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  • Mamallapuram Joins the League of Craft Cities of the World

    The rock-cut city of Mamallapuram has recently added another feather to its hat. Three years after being crowned the 'World Stone Carving City' by UNESCO’s World Crafts Council, the city has finally earned a plaque for the same. On 8th March, 2018 which was observed as Artisan’s Day in the state, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr E Palaniswami formally announced the installation of the plaque inscribed with 'World Stone Carving City’.

    With this move, Mamallapuram has become one of the 19 craft cities across the world and joined Jaipur to occupy this prestigious place. Mamallapuram is an open handicraft museum, owing to the rich collection of rock cut figures, temples and especially monoliths that dot the city. With this new recognition, the artisans of Mamallapuram would be recognised on the international platform on par with other similar cities, and hopefully, benefit from this exposure.

    Image Credit - TimesofIndia Image Credit - TimesofIndia
  • The State of The Indian Craft Industry

    The crafts sector of India’s economy employs over twenty million people, and it is second after the agriculture sector. Handicrafts, rightly described as the craft of the people, are a major source of income and employment for the people of India. The handicrafts sector is a home-based industry. This kind of work does not require extensive investment, training or machinery for production to begin.

    Image Credit - Newindianexpress.com Image Credit - Newindianexpress.com

    Craftsmen typically use ingenuity and raw materials existing within their surroundings to produce ornaments, fabrics or ceramics that can be sold. Many pastoral and agricultural communities within the country rely on traditional craft skills as a source of backup income in times of poor crop yields, famine, lean harvests or drought. Such traditional skills, handed down for generations, also constitute a vital source of income for women and are often the only way that communities can survive natural disasters.

    All these facts prove that the Indian craft industry vital component of the nation's economy, but though they are accurate, it is also true that the craft industry is in a state of decline. With the most recent evidence of this being the plight of the potters and sculptors of Bengaluru, considered by many to be the heart of pottery in India.

    The potters and sculptors worry that they could soon lose pottery town due to a decline in the market, and a scarcity of raw materials. This concern is well founded, the world today is one characterised by mass production, and economies of scale have resulted in a dramatic decline in price. New materials have further changed the industry, mass-produced products are stronger and more durable than natural ceramics. This is an unfortunate truth that we all must deal with.

    On a more positive note, there are still opportunities that craftspeople such as the potters and sculptors of pottery town can exploit to sustain their trade. Handcrafted wares are not cheap. Consider this, if there is even a little demand for a handcrafted product, why would it be cheaply priced.  Since it is unique and one of a kind, consumers should buy it at a higher price. Craftspeople should take advantage of current developments in internet marketing to explore the new market. Web-based artisan stores such as the E-repository launched by Poompuhar could provide much-needed exposure for handicraft makers.

    Though technology has caused some of the Indian handicraft industry's problems, it has also created many opportunities that should be exploited to ensure that it remains vibrant and profitable.

  • Benefits of joining an E-Repository for the Artist

    Promoting art in this era, can be a little challenging for any individual. The average person is normally too occupied with the hustle and bustle of life to find the time for anything but a little rest and relaxation after a hard day's work. As a result, only the truly passionate can make the time to actually visit an exhibition. Coupled with stiff competition, it becomes really hard for the individual artist to make ends meet.

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    Fortunately, advertising strategies for art have grown rapidly in the last few decades, and today, the internet is the newest and most popular avenue for the selling and auction of art. For art lovers, it may simply be a quick and convenient way to spend money on a piece of art but for the modern artist, it is a truly exciting development.

    Why?You ask!! Because it opens a vast and insatiable market.

    Modern art consumers and enthusiasts typically prefer electronic repositories because they have the opportunity to inspect a much greater number of art pieces at their own pace, all this can’t be done in traditional art galleries which can display only a limited number pieces and can operate for limited time of day. This level of discretion also comes with its own advantages such as –there is less exposure for the sellers and buyers, the price remains a secret, and there is hardly any chance that the auction could fail.

    For emerging artists, the repository provides an opportunity to connect with loyal clients. A web gallery that has worked tirelessly to build a proper listing of artists definitely has the market for their work. Such a repository could also convince collectors to purchase the works of new artists.

    Endorsement by a reputable gallery that has nation-wide coverage is a vital step for any artist interested in building a professional career. The art world is a highly competitive environment where the individual with the most exposure has a greater advantage over others in the same field. Representation by an established web-based repository is an important prerequisite for artists seeking to connect with potential buyers.

    Online galleries are typically used by collectors with large budgets. These individuals are usually willing to pay large sums of money for good art. What this means for the artist is that the value of their work could increase dramatically in an instant. This doesn’t mean that the work was less valuable before, just that its perceived value has increased.

  • Poompuhar is set to transform the handicraft market using virtual reality

    Poompuhar is all set to develop the virtual reality tool with an initial investment of approximately Rs. 2.2 Cr. Poompuhar is the retail arm of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation and this initiative will be funded from the State Innovation Fund.

    The campaign will place mobile units of approx. 1000 square ft. at places like airport or malls. Potential customers will be provided with head gears to virtually observe the art and crafts while browsing through the showroom or craft centre or a workshop. Customers will be able to purchase the desired item from Poompuhar online store. According to Santhosh Babu who is the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Poompuhar this technology will also be implemented in other government departments.

    IMG Credit - pixabay IMG Credit - pixabay

    This new Poompuhar project is 3-Design Research and Development Centre, Chennai. This centre will also be funded by State Innovation Fund and will be managed under a business model by an external organization. This centre will be responsible for designing products for the virtual reality display area. It will also help in souvenir and utility market segments which is part of Poompuhar future expansion.

    Utility market will include the handicrafts from China. Santhosh Babu added to his earlier statement that souvenir market consists of high-end products and such items are in high demand also. Hence, Poompuhar is planning to expand into this growing market with the help of this design centre. It will help in keeping up with the demand for these fast-moving items.

    Poompuhar is also looking to include more avenues while focusing on non-traditional selling prospects. Supporting these plans, there is a plan in place to launch a craft cafe at Urban Haats in the Nilgiris and Mahabalipuram like the café already running in Kanchipuram.

    "Since VR is one of the burgeoning areas, why not a government department shows the way forward in utilising new technology and be the trendsetter in making a virtual showroom," said Dr Santhosh Babu.

    Also, a 360 degree walk-through webpage will be designed for potential customers, who are not able to visit physical stores, to offer the same experience. He anticipated the total revenue to be Rs. 50 crore in this fiscal and Rs. 33 Cr to be the total sales from the showroom.

    This will the ground-breaking initiative by Poompuhar by mixing tradition and technology to promote the love for handicrafts in India.

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/virtual-reality-to-give-a-boost-to-sale-of-art-works/article22547277.ece

  • Taking Poompuhar to new heights

    Smt. Chitra Arumugam IAS, Secretary to Government - Handloom, Textiles & Handicraft Department, Govt. of Odisha called on the CMD of Poompuhar on Monday 25-May-2015. Also present were Smt. Gayatri Patnaik, Managing Director, Utkalika - Odisha State Co-op. Handicrafts‬ Corporation Ltd, Bhubaneswar. Together they discussed the prospects of marketing handicraft products in the current era and the upliftment/welfare of artisans. They also discussed various strategies to jointly approach potential market segments.

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  • Inspection to Kanyakumari Haut

    The Kanyakumari Haut being inspected by Chairman & Managing Director, Poompuhar, Dr. Santhosh Babu I.A.S on 28th April 2015 in the presence of District collector Shri Sajjansingh R. Chavan and Selvi Shreya P Singh IAS.

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