Ecommerce giant Amazon India waived 100% SoA (Selling on Amazon) fee for 10 weeks for artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs affected by the economic crisis caused by Covid-19. The company has taken this step as a part of its new initiative Stand for Handmade which aims to helps over 10 lakh entrepreneurs, more than 8 lakh artisans and weavers from their Amazon Karigar Program and over 2.8 lakh women entrepreneurs from Amazon Saheli program.
“There are multiple things that have impacted all businesses. For example, during covid time frame, suppliers started asking for money upfront and therefore merchant capital became more critical in just running the business. The logistics of doing business offline got completely impacted. For Karigars and weavers, a lot of the business we used to do was dependent on the offline haats and since those haats were not organised and prepared for the supply chain disruption, there was no way for them to bring products to customers,” Pranav Bhasin, Head – MSME Empowerment & Seller Experience, Amazon India said in a report.
The Stand for Handmade project aims to create customer demand for the locally crafted, handmade products from Karigar and Saheli sellers. The platform displays products from all across India giving buyers a chance to explore several markets and styles. In addition to traditional handicrafts and handlooms, it also displays stories of craftsman and its works to give a personal touch.
Gopal Pillai, Vice President, Seller Services at Amazon India stated, “The artisan & weaver community and women entrepreneurs have been amongst the most impacted by COVID-19. The initiative will help generate demand for their products online while helping them with working capital needs as they look to rebound from the economic disruption caused by this unprecedented pandemic.”
The company has also partnered with 22 Government Emporiums and 5 government bodies to enhance market connectivity. Karigar showcases over 60,000 products, including 270+ unique arts and crafts from over 20 states. The firm has on-boarded Himadri Emporium (Uttarakhand Handloom & Handicraft Development Council) and Shabari Chhattisgarh State Emporium with the aim to help over 10,000 artisans and weavers associated with them.