Originally from Agra, Sachin knew the skills that existed in the city – the skills of the local artisans. When his brother decided to set-up a business, Sachin saw an opportunity in the international demand for local Indian products. Helping the artisans sell more and at good prices, Sachin started procuring these products and listing them on Amazon.com. Watch how he transformed not only his business but also the 200 families of artisans associated with him. A true example of taking ‘Made in India’ products, global.
"My name is Sachin Gupta and I’ve been working in StonKraft, Agra for the past 6-7 years. Ours is not a business family. We all had jobs. I had a job in the IT industry. And my brother’s business was not doing well. I felt that Agra’s handicrafts did not have a good market. It was decided amongst my family that if we are to continue living in Agra, then why don’t we begin our business with Agra’s handicrafts.
Looking at it from our skills point of view, we thought of combining handicrafts and e-commerce. The Amazon.com team contacted us and suggested that our products would be much appreciated abroad. So why don’t you list it on Amazon.com, USA. In 2015 when we started selling on Amazon.com, we first sold chess boards, then we added brass items, wood items, and many new designs that we felt would sell and those which we could get made in & around Agra. Including areas like Moradabad, Aligarh, Jaipur and Amritsar. By letting the artisans know which products are selling on the Amazon site, the ones that have good reviews and good rating, so we should focus on these products and produce them ourselves.
Navneet Sharma has been associated with us for the last 3-4 years. As of now, he is also our biggest vendor.
I’ve been working with StonKraft for the past 2-3 years. 80% of my work comes from them. They export our products outside of India, where people “like” our products and we get more orders. So we feel we should improve our quality and our finishing so that people “like” our products. So our products become number one! Ever since StonKraft has started exporting our products our business margins have gone up by 25-30%.
Since we have come into this market there has been some change. We give the artisans bulk order, pay them upfront. So they remain associated with us. Rather than giving products to local shops, the artisans prefer to give them to us. Their talent is authentic and its only through their talent that we can go worldwide. The product should be authentic, reflecting age old traditions, but should also be useable. So it’s a handicraft as well as a utility item.
We started selling on Amazon.com in 2015. By 2016 end, within 2 years it has become 50% of our business. More than 50% of our business comes from Amazon.com. Though there are thousands of products on Amazon.com, unique items are hard to find. We are hopeful that this year through Amazon, we will also sell to Canada, Japan, Germany and other countries. The biggest joy I get from this work is that I am associated with nearly 200 artisans and their families. The artisans are able to keep their tradition alive and earn good money. And I am showcasing their products worldwide. I get immense joy from this."
Sachin Gupta: StonKraft