An ecommerce website that helps weavers and buyers connect directly
For the lovers of handloom and ardent supporters of craftsmen, this could be a one-stop shop if the e-market place, PickMyCloth (PMC) — established by Ram Kalyan, P V Abhishek and Dinesh Suram —lives up to its claim of bridging the gap between the craftsmen and the customer.
The handloom industry that often suffers at the hands of middleman who pocket huge commissions, is facing worse hardships due to the pandemic. As tourism came to a grinding halt, businesses that dealt with weavers were also hugely affected. Ram Kalyan, one of the founders of PickMyCloth says, “They are still facing a crisis as a result of fierce competition with modern machinery. These weavers are living in poverty, struggling to make both ends meet. I came to know about them first in 2014 when I was studying in IIT Warangal. Friends who studied with me, from the weaving community, often expressed their concern about the craft and profits. They bemoaned that most government sops meant to benefit weavers, hardly reached them. The weavers were often exploited by middlemen who enjoy the lion’s share of the price. Those discussions from my IIT days stayed with me. So when we decided to start something on our own, we saw nothing better than helping the weaving communities we take pride in as Indians.” Ram is the key operational person taking care of boarding the weavers on the platform. He travelled the length and breadth of India to research on Indian handloom.
The idea of working with the weaving community further strengthened as the trio set out visiting craftsmen and weavers to see what can be done. “We were amazed at the potential of these talented craftsmen around the country. Their products are of excellent natural material, crafted with perfection. Thus ‘PickMyCloth’ was born,” says Ram.
Started in January 2019 PMC successfully added over 13000 products with 650 weavers on board from 20 different handloom clusters across different regions in India like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Benaras, Maharastra, Pochampally and Siddipet etc. . Making inventory as one of its most powerful feature, PMC has been able to get traction from buyers as well as sellers, especially during the lockdown. “We noticed a 30% increase in buyer activity during the wedding season. A very popular product on our website, apart from traditional sarees are the kanchi dupattas,” shares Ram.
#WeaverRevolution’ tailored by PickMyCloth, following Mahatma Gandhi’s footsteps and his ideologies is the backbone of the organisation, informs Dinesh who handles the marketing and technology.
The portal is open to all Indian weavers and craftsmen. Presently over 650 weavers are listed on the website apart from leather craftsmen from Dharavi region of Mumbai. Dinesh Suram who worked with with Reliance Industries in Mumbai until he started working on PMC from 2018, deals with the whole leather cluster of Dharavi.
“We have made PMC in such a way that the seller decides the price and display of his product. Once listed, they get the login details to upload their own weaves and decide the price. We only provide the platform and want the weavers to make profits and get what they truly deserve,” says Ram.
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