Creating sustainable livelihoods for artisans in India

by providing data on players of the craft ecosystem

aided with relevant facilitation

Bridging the existing information poverty gap by 3 step process

  1. Data collection

  2. Data access on platform

  3. Data based facilitation

Is craft sector still the second largest employer in India?

Government of India’s textiles

& handicraft census data:

68,86,000 artisans

in 2018

Dasra’s report :

7 million artisans employed in India in 2013

Harvard South Asia Report:

11.65 million artisans employed in India in 2013

Government of India’s textiles

& handicraft official data:

744 clusters & 2,11,683 artisans in 2010

The production of handicrafts (after agriculture) is the largest source of income among rural populations - an estimated 11.65 million Indians were engaged in craft production in 2013. The number grew to 13.93 million in 2017 and is expected to grow to 17.79 million in 2022 (Source 2) as official figures (up to 22 million or 50 million or even 80 million artisans according to other sources). Based on our research, evidently current data on artisans or craft sector available with government stakeholders, social sector, institutions and craft sector are fractured, unreliable (opaque data collection process) or inaccurate data. The handicraft industry and artisan sector in India is largely fragmented across craft categories and regions. In the current scenario, there is neither quality data available on artisans at national scale nor an organised approach in accessing artisan groups across regions by buyers, designers, businesses or facilitating organisations leading to lack of market/ retail player connect or sustained capacity building support resulting in untapped potential of business.


There is demand in market for craft products but the market players don’t have direct access to artisan groups or craft clusters and generally dependent on ”middle men” to facilitate business. At the same time, artisans also are not aware of the existing market players in India, lack of information on relevant raw material suppliers and/ or artisan centric opportunities leading to unstable livelihood for artisans/ craft sector. Currently there is no organisation addressing this data gap and information poverty access for artisans and sector stakeholders.

“The global market for handicrafts is $400 billion with India's share below 2%, though India hosts 40% of artisans from the global artisan population.”

- Dasra report in 2013 on craft sector




 Market players

 Raw material suppliers

 Craft organisations & sector facilitators

Artisans < > Market players

Artisans < > Raw Material Supplies Artisans < > Sector facilitators




 Fractured knowledge & skills for artisan capacity

+ Lack of ability to adapt with market

Ruptured cycle of intervention by sector stakeholders Artisans pushed to poverty or move out from craft sector UNSUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD FOR ARTISANS