Metroplus

Karnataka on the antarjaala

Bidriware

Bidriware  

An online space for products from small and rural entrepreneurs of Karnataka, Total Karnataka is all set to reach out to the world

Natural dyed khadi kurtas from Shikaripura in Karnataka’s Sagar district can now be shipped to Australia or anywhere in the world. Traditional Kinhal dolls can now be delivered to the grandchildren in America.

An NGO in Shimoga is able to sell its terracota jewellery online. People of Karnataka who live all over the world can have gifts with a flavour and feel of their home states delivered at their doorstep. Even pickle!

Chandrasekhar Kakal, a food entrepreneur and start-up coach with three decades of corporate experience and Lakshmikanth V., a software engineer-turned- entrepreneur passionate about Kannada and Karnataka, have launched totalkarnataka.com. Lakshmikanth has earlier experience from his venture Total Kannada.

“We have on board a family in Bidar district of Karnataka engaged for generations in carving traditional Bidriware, artisans of Channapattana shaping the famous Channapattana toys, carpenters chiselling white wood, rose wood or sandalwood in the lanes of Mysuru’s Mandi Mohalla region. These are people who know their craft well but are unable to market themselves and find themselves lost in the online market space,” says Lakshmikanth. They all belong to micro, small, or medium enterprises (MSME) segments, and they are struggling to keep their tradition alive, and even earn a livelihood for their families, he points out.

“Our idea is to bring them to the mainstream and connect them directly with the customer.

We have put in place a system whereby the craftsman can directly ship an order. Even rejects and returns go back to him with a reason, so he can change and adapt accordingly. The craftsman also feels a sense of pride that he is selling his work online to people in other countries,” explains Lakshmikanth.

They also want to make speciality products of Karnataka origin available to consumers anywhere in the world under one umbrella.

As of now they have over 500 products across nine categories.

There is also a small video accompanying each category so that people get an idea of how a particular hand-crafted piece is made.

Soon translation services and state-specific tourism services will also be added, along with many other categories of products. It is also the only online market place where there is an English and a complete Kannada version -- “and it is not done using Google translate”, he laughs. In the three months that they have been in operation, they have shipped over 180 orders, including those to the U.S.A.

The site now stocks terracotta jewellery, hand crafted cotton and khadi dresses, paddy craft display pieces, speciality pickles, north Karnataka food products including the famous jolada rotti, traditional Channapattana toys, Mysore handicrafts, Kannada books and movies, T-shirts with Kannada slogans etc.

For details see www.totalkarnataka.com

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 6:35:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Karnataka-on-the-antarjaala/article16084537.ece

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