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Amounee – The voice of artisans

“A one stop digital platform to conveniently buy 100% authentic handloom and handicraft from the rural artisans and weavers directly.” – Amounee

Crafts and fabrics have been an inherent part of India’s unique diversity and culture since time immemorial. Many artisans have inherited this legacy and have been promoting India’s Handlooms and Handicrafts. Having said that, there’s still a long way to go for our Indian crafts and fabrics to reach the level of commercial products.

In a recent study by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), Ministry of Commerce, India, it was found that about 31.44 lakh households are engaged in weaving and allied activities. Multiple ventures and start-ups are emerging to find opportunities to not only protect India’s rich fabric culture but also to make sure that the traditions match with the contemporary needs of the consumers….

One such venture is Ms. Megha Das’s endeavour, Amounee.

Amounee – Breaking the Silence

Amounee, a word taken from mantra of power, coined by Shri Guru Gobind Singh in Gurmukhi, literally translates to “beyond silence”. To give a voice to millions of artisans across India, Amounee aspires to build a sustainable and enriching handicraft community in India.

Amounee is an online digital e-commerce platform that connects artisans directly to their buyers. Hence, the artisans earn full value for their making. By eliminating middlemen, the company aims to increase the profits of Indian handicraft communities.

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The Amounee Backstory

The Amounee Backstory

Ms. Megha Das was a graduate student at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and was interacting with Bandhani artisans of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, as a part of her college project. Bandhani is a traditional tie-and-dye art that is predominant in the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The students of NIFT have noticed that the artisans who produced theses art forms got a mere INR 4.25 per piece or 0.058 $.  The actual price in the local market at that time, was around INR 100 and as the products travelled farther, they were sold at 300-500 INR at exhibitions, metro stations and handicraft markets.

After graduating from NIFT, Ms. Megha got a job that any recent graduates would give an arm for. She has worked with international designer Manish Arora. Nevertheless, her heart stayed with the artisans, those who were barely earning what they deserved. Her inner calling to work with artisans at the grassroots led her to take up a project at the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. 

Testing Times

Later, she travelled to Surendranagar of Gujarat to work with the weavers. She posted pictures of their art and posted them on the internet for sale. She made a whopping INR 18,000 for the artisans!

Here’s when she realized that there is lack of connection between the artisans….. that that’s when she initiated Amounee; to fill this gap.

She has found that addressing the gap between the market and the artisans required a sustainable bridge where artisans can have open access where they can readily interact with their buyers and customers – Thus she began her journey to break this silence.

Beyond Boundaries

Soon after Megha’s journey began with the Amounee, she realised that augmenting sales wouldn’t enough for weavers and artisans. These artisans had to be connected to a wider global audience to ensure sustainable income.

Hence, Amounee came up with a mobile initiative… and is now exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) options to make curated market intelligence available to traditional weavers and artisans; thereby enhancing their focus on sustainable markets. 

Amounee’s Achievements

Amounee's Achievements

As a result, the artisans not only get remunerated fairly but also the urban Indian consumers get 100% access to authentic handcrafted products emerging straight from the heart of India. Further, this helps in digitization of handicrafts and handlooms.

The biggest achievement – generation of tremendous amount of income in rural, poverty-stricken areas around the country.

By providing personalized buying experience for textile lovers, the company strives to bring back the rich culture and heritage of Indian communities to public attention.

How can we help?

Though there have been multiple policies and practices brought into Indian economy including a separate Export Promotion Council and multiple divisions at the Ministry of Textile… there are still gaps in planning and helping artisans get their due diligence.

Certainly, in today’s world the perfect way to help is by providing them digital platforms to interact with the consumers directly.

Do your bit, promote, shop and connect with artisans, they need us. You can check them out here-

Also Read – Dressfolk – Revitalizing Indian Indigenous Handicrafts

Written by Rohith Sai Stambamkadi

Rohith Sai Narayan Stambamkadi is a law graduate from the Birla School of Law and the founder of Indian Forum for Public DIplomacy (IFPD) and loves writing about Indian culture and lifestyle. He is a keen enthusiast of authentic ideas and an advocate of factual informative content. He writes well-researched articles on ethnic lifestyle and festivals celebrated in our country.

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