How Digital Makeover of Traditional Handicraft Business Can Preserve Its Losing Grip
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Everything that goes up must come down. This is a dastardly law of nature and it applies well on everything prevailing on this planet, whether it is a human being, a machine, or a multi-billion dollar business.
There was a time when the realm of traditional handicraft business was thriving at a blazing speed, but now it is on the brink of extinction. So what just happened in between? What forces came into play which leads to such drastic downfall of a multi-million dollars industry? The key reasons behind the debilitation of traditional handicraft business are the rapid increase of the industrialization and the emergence of cutting-edge technology.
Currently, the handicraft business is facing heaps of challenges and perhaps going through it’s worst phase.
The Monumental Challenges that Traditional Handicraft Business is Facing are -
Despite the slight recent growth of handicrafts in India and independent enterprises coming up that are built on the idea of promoting crafts through different mediums, the government has been inadequate in taking any substantial steps to benefit the industry. The average income of a craftsperson yet remains very low when compared to other occupations.
The lack of interest of the rural and urban youth in pursuing the craft is perhaps the biggest reason behind such a radical dwindle of the handicraft business. Youth have very cogent reasons behind showing disinterest in family handicraft business. First, the school curriculum doesn’t encompass any pivotal lesson that pushes the youth to pursue their passion instead of white collar jobs. Second, they have seen their parents struggling to get the right prices of their hard work.
Growing consumerism and market trends have also affected the industry in many ways. The artisans do not have access to research tools, market trend reports, adequate knowledge of different tastes and hence lack in their design outcome.
Most of the artisans face the dearth of quality raw material in their region. And because of low bargaining power, they are left with no other options except buying the raw materials at pocket-denting cost.
A major chunk of the artisans still uses obsolete technologies and age-old production methods that not only raises the cost of production but also produce the average quality craft products.
How Digital Shift of The Traditional Handicraft Business Can Restore Its Fading Identity?
We all are well aware of the potency and efficacy of digital tools. With the digital platform at artisans disposal, they can revamp the deteriorating condition of traditional handicraft realm without much of a hitch.
Currently, Indian has more than 70 lakh adroit artisans who don’t require any professional training of producing handicrafts. These proficient artisans can harness the digital tools like SEO, social media channels, or Google paid campaigns to connect directly with the online patrons and generate funds at affordable credits to revive their dying business.
The expeditious growth of the e-commerce platforms has led to the development of a massive ecosystem of online marketplaces, consumer communities, entrepreneurial programmers, crowd-funding programmes that can help artisans in bringing a noteworthy change is prevailing condition of handicraft business.
Digital tools allow the local artisans to connect with the global audience to create awareness about their businesses and bring lost recognition to the handicraft industry.
Through the means of digital platforms, needy artisans can easily get the fund by philanthropy organizations and provide a thrust to their business. Not only digitization of the handicraft business gives artisans ample avenues to connect with the patrons but also allow them to share new ideas and work in progress with the patrons. The artisans are exposed to the different people, cultures, designs, colours and trends, which could help them in creating for the current market need as well as innovate in their technique.
Artisans can use digital platforms to spearhead their business and also connect with the fellow artisans of different states to exchange ingenious ideas. By collaborating with supremely talented designers and artisans, they can evangelize their brand name and give local handicraft products a global appeal.
Local artisans can use the digital platform to evoke the sense of social responsibility among the fellow artisans and patrons to create a sustainable livelihood.
One thing is for sure that there is no stopping of the expansion of the digital world, sooner or later. And with the expansion, a myriad of new opportunities will also generate that artisans can use to their advantage to take their business notches higher. The bottom line here is for the rapid resurgence of the Indian handicrafts, artisans should get conversant with digital platforms and tools as quickly as possible and make India a juggernaut at the global level in handicraft domain.