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The Story of Building Craftsvilla as an Online Ethnic Wear Brand

Saheli July 9, 2016 Uncategorized Comments Off on The Story of Building Craftsvilla as an Online Ethnic Wear Brand

The Indian ethnic wear market, which stood at $13,100 million in 2013, is expected to grow further at a CAGR of eight percent to reach $19,600 million by 2018, reveals the published reports. Despite its continuous expansion in India and overseas, the category still remains one of the most unorganised one in India.

Something that is easily available on premium branded outlets is also offered by local craftsmen and that too at a much lower price. One of the many reasons of this huge difference in price is the involvement of middlemen. This particular idea gave birth to the online ethnic wear platform, Craftsvilla.

Manoj Gupta, Co-Founder & Managing Director,, while unfolding the story behind the establishment of Craftsvilla, says, “Monica (Founder, loves handmade jewels, organic products and I love to travel. On a road trip to Kutch in 2011, where Monica bought few of the products for her, we were overwhelmed by the designs and efforts put in by artisans for designing products.

We met many artisans on the way who were selling handmade products at a very low price and realized that what is sold in the market is very expensive because of the middlemen involved giving them a raw deal- neither the customer nor the artisan benefits from it. We even met some more artisans who were contemplating leaving the profession and looked for better paying jobs.

We brainstormed with what can be done in order to provide premium benefits to producers and products to customers at a low cost. This led to a passion – a marketplace to discover India. We thought of creating an online platform to showcase a variety of products, which would not have been possible through a shop,” he went on to narrate.

Journey So Far

The Mumbai-based online ethnic wear platform, which was founded in 2011, offers ethnic apparels, footwear, accessories, and beauty products along with handcrafted home decor products. Both Manoj and Monica aim to connect artisans with potential buyers via Craftsvilla.

While sharing the vision of the company, Gupta says, “In the past 5 years, we have expanded this platform to provide an opportunity to sellers from across India who make ethnic products, be it apparels, jewellery, home decor or accessories, to connect with millions of buyers from across the globe. The vision has always been to help people connect back to their roots. And over the past 5 years, we have managed to move forward and get closer to our vision.”

Ad Campaigns and TG

In 2015, the brand launched a television commercial with an aim to connect with Indian women and establish Craftsvilla as a destination for everyday ethnic wear. The brand took an innovative route by simply playing a song ‘Aaj Jaane ki Zid Na Karo’ with women in traditional Indian attire in the TVC.

In contrast to that, the brand has rolled out its latest campaign exclusively for working women. The campaign, which comprises two short films, showcases a group of working women hunting for latest ethnic wear for different occasions. While the entire group was roaming around in the market and struggling with typical Indian wear, one of them decided to standout with her latest fashionable outfit from Craftsvilla.

Commenting on the campaign and TG, Gupta says, “Our core TG is working women and home makers who love ethnic fashion and are always on a search for the latest in this category. With this campaign, we want to introduce our consumers to the new avatar of Craftsvilla.”

Gupta also shares that the demand of fashionable ethnic wear has been coming not only from working women but also from home makers and college students. The latest campaign by the brand initially focuses on TV as the primary medium with supporting media like digital, radio and outdoor. In the next leg of campaign, print will be added to the media mix, confirms Gupta.

Branded Vs Local

Of late, customers complained of bad shopping experience with Craftsvilla because of poor product quality. Commenting on the same, Gupta says, “We are a marketplace and hence various kinds of Ethnic products are uploaded by sellers. We have now managed these sellers and do proper quality check for most of these. We have also started showcasing actual product photo along with model shoots which gives accurate picture of the product before a customer buys the same.”

In the Indian fashion and lifestyle market, demand of branded stuff is increasing constantly. Craftsvilla, which offers goods primarily made by local craftsmen, when asked about its plan of partnering with any brands to offer branded stuff to its customers, says, “Craftsvilla started with the aim of providing the products which were not easily available on other portals. Hence, unbranded products were introduced.”

Everything Ethnic

Along with apparels and accessories, Craftsvilla has added other segments into its offerings. The latest additions on the platform are food, home decor, beauty and lifestyle. Sharing the growth rate of the newly added segments, Gupta says that while the home decor section has picked up great, the beauty segment is still picking up.

In the near future, Craftsvilla aims to add more and more products from various segments on its platform. The brand is also planning to offer ayurvedic, spiritual and yoga products to its customers. As part of its expansion plan in ethnic food category, Craftsvilla acquired PlaceOfOrigin, an online gourmet food marketplace, in February 2016. The two-year old start-up had been working in the category with regional flavours.

[Source:- Adage India]

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