Being a diverse country, Art and culture has been an integral part of Indian history, culture and traditions as a means of effective communication for a very long time. During industrialisation, it was one of the major sources of income for many people who made art originally, crafting it with their own hands.
India is one of the largest producers of handicrafts in the world and is an important asset in representing and preserving our country’s rich heritage through these extraordinary skills of handmade and indegeneous art, while also being a major source of foreign and local earnings. These small scale industries such as handicrafts or cottage based industries are spread across the rural and the urban areas of our countries, involving an approximate of 6 million artisans rooted to work for their prime living. Yet they lack the significant exposure that’d shape and add to the economic and cultural value.
In the force of this, to let people discover the extravagant art of handicrafts, Kush Verma, the founder of this e-commerce platform came up with a startup idea of AuthIndia in 2015, which is a social platform providing an opportunity for artisans and craftsmen to present, and exhibit their handmade products to millions of people online.
It is an authentic space for Indian Handicrafts, Paintings, and handmade jewellery and other items made by the local artists to gain the deserving exposure, which not only is beneficial for the artisans and crafters but also add to the economy of the country. As these rich art, jewellery,clothing, ornaments and paintings depict the traditions and their own historical importance which is a huge attractive force for foreign trade, such platforms also act as a liberty to represent your specific geographical culture.
Different states of India showcase different talents and magnificent products that move on from generations, aiding in creating a livelihood which as Kush saw became the marginal industry that needed to be preserved and increased. Authindia was joined by founders Rajkamal and Saurabh Sharma who assisted in examining issues related to the drop-shipping model of e-commerce that the local artisans faced. With the view to fix such blockers and support local artisans and craftsmen, their platform caught the sight of local artists and approximately 200 people registered on their website to sell their products across 20+ categories around the country.
Lows and highs are bound to occur in a business venture and thus in 2017, with the introduction of GST(Goods and service tax) by the Indian government, it became hard for local art and craft vendors to understand and adapt to incurring changes and hence the revenue of Authindia, along with its members decreased. It wasn’t until the outbreak of Covid-19 in India that growth surfaced as the nations grew towards being digital, Authindia’s economy boosted, with now gaining a supportive community of 76,000+ people and more than 5 million impressions across their social media platforms.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s awareness programme ‘Vocal for Local’ in 2020 motivated people to support the local businesses, also aimed as a perk to the handicraft industry. His initiative to use Indian products and support goods handmade by the small local business owners created a sift to the success of this startup venture, which has also been recognised by the Startup India program showcasing more than 20,000 products through their website.
From a small website, to a platform with a community with millions of local artisans and craftsmen earning through their product’s exhibit, Authindia is a brilliant venture marketing a livelihood for people in urban markets globally.