E-commerce global marketplace Etsy signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India's North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation (NEHHDC) to promote North-Eastern artisanal work and generate steady income sources and employment through the exposure of to a broader market.
Etsy is an online site operating two-sided trade and has significant markets in the United Kingdom, Canada, USA, and Germany alongside India.
Etsy's Global Mission
Etsy began in 2005 in New York to provide nurturing space to small and medium business entrepreneurs to sell their original handmade products online. Their primary objective is intermediating, like curators, between innovative and unique products that are not found anywhere else and the buyers.
With Etsy's focus and policy to do away with uniform, mass-produced products, its presence has been growing worldwide. In December 2021, Etsy had 7.5 million active suppliers, three-fourths of them women, and 100 million active customers from almost every country.
The Financial Express quoted, "There is a global appreciation for 'Made in India' products, and we want to enable artisans and craftspeople from the all the states of the North East to be a part of our community of 5.5 million sellers and use our platform to showcase the intricacy, the beauty, and the quality of their art to audiences – and buyers – across the world," said Etsy's VP, Ross LaJeunesse.
It now had headquarters across the USA and in capital cities like Toronto, Dublin, New Delhi, Berlin, Paris, Mexico City, etc.
Empowering North-Eastern Artisans
To endow North-Eastern craftspersons, small entrepreneurs, and artisans, Etsy will provide online modules to teach them how to start their business, promote it and sell their products online. It will equip them with the resources to initiate and manage their business digitally.
Moreover, the artisans will be taught the essential tools in the digital space and will be familiarised with Etsy's brand and policies. Tools to be introduced include online payment methods, logistical services, online shopping, etc., as part of Etsy's Saksham Initiative in India.
Managing Director of NEHHDC, Brigadier Rajiv Kumar Sigh (retd.), commented that their organisation's primary focus is to bring indigenous handicrafts of the North-Eastern region to the consumers to generate economic opportunities and stability in income.
The Mint quoted, "There are more than 21 lakh weavers and 14.5 lakh artisans in the region, but the right kind of market linkage has been missing," stated Singh.
Scope For Growth
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, consumers have shifted to the online medium for everyday consumption, whether for entertainment, food, shopping, or socialising. The collaboration between Etsy and NEHHDC will facilitate the e-commerce of indigenous products from the region, such as - traditional textiles, accessories, cane and bamboo products, etc. which will be available online for millions of consumers for the first time.
According to Statista, an analysis platform, the industry of e-commerce was around $22 billion in 2018; it is estimated to grow to $200 billion by 2027. Hence, this move comes at a crucial juncture that can provide economic respite to people hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.