Launched in July 2019 with the ambitious goal of uplifting and embracing India’s artisans, weavers and micro-enterprises into the e-commerce fold, Flipkart Samarth has brought thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs access to a pan-India market. Today, the program supports and benefits over 10 lakh livelihoods and counting across the country. Take a deeper look at what the program is all about through the inspiring stories of our partners.
India’s millions of artisans, weavers, and micro-entrepreneurs form a big part of the country’s economy. Flipkart’s Samarth program, launched in 2019 with the vision of uplifting the underserved communities that make up this group, is now two years into its momentous journey. Along the way, Flipkart has signed MoUs with multiple state governments and livelihood missions to bring these entrepreneurs into the e-commerce world. Today, the program supports over 10 lakh livelihoods and counting across the country.
A diverse group, their ambitions reflect their unique socio-economic backgrounds. For some of them, being a Samarth partner is all about carrying on family traditions that are hundreds of years old. For many, it’s about providing a livelihood for themselves, their families and those who are part of their communities. But no matter how you look at it, their indomitable entrepreneurial spirit is fuelled by a will to succeed in the era of e-commerce!
As we gear up to celebrate the nation’s rich cultural heritage by showcasing products crafted by artisans, weavers, people with disabilities and rural and urban women working in self-help groups on Flipkart’s first-ever dedicated Flipkart Samarth sale event – ‘Crafted by Bharat’, to be held on January 26, 2022, here are some incredible stories from our partners from across India.
Canvas of change
This unique village near Puri, Odisha, is home to generations of traditional artist families. For years, they’ve depended on tourists who buy their art. When the pandemic hit, the tourists trickled to a stop, as did their means of earning. Through a partnership between the Government of Odisha and Flipkart Samarth, they’re now looking to customers across the country to support their work and are optimistic that e-commerce will lead them to a post-pandemic business revival.
Watch this video from the picturesque heritage village of Raghurajpur, where almost everyone’s an artist.
Click here to shop for products and support the artists.
Art and ability
Vineet Saraiwala is not your typical entrepreneur. An IIM-Bangalore alumnus, he’s run seven half marathons, cycled 5,000 km across India, and founded Atypical Advantage — India’s largest inclusive platform to generate economic livelihood for people with disabilities. He’s also a person with a visual disability.
Much like the tenet he’s lived his life by, he believes that it’s our abilities that matter. Watch how Vineet, along with Flipkart Samarth, is working to ensure that every artist with disability gets the opportunity they truly deserve.
Click here to support the artists on the Flipkart app.
True to tradition
For many in Lucknow and its nearby villages, Meghdoot Herbal is an institution in itself. Founded in 1986, the rural workforce has been at the heart of this small business, and it has stood strong on its promise of creating local opportunities ever since.
When the pandemic threatened to undo 3 generations of work, the traditional family business turned to e-commerce. Watch how the company’s strong value system, coupled with business insights from Flipkart, enabled them to not only continue as a lifeline, but also reach millions across India in their time of need.
A hometown hero
In Virpur, near Rajkot, Dhaval Patel is nothing short of a hometown hero. Keen to make a mark in Gujarat’s famed business community, Dhaval joined Flipkart as a #FlipkartSamarth partner. Three years on, his company Navrang Handicraft has set up its own facility in the town, creating jobs for local artisans, especially women. “Today, we get orders from villages and cities we had not even heard of,” he says. His story is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Vibrant Gujarat.
Dare, dream, do
When he was in Class 9, Rahul Kumawat began working after school hours to support his father, a 2-wheeler mechanic. Every day since then, he’s dreamed of providing a better life for his family. When he became a Flipkart seller, he saw this dream come to life. Today, an entrepreneur in his own right, he supports local artisans through his business, and his parents couldn’t be more proud of his success. Watch the Jaipur-based entrepreneur’s remarkable story.
Weaving prosperity in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
If there’s anything that can rival the natural beauty of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, it is the intricacy of the traditional woollen handicrafts that the region is famous for. Nestled away in the rolling hills of this beautiful town, three incredible women artisans welcomed us into their workspace and told us about how the Flipkart Samarth program, in collaboration with the National Urban Livelihoods Mission, has opened windows of opportunity, boosted their craft and income, and given them access to a customer base they never imagined they’d reach.
Preserving traditions in Andhra Pradesh
From the fine weaves of Mangalgiri cotton to the intricate Jamdani sarees, Andhra Pradesh has a rich handloom history, preserved by generations of resilient weaver communities. In late 2020, the state’s apex body for weaver societies, APCO, partnered with Flipkart Samarth.
Through e-commerce, the weavers have seen their incomes multiply, witnessing sales even during the pandemic. Meet the state’s skilled weavers who are charting new paths for a profession that’s rooted in tradition.
Hope and revival in Punjab
“We realized during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns that things had changed permanently. The world had shifted online, but these women artisans had not,” says Sangeeta Mehra, Deputy General Manager at NABARD, Punjab. “That’s when we reached out to Flipkart.”
When the pandemic led to a near-complete halt in sales and incomes of Punjab’s women artisans, the self-help groups they belonged to turned to e-commerce. With training, multiple benefits, and an introduction to the world of online business, the women are optimistic that their handmade and original designs will receive the recognition they deserve and lead to better lives and days ahead. Read their stories.
India’s artisans are dreaming big!
From Warangal, Telangana, to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, lakhs of artisans have been working through generations to create and preserve India’s complex and centuries-old artforms. The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) enables these artisans and urban poor women in this mission by helping them gain access to emerging market opportunities. In January 2020, NULM joined hands with Flipkart to further empower skilled workers and artisans by bringing them into the e-commerce fold.
Read about the intricate artforms, the people who make them, and ways to support these artisans.
The vibrant art heritage of Tribes India
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), administered by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, was established in 1987 to promote tribal art and craft and handlooms. Responsible for promoting and marketing products made by tribal craftsmen across the country, it impacts close to 3,50,000 tribal people in India. The apex body markets its range of exclusive handlooms and handicrafts under the Tribes India brand.
In 2020, Tribes India partnered with Flipkart Samarth to bring these products on an online platform, giving the art and craft, steeped in tradition, a modern market of over 350 million customers across India.
Simple yet meaningful, rustic yet rich — read about the indigenous and tribal art forms that are an important part of India’s vibrant art heritage, and the artisans behind them.
A centuries-old tradition in Gujarat
Gujarat’s rich tradition of arts and crafts means that its artisans are in a league of their own when it comes to the intricacy and craftsmanship of their products. The many artisanal communities of Gujarat are masterful practitioners of embroidery, cloth printing, weaving, pottery, tribal art, beadwork and more.
The partnership between Flipkart and Garvi Gurjari has brought scores of Gujarat’s artisans into the e-commerce fold, helping them gain access to a pan-India market. Take a closer look at their products, awe-inspiring in their intricacy and craftsmanship.
How Sadik Hussain found his comfort zone with Flipkart Samarth
A seller, a veteran of the mattress industry, and a person with disabilities, Sadik Hussain watched his peers move forward and build their businesses and couldn’t wait to do the same. Having amassed over 18 years of experience, Sadik was looking for the right outlet to channel his know-how and craftsmanship when his son introduced him to Flipkart Samarth. The rest, as they say, is history!
These Bengaluru eco-warriors are doing sustainability right!
Appalled by the lack of infrastructure for waste management in their neighborhood, Smita Kulkarni and Malini Parmar, two typical middle class working women from India’s IT capital decided to turn entrepreneurs to provide easy sustainability solutions to ordinary people. Five years later, their company, StoneSoup, manufactures everything from compost kits to menstrual cups, working in collaboration with over 20 women’s self help groups!
This airline pilot is helping women & children find their wings
Captain Indraani Singh is a maverick and changemaker. The first-ever woman in Asia to fly the Airbus 320 and the world’s first woman commander on the wide-bodied AIRBUS 300, she is already a highly successful aviator. In addition, she is also a social entrepreneur and Flipkart Samarth partner who is committed to uplifting underserved communities. Read more about her company — Indha Crafts — and the work it does.
Komal Prasad Paul’s story is a testament to the healing power of art
In December 2017, while he was working as a medical representative in Barasat near Kolkata, Komal Prasad Paul, then a medical representative, met with a road accident that left him without his right arm. While in the hospital, drawing and painting helped him rebuild his confidence and strengthened his spirit. After he was discharged, Komal set off on a highly successful career as a Flipkart Samarth partner!
This 22-year-old textile entrepreneur has the world at his feet!
Cuttack-based Flipkart seller Chitrangan Pal may only be 22 years old, but he has achieved more than your average college-age youngster. With a maturity that belies his years, he has led an entire community of weavers boldly into the era of e-commerce by embracing online selling. In the process, he has kept alive his family’s tradition of crafting exquisite Sambalpuri cotton sarees.
India’s traditional artisans welcome a brighter future with Flipkart Samarth
After agriculture, the handicrafts sector forms the second-largest source of employment in India. For a sector that is the main source of livelihood for non-agrarian rural communities, the lack of a pan-India market and the ubiquity of middlemen has proved to be a drain on income. However, with the introduction of Flipkart Samarth, many of India’s traditional artisans are taking charge of their destiny!
How the Flipkart Samarth program is helping create a self-sufficient India
In 2020, on the first anniversary of the launch of Flipkart’s Samarth program, we talked to Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at the Flipkart Group, about the impact the program has had so far. He also reiterated the vision behind Flipkart Samarth and how it ties in with the idea of an atmanirbhar India.
Travel across India, guided by our diverse group of sellers
Samarth supports over 700,000 livelihoods across the country. Our community of artisans, weavers and small scale entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of India’s economy. From Kashmir to Karnataka, our sellers are all united by their passion for business, a will to succeed and dedication to their craft. Explore our seller map to get a sense of the true length and breadth of the Samarth story.