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BW Businessworld

Making Of A Craft Ecosystem

The Indian handicrafts industry is poised to grow from $38 billion to $60 billion by 2024, creating a huge opportunity for the sector.

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India’s local handicrafts and craftsmen have received traction due to the government’s Make in India scheme. However, the problem that persisted long enough was the middle men which led to huge costs for the craftsmen. Iti Tyagi, Founder of Craft Village by ZEPHYR, through her venture has solved this problem helping the craft community get direct market exposure. Back in 2015, Tyagi was discouraged by people, including her own parents, as innovation in social sector is considered a dead end.  But, Tyagi’s conviction to do something substantial paved her way to manifold growth today. She adds, “Starting a completely new trend of ‘Craft Training & Promotion’ in the country, I am glad that today everyone’s trying to follow that.” 

Crafts Village being a social venture not only provides a great market potential to local craftsmen but also creates a direct interface between modern consumers, industry and crafts patrons, eliminating the middle-men. The Indian handicrafts industry is poised to grow from $38 billion to $60 billion by 2024, creating a huge opportunity for the sector.

Tyagi believes firmly that her venture has added a great deal to the travel and tourism industry through ‘Craft Tourism’ approach. Modern consumers find craft products as any other product without knowing its value and hardwork craftsperson go through without any affinity to basic things like quality material, communication, tools for branding, packaging or opportunities to work on large scale projects. “We at Crafts Village provide employment, trainings and employment along with better value to the rural artisans and craftsperson engaged in the sector,” says Tyagi.   

The company has raised capital through banks and financial institutions. However, in FY 2018-19, Craft Village’s revenue was Rs 2.67 crores and Net Profit was Rs 48.30 lakhs with an average growth in the last years at 70-75 per cent. Tyagi informs that the venture is in the phase of incubation and market testing, perhaps its next leap would be to scale the business to the revenue of Rs 100 crores. 

Kickstarting few initiatives to promote and empower craftsperson, she says, “I have innovated a range of initiatives such as International Craft Day to develop the comprehensive policy for Craft Sector, International Craft Awards to recognise people and organisations working for Craft Sector and India Craft Week to build an interface between craftsperson, brands, retailers, industry and consumers for economic gain.”

Tyagi emphasised, “While the world’s most ancient countries have retained their crafts by building an ecosystem, India being an ancient culture hasn’t been able to create its own unique model for the world to emulate. A comprehensive craft ecosystem shall bring all the stakeholders together to work, share, grow and contribute to the crafts of India.”    

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