Local goes global as Etsy steps into India

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  • Etsy has set up a team in Delhi to help more local entrepreneurs go international. This is among the first few seller-focused teams formed by the company
  • It is also planning to recruit and assist new sellers online and offline, by offering free listings, giving incentives and hosting workshops to introduce existing and potential sellers to each other.
  • Etsy will encourage craftsmen to continue their family trades and set up their own businesses with minimal investment.

Etsy, a US-based marketplace for unique and creative goods, has announced its entry into the Indian market and has set up a team in Delhi to help more local entrepreneurs go international.

The team’s focus will be on creating more opportunities for Indian artistes to sell their products worldwide. The company aims to target independent designers with limited capital or traditional artistes working in remote areas. This is among the first such seller-focused teams formed by the 13-year-old company.

Sellers from India have been using Etsy since the early days of the company and there are currently more than 650,000 items available on Etsy from Indian sellers including ethnic jewellery, traditional clothes, parasols, fabrics, bed-covers, and quilts, among other items.

However, on their India launch, the company did not disclose the number of Indian sellers.

To get the ball rolling, the e-commerce website is planning to recruit and assist new sellers online and offline, by offering free listings and incentives to all new sellers in India on the platform. It will also host workshops to introduce existing and potential sellers to each other.

This offers Indian sellers the opportunity to grow their business and create a marketplace for authentic Indian handicrafts.

The scenario here, however, is different from what it would have been if any other successful MNC would have entered the country. Etsy will encourage craftsmen to continue their family trades, instead of forcing them to switch to more ‘modern’ jobs. Furthermore, it could also help budding artists and designers to set up their own trades with minimal investment.

Founded in Brooklyn in 2005, the company connects two million creative entrepreneurs, 87% of whom are women, with nearly 35 million buyers from nearly every country around the world. The company generated $3.25 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2017. India as always been an important market to Etsy as it has seen “interesting organic activity, without us having to do much”.
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