September 29, 2020

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Indian village-industry portal KVIC gains ground

The government’s Khadi and Village Industry Commission (KVIC) venture into the online marketing segment has quickly established a pan-India reach enabling the artisans to sell their products to the remotest parts of India through the KVIC E-Portal.

According to a press release, an online sale that was launched for Khadi face masks on 7 July has evolved into a full-fledged e-market platform with 180 products as on today and many more in the pipeline.

The product range includes, among others, hand-spun and hand-woven fine fabrics like muslin, silk, denim, and cotton; wristwatches; a variety of honey, herbal and green tea, herbal medicines, and soaps; a range of herbal cosmetics. KVIC adds at least ten new products to its online inventory daily and it has set a target of adding at least 1,000 products by 1 October this year. In less than two months, KVIC has served nearly 4,000 customers.

The KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena, noted that the portal promotes domestically developed and manufactured products, and aims to empower local artisans. The KVIC e-market portal is providing artisans with a platform to sell their goods. This is a concrete step towards the building of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he said, adding that the product range is priced from IN₹ 50 (US$ 0.68) to IN₹ 5,000 (US$ 68), considering the choice and affordability of all types of buyers.

Earlier products of KVIC institutions were sold only through outlets and hence their visibility was confined to a few states. However, with KVIC’s e-portal, products are now reaching remote areas of the country, offering a wider marketing spectrum to Khadi institutions, which will ultimately increase production and add to the income of artisans.

The release stated that customers have also expressed satisfaction over the online sale of Khadi products. KVIC has received online orders from 31 states and union territories that include the far-flung Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. KVIC has fixed the minimum order value at IN₹ 599 (US$ 8.15) for the free delivery of goods. It has entered into an agreement with the Postal Department for the delivery of consignments via Speed Post.

According to KVIC, it has developed the e-portal in-house and thus saved millions of rupees to the exchequer. The initiative is similar to the PMEGP e-portal developed in-house by KVIC, where it saved at least US$ 2 million on website development and maintenance.

KVIC’s online inventory also includes several other products like Khadi Rumal, spices, herbal neem wood combs, shampoos, cosmetics, yoga outfits, and several varieties of ready-to-eat foods.

The government also offers indigenously produced products on its government e-marketplace (GeM). The e-marketplace, which functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is used for the procurement of common use goods and services by ministries, departments, and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).

GeM offers end-to-end solutions for procurement needs. Apart from government departments, it also caters to autonomous institutions and local bodies. It leverages technology and is working to make procurement contactless, paperless, and cashless.