YOOF NOVEMBER 2021

Page 36

Insights into India’s Handicrafts Market - An Interview with Mr Kailash Gajara The YOOF team approached Mr. Kailash Tulsi Gajaria, the Founder & CEO of Megastores.com, which has its headquarters in Mumbai, India. Megastores.com is an online social marketplace for handicrafts that was founded in the year 2018. It is a social platform where customers can shop till they drop with plenty of options available at hand. From jewelry to footwear and from home decor to kitchenware, everything that is handmade can be found here. The interesting thing about Megastores is that artisans and craftsmen can directly sell their authentic handmade products to the customers. This has primarily encouraged and empowered both the customers as well as the producers.

Q1

We are privileged to have Mr. Kailash’s suggestions and ideas.

How did you nurture the concept of developing your business? When we think of handicrafts or handlooms, we think of “rural” or “villages”. E.g. Kutch is the biggest district of India with a 45K sq. km area having diverse cultures and traditions. Being from Kutch, I have seen the craft since childhood and its beauty is amazing. Most of the artisans don’t get decent money for their hard work and they lose their identity. Even after the exponential growth of Indian handicraft exports, there is no improvement in the artisan’s standard of living. Even the customers find it difficult to buy authentic handmade products and end up paying a high price and sometimes being duped by the traders. Handloom is the 2nd largest employer in rural India after agriculture with more than 200 million artisans but their avg. monthly income is about Rs. 5000. In the past 30 years, more than 2 million artisans have quit craftwork. While doing our groundwork, we realized that these artisans need a hand-holding approach to overcome these problems using technology interventions. Thus we started building an ecosystem to connect and bring all the stakeholders involved in the craft industry using technology. And Megastores.com was born.

36 NOV 2021

CULTURE & TRADITION