The Government of India has tied up with NDTV’s Indianroots to launch Indianroots Fashion Accelerator (IFA). The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Textiles and NDTV’s e-commerce business is aimed at popularizing Indian Handloom textiles, an initiative to support textile industries in the country.
The IFA project will support individuals in the fashion industry through incubation and production support, the Government stated in an official release. Although it’s unclear as to how this incubation will work, through this, India Handloom Brand will provide an interface where fashion professionals will be able to access facilities of Weavers Service Centres and handloom clusters . It will also connect fashion designers with handloom sector.
The India Handloom brand was launched in August 2015, and the initiative was aimed at providing customers with hand woven, niche products. By April 1, 170 handloom producing enterprises were registered under the brand in 41 product categories. Various e-commerce platforms and retail chains have been roped into market India Handloom-branded merchandise.
In August 2015, IndianRoots had also tied up with Upendra Maharathi Shilp Sansthan (UMSAS) of Bihar Government, to showcase the artisanship of Bihar’s handicraft makers on the platform. This tie-up was a month after they announced their partnership with Banka Silk, a handloom brand from Bihar to sell products made by local artisans of Banka district in Bihar on its platform.
Central and State governments have been working on popularizing textiles and helping small-scale entrepreneurs, with the help of online platforms, to reach a larger audience for a while now.
– In March, Amazon India had tied-up with the Telangana State Handicrafts Development Corporation (TSHDC) to sell their local hand-made ‘Golkonda’ handicraft products on the e-commerce portal.
– In the same month, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had launched an online marketing portal for women entrepreneurs called Mahila e-haat, allowing women to list and showcase their products online without any extra costs.
– In March 2015, Paytm, the mobile marketplace, had launched a branded store called “Garvi Gurjari” showcasing products from the Gujarat State Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation.
– In February 2015, Flipkart had signed a MoU with CSC e-governance India Limited to develop ancillary industries and help rural economy. In August 2014, it had also signed up a similar MoU with the Textiles Ministry, listing products from rural Indian handloom weavers and craftsmen on its platform.
– In January 2015, Snapdeal had partnered up with the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for training design students.
NDTV’s e-commerce business reported revenues of Rs 2.57 crore for the quarter ended 31st March 2016. The business’ revenues fell from Rs 3.85 crore in the preceding quarter and also declined over 66% from Rs 6.8 crore in the same quarter last year. Losses in the segment widened to Rs 10.3 crore from Rs 6.5 crore in the preceding quarter, according to the financials. Losses also stood at Rs 9.9 crore in the same quarter last year.
NDTV’s e-commerce segment includes IndianRoots.in, Gadgets360.com, CarAndBike, BandBaajaa (wedding planning site) and Mojarto (a marketplace for artisans).
In May 2015, NDTV Ethnic Retail had raised $5 million funding from KJS Group and was valued at $85 million after the round of funding. In November 2012, NDTV Ethnic Retail had also acquired 100% stake in JA Ethnic Retail Private Limited.