This Platform Allows Indian Weavers And Artisans To Display And Sell Their Products To Customers Around The World

Handloom is the new style statement in the fashion world. From the Prime Minister to marquee designers, everyone is talking handloom. In the handloom space, Weavesmart, founded by Nishita Manne (CA & CS), Prashanth Manne (ISB alumnus) and Shilpi Singh (ISB and IIT alumnus) is the start-up to watch out for.

Founding Team of Weavesmart
Founding Team of Weavesmart

Started in early 2015, Weavesmart is an online aggregator platform that allows Indian weavers and artisans to display and sell their products to customers around the world. It is the first e-commerce handloom store approved by the Govt. of India to deal directly with the weavers. Weavesmart is also an e-marketing partner for the Ministry of Textiles for promoting India Handloom Brand and Handloom products.

“Weaving, after agriculture, is the second largest profession in the Country. We happened to closely interact with the weavers in the Pochampally village and realized the big opportunity that is unfolding for the handloom sector in the online space. Quickly, we conceptualized and launched” says Nishita Manne, the Founder & CEO of Weavesmart. She also happens to be a diehard fan of handloom and would not trade her handloom full closet with anything.

Nishita further adds that “There are lot of online market places that connects vendors and shop owners to customers in the online space, but there is no platform that exclusively focusses on connecting weavers directly to the customers. The arts, crafts, and skills of weavers are left underappreciated and underpaid. Traditionally, weavers have been selling through local shops, dealers and middlemen. Weavesmart is an effort in providing access to weavers to directly reach out to customers and help in improving their earnings.”

Training and awareness program in weaver communities in Banaras by Weavesmart

“At first, it wasn’t an easy start for Weavesmart. Weavers hesitated to share photos of their products for displaying on the website. They hardly had any exposure to online business. They could not believe that products can be sold by just displaying their photos, specifically clothes. They used to ask, “Where is the touch and feel factor, which Indian consumers are so used to? Weavesmart carried out extensive education and awareness among the weavers. First, only a handful of them came onboard.

Training and awareness program in weaver communities in Banaras by Weavesmart

Initial sales happened through family and friends. Later, customer base expanded through referrals, word of mouth and quality service. Overtime, increase in sales, and education, awareness and training programs by the team helped in growing the weaver network. Today, Weavesmart has more than 3000 weavers in its network and has clientele spread across not only in India but overseas as well including USA, Canada, UK, Australia and middle east.”

Training and awareness program in weaver communities in Banaras by WeavesmartInitially started with one weaver cluster, the Company now has expanded in 10 weaver clusters in five states and have uploaded more than 20,000 products on its website till date.

Weavesmart is a venture with a social angle as it helps weavers to earn better margins for its products by eliminating middlemen. All products sold on their website are high quality and authentic as they are directly sourced from the weavers. Weavesmart is gradually establishing its brand in the mind of customer for quality and authenticity, which is validated by the fact that it sees 40% repeat traction from existing customers.

Weavesmart says “Today, there is no online market place like Weavesmart. All others are either inventory led models or are not exclusive to handloom. We did not want to be an inventory model as we see it a limiting factor both in terms of weaver reach and collection. In a market place model, there is no limit to growing the weaver network and thus bringing wider collection to customers and at the same time impacting lives of more weavers. Customers like niche and premium and that’s what Weavesmart is offering them in the handloom category.”

Slowly, the team’s efforts are being recognized. In November 2016, among tough competition, Weavesmart was successfully featured among the top five startups in the accelerator program being run by Indian School of Business and SAP Labs. On National Handloom Day 2016, Ministry of Textiles recognized Weavesmart as the handloom start-up with highest sales in FY16.

Nishita Manne, CEO Weavesmart with Hon’ble Minister Smriti Irani on National Handloom Day 2016 in Banaras
Nishita Manne, CEO Weavesmart with Hon’ble Minister Smriti Irani on National Handloom Day 2016 in Banaras
Weavesmart in ISB-SAP accelerator program
Weavesmart in ISB-SAP accelerator program

The Founding team believes in the opportunity and is working hard to make Weavesmart a global brand in handloom space, a brand which is synonymous for quality and authenticity in the hand curated and handmade market. In the words of the founding team “Success will only come if you believe in yourself and keep sticking around”.

Weavesmart covered on DD National TV on National Handloom Day, 2016:

Most Popular

More from Author

Read Now

Next Generation Investors Look to Real Estate to Build a Strong Financial Foundation

Gurugram, Haryana, India | 3rd February 2023: Saurabh Thareja, Director of  Urban Plus Infra build says we cannot deny the fact that investing in real estate is a great way to build wealth. Getting started with real estate investing at a young age is a great idea for several...

Real Estate Industry Thumbs Up to Budget 2023’s Focus on Strengthening Infrastructure

New Delhi, Delhi, India | 3rd February 2023: India's real estate fraternity has reacted positively to the Union Budget 2023 presented by the Finance Minister on February 1st, 2023. The Union Budget for this year was primarily aimed at boosting the Indian economy and revitalising it. The real estate...

Sphot’23 Concludes with Exciting Possibilities for Real-World AI Applications

Sphot'23 concluded with the launch of Pravid, Saarthi's cutting-edge Communication AI platform.

Union Budget 2023-24: What It Means for the Future of the Automotive Sector?

Union Budget 2023-24: A Post-Budget Perspective on the Indian Automotive Sector.

Business Leaders Give Thumbs Up to Union Budget 2023’s Growth-Focused Provisions

Understand the impact of the Union Budget 2023-24 on the Indian economy through the eyes of business leaders and why they are optimistic about its potential.

SBICAPS opens new office in Bengaluru, to focus on infrastructure, defence and start-ups

BENGALURU, India | 1st February 2023: SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS), a wholly owned subsidiary and investment banking arm of State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced the opening of its office in Bengaluru. Inaugurated by Shri Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI, in the presence of Shri Swaminathan J, Managing Director (CB...

Vedanta Aluminium Investing in a Greener Future with USD 250 Mn Sustainability Loan

New Delhi, Delhi, India | 1st February 2023: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has raised USD 250 million through Sustainability Linked Loans (SLL) from leading international banks, for financing its capex initiatives and reducing carbon footprint. The loans were granted on the basis of specific performance parameters...

Dr. Stephen Kahane Joins Suki’s Board of Directors to Elevate Voice AI in Healthcare

Voice AI Technology for Healthcare Gets a Boost with Dr. Kahane on Suki's Board.