Internet is paving the way forward for prosperity in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. In a short period of two years, weavers in the heritage town have made incredible online business and touched Rs. 20 lakh sales figure by handloom sarees, suits and duppatas across 20 countries. This feat recently even made it to the front page of Ashoknagar Bhaskar, a daily newspaper. In 2014, DEF designed an online portal called Chanderiyaan for weavers who were operating from the Raja-Rani Mahal in Chanderi under its Digital Cluster Development Programme. This technology provided a direct, interactive platform between weavers and end consumers.
Earlier, due to middlemen’s menace, weavers were often exploited and were never paid fairly. Now, with this platform, they are not only making sales in India but are also penetrating into overseas markets.
The online presence has revolutionised Chanderi handloom trade. The entire weaver community is benefited from the technology and is promoting gorgeous Chanderi handlooms in countries like America, England, Australia, France and Canada. In order to scale up business, DEF is also ensuring weavers an opportunity to interact with consumers on one to one level. A team of weavers, on rotation basis, participate in fairs and exhibitions across different parts of India. This also helps weavers to map the taste and preferences of users and create new designs in handloom products.
The recent sales figure from exhibition participation has been promising. In January, Chanderiyaan sales from Delhi Haat were above Rs. 1 lakh, and sales in a Jaipur city exhibition reached Rs. 40,000. In March, Chanderiyaan did business of Rs. 45,000 at an exhibition at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.