BusinessE-Commerce

After Gandhi, Amazon is the new proponent of Indian Khadi

KVIC Logo and name

Khadi is India’s pride. It is the way Indians weave their cloths for millennia. Unlike popular belief, Khadi is not a type of clothing material; rather it is a manufacturing process. Generally, Khadi is made with Cotton but occasionally Silk or other materials are also used. The process is completely hand driven. The material and the process is more than just for clothing as it is connected deeply to the Indian culture and Indian Freedom Fight against the colonial rule.

India’s Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was the biggest proponent of the clothing material and he used to weave his own Khadi using the wheel known as Charkha. This is by far the most sustainable way to make any kind of clothing material. Following are the benefits of Khadi:

  1. It is a labour intensive process and thus generates a lot of employment
  2. Environment-friendly and fuel is not required for running charkhas
  3. Water is not required for the weaving process. Hence, now wastage or pollution

The issue of climate is aggravating and the threat it poses is to the whole of humanity. It is in everyone’s interest that manufacturing processes such as Khadi are promoted worldwide. Mahatma Gandhi was one of the earliest proponents of this technique. He was famous for the hand-woven clothing that he used to wear in daily life and even when he travelled abroad. He introduced this to the global stage when he was leading the protest against the British Rule in India.

The colonial rule in India had a negative impact on the Indian handloom industry and Brits were flooding the Indian market with the UK made products especially clothing. Mahatma Gandhi, as a part of the ‘Boycott British Goods’ movement, asked Indians to weave their own clothing. He told everyone to have a charkha and spin their own Khadi.

Now, let us look at modern times. Very few people in India know about Khadi, let alone use it. There are a few places where there is still a culture of using Khadi but mostly for gifting purposes and less in the daily lives. There is a dire need of promotion for the Khadi industry.

Amazon needs no introduction, as it is the highest valued company in the world with a massive $795 billion market valuation.  They have recently signed an MoU with the Bihar State Khadi and Village Industries Board to sell their products on the Amazon e-commerce platform. This is a huge step towards the development of the Khadi industry of India.

The first and foremost benefit that the industry will have is better sales and revenue generation. People are becoming more and more aware of the needs and benefits of locally and sustainably manufactured products such as Khadi clothing materials. Thus, the sales will be much higher through an e-commerce platform of Amazon’s magnitude.

The second benefit will be a promotion. The e-commerce giant is not India specific. It is a US based corporation and it has its business spread across the globe. This will allow the Khadi industry to reach out to Indian as well as global consumers. This collaboration with Amazon will boost its reputation and sales across regions.

Currently, Amazon is going through a turmoil on the highest level as several allegations are there against its founder Jeff Bezos. However, according to the regional heads, the business on the ground level is as usual. Moreover, the Indian government has imposed numerous rules and regulation for FDI and e-commerce industry. Amidst such a situation, the company is trying to gain as much as possible before there is a threat to their business in one of the largest markets in the world.

The collaboration between Amazon and Khadi Industry is mutually beneficial. Similar collaborations are needed across numerous other industries as well for their survival and prosperity.

-Soumya De

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