IIM Sambalpur

Flipkart, IIM Sambalpur ink MoU for greater market access to artisans and weavers

Bhubaneswar: Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur to undertake research to provide market insights to artisans and weavers to help bring them online.

This MoU follows the partnership announced between Flipkart and IIM Sambalpur in August 2021 to support and promote small businesses, artisans and weavers by leveraging technology, e-commerce platform and market insights.

The MoU was signed virtually in the presence of Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, and Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group.

As part of this MoU, IIM Sambalpur will identify clusters of artisans and weavers within Odisha to onboard them with Flipkart’s Samarth program, thereby connecting their businesses to a pan-India customer base. In addition to this, the artisans and weavers will also be offered training on business management, marketing and accounting by IIM Sambalpur while conducting research on their pain points and challenges.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian handicrafts industry has more than seven million regional artisans and over 67,000 exporters/export houses promoting regional art and craftsmanship in the domestic and global markets. The state of Odisha has a rich history of various forms of handicrafts such as the popular Pipli and stone craft called Sukuapada among many more. With this partnership, these art forms and their makers will get exposure to a large customer base while contributing to significantly improving their earnings and understanding of business management.

“The Indian handicraft industry is one of the largest employment generators and accounts for a significant share in the country’s export. However, the artisans and weavers who constitute a large part of the industry lack relevant skills to sustainably grow their business and are limited by geography. Through our partnership with Flipkart, we will be solving certain fundamental challenges faced by this section of the society by offering them business insights and understanding challenges in their value chain while bringing them online through Flipkart’s Samarth program. Such industry-academia collaboration for artisans and weavers is one of the first-of-its-kind in India and highlights the inclusive vision of Flipkart which is taking definitive steps to improve their live,” Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur said.

Under Flipkart’s Samarth initiative, the company has partnered with several states across the country, including Odisha. The partnership with Odisha State Government’s State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts (SIDAC) is helping onboard renowned Odia brands such as Boyanika, Utkalika and Sambalpuri Bastralaya, among others, to access a pan-India marketplace through the Flipkart platform.