Amazon India on Wednesday said it is extending a 100 per cent SoA (Sell on Amazon) fee waiver for 10 weeks, a move aimed at helping over 10 lakh artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs who are part of its 'Karigar' and 'Saheli' programmes on its platform. "The 'Stand for Handmade' initiative is aimed at helping over 10 lakh entrepreneurs including artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs rebound from the economic disruption caused by COVID-19," Amazon India Head - MSME Empowerment and Seller Experience Pranav Bhasin said.
More than 8 lakh artisans and weavers from Amazon Karigar programme, and over 2.8 lakh women entrepreneurs from Amazon Saheli programme will benefit from 100 per cent SoA fee waiver for 10 weeks, he added. The fee waiver will also be available to the new sellers joining the two programmes, Bhasin added.
The company, which competes with Walmart-backed Flipkart and others in India, has also created a 'Stand for Handmade' storefront to help generate customer demand for the locally crafted, handmade products from Karigar and Saheli sellers. "Customers can discover and purchase products from artisans and women entrepreneurs from different parts of the country by visiting specific pages created for selection from North, South, East, West and Central India. The store also has a curated selection of products for women, by women," he said.
Bhasin added that the initiative will help generate demand for these products while helping these sellers with working capital needs as they look to rebound from the economic disruption caused by this unprecedented pandemic. Amazon.in has partnered with 22 government emporiums and five government bodies to showcase authentic crafts. Karigar programme showcases over 60,000 products, including more than 270 unique arts and crafts from over 20 states.
"We have on-boarded Himadri Emporium (Uttarakhand Handloom and Handicraft Development Council) and Shabari Chhattisgarh State Emporium. This will help over 10,000 artisans and weavers associated with them to showcase their products on the 'Stand for Handmade' storefront and reach millions of Amazon customers," Bhasin said.
These artisans will bring on the storefront unique products like traditional Aipan art from Uttarakhand and Dhokra or bell metal crafted products from Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, he added.