Kochi: Kudumbashree products, which come from women entrepreneurs in various parts of Kerala, are now available on Amazon.in. In a test run, five products are being sold on Amazon, and the first order has already come from Himachal Pradesh.
S Harikishore, executive director of Kudumbashree, says that soon there will be 100 non-food products on the online shopping site, after an MoU is signed towards the end of the month. The items sold include beauty products, oils, soaps and handicrafts.
The products come from women who make them at home throughout the state, and are known for their authenticity and purity. “We started our own portal kudumbashreebazaar.com about a year ago. There are 450 products there from 200 entrepreneurs. We had taught them everything from receiving the orders online and packing the products and taking it to the nearest post office. We have a tie up with the post office,” Harikishore says.
Kudumbashree came into existence more than 20 years ago as a woman empowerment and poverty eradication programme of the state government. Their products have been traditionally sold through fairs and festivals, and were later sold at home shops, community marketing networks where products were taken directly to households of consumers. Harikishore says it’s being done effectively in Kozhikode and Kannur districts and will soon be fully implemented in the other districts.
A third way to market the products has been through permanent Kudumbashree stalls, which are installed across the state. “And now, the fourth way is online marketing. When we launched our portal last year, we were not able to market it properly. That’s how we thought of displaying it in places such as Amazon which are strong in marketing. We would also be having new online marketing plans.”
Amazon had asked for a slight change in the system – the products should be available at a central store rather than multiple homes from where the entrepreneurs pack it themselves. Harikishore’s office in Thiruvananthapuram is now the central store where the products are stored.