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Indian’s online marketing platform for indigenous goods booms

The Khadi and Village Industry Commission’s (KVIC) foray into the online marketing segment has found tremendous public patronage, recording a gross turnover of over IN 1.12 crore (US$153,045) in just eight months of its launch.

Launched last July, the Khadi e-portal has delivered orders to over 10,000 customers out of the 65,000 people who have visited the e-portal. KVIC has also delivered more than 100,000 articles/commodities to these customers, according to data from a press release. During this period, the average online purchase has been recorded at IN 11,000 (US$150) per customer, an indication of Khadi’s growing popularity and the diversity of its product range to suit all segments of buyers.

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. Also, spices, herbal neem wood combs, yoga outfits, and several varieties of ready-to-eat foods.

The Union Minister for MSMEs, Road Transport, and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, lauded Khadi’s successful e-commerce venture noting it has provided a wide marketing platform for various Khadi and village industry products for citizens all over the country. He said that the e-marketing of Khadi is proving to be a game-changer and he expects a turnover of IN 200 crores (US$27 million) per year.

KVIC has developed the e-portal in-house without spending any money on web-developing, another factor that differentiates Khadi e-portal from other e-commerce sites, the release said. Unlike other online portals, KVIC takes care of all logistics and infrastructure support like cataloguing, product photographs, maintaining online inventories, packaging, and delivery. This saves Khadi artisans, institutions, and PMEGP units manufacturing Khadi products from financial burdens.

KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena, explained that all expenses incurred on the Khadi e-portal are borne by KVIC. While in the case of other e-commerce sites, product cataloguing, packaging and dispatch are the responsibilities of the respective sellers; KVIC’s policies take care of this for Khadi institutions and PMEGP units. This saves sellers a lot of money and makes the Khadi’s e-portal a unique platform for thousands of rural artisans.

The portal was initially an online sale that was launched for Khadi face masks to combat COVID-19 and now has evolved into a full-fledged e-market platform with nearly 800 products. KVIC has received online orders from all 31 states and union territories that include the far-flung Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir, among others.

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).

Recently, the government announced that Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (IMPCL), a public sector manufacturing unit under the Ministry of AYUSH, will now be able to sell their products on GeM. The deal between IMPCL and GeM was finalised earlier this week when GeM created 31 categories covering 311 medicines, which are now live in the marketplace.

IMPCL’s prices are vetted and finalised by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) for their Ayurvedic medicines. Through the collaboration, these medicines will be available on the GeM portal to hundreds of government sector buyers and will facilitate quick procurement by central/state government institutions for their healthcare programmes.

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