The new ecommerce Policy put in to effect by the Modi government as of February 1st, 2019 seeks to change the business model of large ecommerce players like Amazon & Flipkart in favor of small retailers. The new policy builds on the operational guidelines of the previous ecommerce Policy of 2017 and essentially bars large FDI funded eCommerce Players like Amazon & Flipkart for routing sales on their marketplaces via entities in which they have direct stakes.
This essentially disrupts the current business models of players like Amazon who relied on exclusive arrangements with partially-owned entities like Prione Business Services & Cloudtail Retail to bring products online, provide cataloging & fulfillment services under Amazon Prime(TM).
Large FDI funded marketplaces now have to reinvent their business model to accommodate smaller retailers, while keeping focus on catalogue quality and timely fulfillment of orders. Anuna Education Network, an NRI promoted leading skill development organization, is trying to help large marketplace player do just that, while helping connect India's handicraft artisans & organic farmers with cross-border & domestic eCommerce directly.
Anuna, as a funded partner of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has been championing the cause to end the exploitation of the handicraft artisans & organic farmers at the hand of the middlemen for the last three years. The Company aims to convert artisans & farmers in to self-employed ecommerce entrepreneurs and directly connect them with Skill India, Digital India & Make in India. It also plans to further extend its ecommerce training & on-boarding services under its program to a large number of SME retailers who want to bring their businesses online.
Anuna has created 320 hours of end-to-end coursework on ecommerce entrepreneurship that has been approved as a Qualification Pack under NSQF by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India. The Company aims to connect over 1 lakh artisan & farmer sellers across 300+ handicrafts & organic clusters in 23 Indian states, and is currently running a pilot as a Special Project under Prime Minister's flagship PMKVY scheme of Skill India in 9 states involving 56 clusters.
This unique training, on-boarding & long-term hand-holding program designed by Anuna Education under Skill India is designed to serve artisans, farmers & SME retailers at the bottom of the pyramid and turn them into successful eCommerce retailers. The program will also benefit end consumers as they will be able to source products cheaper on leading marketplaces directly from the artisans & producers without paying the premium to traditional middle-men in the trade.
"Our training program is comprehensive and involves setting up of training, photography, cataloging, warehousing, QA & logistics infrastructure directly at Government identified cluster locations," said Amit I. Srivastava, CEO of Anuna Education, who hails from Los Angeles and moved back to India to setup Anuna Education for the benefit of large numbers of India's traditional handicraft clusters.
"We are thankful to the Government of India for believing in our vision and supporting our program as a Special Project at pan-India level." Amit further said, "We are not only able to bring small retailers & their products online, but also create tier 2 & 3 level network of photography, cataloging & fulfillment centers that can ensure quality and timely order processing that will help large ecommerce players achieve scale under the new eCommerce Policy without sacrificing control on speed & quality."
The Company is platform agnostic and is already working with multiple eCommerce marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Shopclues, etc. Artisans & farmers trained under the project not only find new livelihoods through ecommerce, but are also given reward monies for successfully completing the course and are given preference for business funding under Mudra loans. Anuna also helps trainees organize themselves in to Self-Help Groups, register for GST and obtain IEC code for international shipments. The program is also supported by the Retail Sector Skill Council (RASCI) under NSDC. Anuna is also planning on engaging with private-label brands to offer their products through its large network of resellers.
(With inputs from agencies.)