The pandemic lockdown dealt a severe blow to Pramod Kumawat's handicrafts business, leaving his family in despair as demand all but disappeared. However, driven by unwavering determination, Pramod delved into the world of e-commerce and became a part of the Flipkart Samarth program. Now, with a team of skilled artisans, they manufacture 3,000 frames daily, catering to both offline and online customers. Pramod's embrace of e-commerce not only revitalized their business but also empowered his team, creating a legacy rooted in adaptability and resilience. Read his inspiring story.
In this story: A small business leverages e-commerce via Flipkart Samarth to bounce back from the pandemic lull.
In the bustling city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, where art and culture blend harmoniously, there is a story interwoven with passion, determination, and the pursuit of dreams. At the heart of this tale stands a young entrepreneur, Pramod Kumawat, whose journey embodies the essence of resilience and the power of adaptation.
Pramod comes from a close-knit family – his parents and an elder brother, who works as a software engineer. After completing a BCom degree, Pramod had plans to pursue his Masters, but he yearned for a different path. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps of entrepreneurship and make a name for himself.
“My father has been successfully running a handicrafts business for 25 years, specializing in beautifully handcrafted decorative articles. We used to supply our products to wholesalers and also have a local shop serving tourists and locals,” says Pramod.
Life was going smoothly for the Kumawat family until the sudden arrival of the pandemic lockdown. “The world changed, and our once busy market became empty. The pandemic hit us hard, leaving us feeling hopeless as demand for our products vanished, and our business struggled,” adds Pramod.
After six months of struggle, when they finally managed to reopen their shop, they realized that it was challenging to revive their business. The market dynamics had changed, and they needed a fresh approach to adapt to the new normal. It was during this time that Pramod stumbled upon the idea of exploring e-commerce. In December 2020, Pramod onboarded Stuthi Arts on Flipkart via the Flipkart Samarth program.
Flipkart Samarth is a program introduced by Flipkart in 2019 to empower and uplift artisans, weavers, craftspersons, micro-entrepreneurs and more across India. It aims to promote inclusive growth by providing these individuals with a platform to display and sell their unique products to a pan-India audience. With a significant impact on over 1.5 million livelihoods, the program offers a range of advantages. It assists sellers in joining the platform, provides support for cataloging and imparts training on packaging and shipping. By doing so, Flipkart Samarth enables these sellers to actively participate in the digital marketplace.
With valuable insights from the Flipkart account manager, and determined to turn their fortunes around, Pramod, along with his parents, decided to start making handmade photo frames to sell online.
“Today, by God’s grace, we have grown so much. We have a team of 15 skilled workers with us and our own manufacturing unit with better equipment to enhance productivity. And I have honed my expertise in online sales,” says Pramod.
Each photo frame they produce is a result of meticulous craftsmanship. Today, the team creates around 3,000 frames every day which are sold both offline via their store as well as online. The popularity of their frames on Flipkart soared, with over a hundred units being sold daily.
“All our raw material is sourced from within India. At our manufacturing unit, we utilize our equipment to cut wood to the desired dimensions and then sand it for a smooth finish. The glass components are meticulously cut by hand by our dedicated craftspersons. While sourcing the materials can be time-consuming, the actual production process of the final product typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes.”
Pramod’s decision to chart his own path paid off. He transformed his family’s business, empowered his team, and created a legacy of his own. His story is an excellent example of how resilience, innovation, and the power of e-commerce can breathe new life into small businesses.
“We are eagerly waiting for this year’s Big Billion Days sale,” says Pramod. “We have hopes of achieving double the growth from last year’s BBD. We’ve completed all our preparations and now, it’s time to kick off the sale!”