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IndianRoots ties up with UMSAS to showcase Bihar handicrafts


NDTV’s ecommerce platform IndianRoots has tied up exclusively with Government of Bihar’s Upendra Maharathi Shilp Sansthan (UMSAS) to showcase the artisanship of Bihar’s handicraft makers on the platform. The partnership will be effective for 5 years, the first 3 years being exclusive to IndianRoots.

The 59 year old UMSAS comes under the Government of Bihar’s Department of Industries and aims to preserve, research and promote Bihar handicrafts. It currently employs 35,000 artisans. The Bihar Entrepreneurs Association, which connected IndianRoots to the Bihar Government, hopes that this move will help accelerate the economy of Bihar due to IndianRoots’ global audience.

Earlier in July, IndianRoots partnered with Banka Silk, a handloom brand from Bihar to sell products made by local artisans of Banka district in Bihar on its platform. The tie up would help in the distribution of the Banka products worldwide, the company said. The company plans to expand by opening offline centres in India as well as worldwide.

KJS $5 million funding: In May, the company had raised $5 million funding from KJS Group. The company claimed that following this round of funding, IndianRoots was valued at $85 million. It said that it would use the funds to scale up the platform’s logistics and delivery mechanisms and marketing activities. Last year, NDTV had mentioned that the company had spent an incubation cost of Rs 25 crore on the venture and was apparently in talks to raise capital through private placement.

Global user base: The Gurgaon based IndianRoots, which was launched two years ago, claims to have traffic from over 150 countries. At the time of its launch, the platform offered ethnic wear from 80 designers and 300 brands which included Anita Dongre, Krsna Mehta, Karieshma Sarnaa and Malini Ramani. As of now, IndianRoots claims to have collections from over a 100 designers and over 700 brands. It ships globally and has support for its operations in Canada, the US, UK and Australia along with India.

Financials: Before launching IndianRoots, NDTV Ethic Retail had acquired 100% stake in a relatively unknown company called JA Ethnic Retail in February 2013. It reported revenues of Rs 6.80 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, as compared to revenues of Rs 3.50 crore in the same quarter last year and Rs 6.06 crore revenues in the previous quarter. The segment has posted a loss before tax of Rs 9.99 crore for the quarter, significantly higher than the Rs 5.25 crore loss in the same quarter last year and the Rs 6.02 crore loss in the previous quarter.

Image Credit: Flickr user Aditya Mopur

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