that will open vast business prospects for the world-famous artifacts of skilled artisans, craftsmen and women of the UT of J&K. This will benefit lacs of artisans, weavers and will in turn help in strengthening the Handicraft and handloom industry and economy of the UT to a greater extent.”

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group further said, “We are excited to join hands with the J&K handloom and handicrafts corporation to bring the local heritage of Jammu & Kashmir on our platform. The crafts and handlooms of the Union Territory have gathered worldwide recognition. Through this partnership, e-commerce will function as an enabler to not only provide nation-wide access to the artisans and weavers community but will also catalyze local economic activity. This MoU will enable thousands of artisans to reap the benefits of e-commerce and scale up their business.”

E-commerce, especially in the last six months has stepped up to be the preferred channel connecting consumers and local MSMEs. Today, Flipkart has a vast seller base and is working with 85,000 sellers and micro businesses in north India alone to boost their growth and prepare them for the upcoming festive season, read the statement.

Further, Flipkart Samarth, which recently completed one year, has also strengthened its benefits, including a commission waiver for the first six months. These benefits will give the newly on boarded artisans, weavers, and craftsmen greater scope to grow their business online. Flipkart Samarth today supports the livelihood of more than 6,50,000 artisans, weavers, and micro-enterprises across India. It works closely with reputed NGOs, Government bodies, and livelihood missions to reach a large number of rural entrepreneurs, with a special focus on women-led enterprises, differently-abled entrepreneurs, artisans, and weavers, who often face obstacles such as lack of access to working capital, poor infrastructure, and inadequate training.

Flipkart has assessed the pain points and aspirations of these groups and designed Flipkart Samarth to address their problems and make it easier for them to list and sell online.