Chennai

E-commerce takes ‘kolu’ dolls to buyers’ doorstep

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A number of agents facilitate door delivery of dolls to people living abroad

It is that time of the year when people flock to the Mylapore tank area to buy colourful kolu dolls.

While some buyers continue to stick to this tradition, there are others who turn to e-commerce to find their Kolu dolls. Technology has changed the way Kolu dolls are selected and bought.

Makers of kolu dolls have tied up with agents and e-commerce websites to sell their dolls across the country.

“Until last year, I would make a trip to Chennai and Puducherry to buy new dolls, but this year, I have ordered a Brahmotsavam set online,” says Praveena Suresh, who lives in Pune.

She adds that she used to buy only papier mache dolls as they are lightweight and therefore easy to carry, but now she is able to buy clay dolls. Apart from these websites, there are also a number of agents who facilitate the delivery of kolu dolls from India to other countries.

“When I moved to the United States, I did not buy new dolls for two years. I would instead use toys that I bought locally. Now, with agents guaranteeing safe delivery of these dolls at my doorstep, I have started ordering dolls every year,” Hema Nandagopal from Ohio says.

Although agents have been sending dolls abroad for several years now, they say that with the convenience of WhatsApp and Skype, they are now able to send idols that exactly suit the people’s needs.

G. Segar has been sending dolls to the United States and Malaysia for the last 10 years now. “Now, I am able to WhatsApp pictures of the dolls to my clients, and they tell me if they want something else. Since I work with multiple doll makers, I make sure the customers get the right dolls, even if I have to buy from different vendors,” he said.



“There are a few vendors in the United States that take the dolls I send them and distribute them there through their e-commerce sites,” he added.

The demand for these dolls is high in the United States, Malaysia and Australia, but it is picking up in countries like Canada, France and the United Kingdom, he adds.

According to V.K. Munusamy, an artisan who has been sending kolu dolls abroad for several years now, with the advent of e-commerce sites, blogs, and even WhatsApp, the demand for these dolls from abroad has increased dramatically.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 6:05:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ecommerce-takes-kolu-dolls-to-buyers-doorstep/article7749350.ece

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