This Kolkata Based Startup ‘Rare Planet’ Is Empowering Local Artisans And Helping Them Earn Sustainable Income
The quality of Indian handicrafts and handlooms is renowned across the world. And according to media reports, the Indian handicrafts industry is estimated to be around $7 to $8 billion market.
Despite this fact, for decades, Indian craftsmen and karigars have suffered a lot.
This situation of craftsmen is mainly because of reasons such as middlemen involvement, sale of products at a lower price, lack of funds for product development etc.
Understanding the situation of artisans, an entrepreneur from Kolkata thought of making a change. So, to provide sustainable income to local artisans, Ranodeep Saha started Rare Planet, a platform promoting indigenous Indian handicrafts and selling them via eCommerce and direct offline retail.
Startup Story: Rare Planet | Empowering Local Artisans
Rare Planet Founder
Rare Planet was launched by Ranodeep Saha in 2017, while he was pursuing his BTech degree. The startup was later joined by Vijay Kumar in 2019, who has years of experience in retail and lifestyle.
Ranodeep Saha launched Rare Planet initially to develop and sell terracotta-made kulhad (teacups) both online and offline.
But the startup has now expanded its product line to include handicrafts, stationery, jewellery, pottery, bottles, and home decor products made from terracotta, copper, ceramic, brass, wood, and marble.
How Rare Planet Started?
Rare Planet started with a vision to uplift rural artisans and provide sustainable income to them. Initially, Rare Planet started developing and selling terracotta-made kulhad (teacups) both online and offline.
Talking about the kulhads made by the startup, Ranodeep explains that their kulhads are developed, crafted, and painted in a way to make them reusable and also microwave-proof.
“Terracotta kulhads that are used and thrown after drinking tea are generally baked once in the open under the sun. Our cups are baked in the furnace two times and then kept out in the sun for durability. They are coated to make them non-stick and washable, making them reusable.”
Rare Planet has now expanded its product line and now offers much more than just Terracotta kulhads.
The startup’s product line includes handicrafts, stationery, jewellery, pottery, bottles, and home decor products made from terracotta, copper, ceramic, brass, wood, and marble.
USP Of Rare Planet
Rare Planet is focused on uplifting rural artisans that connects more than 2500 artisan families PAN India.
The startup does a bit for the society by bringing rural-based handicrafts to the limelight where ever possible. Empowering local artisans, the products are designed and listed by the startup’s in-house team.
Aside from more orders and consistent work projects, the startup also facilitates loans and helps artisans get access to machinery and tools required for making the products.
Present Situation of Rare Planet
Rare Planet currently works with about 2,500 local artisans from five states and the product offered by the D2C brand are made available for purchase across over 60 stores, including Crossword, WH Smith, and SAPNA Books.
Customers can also buy the product online through the Rare Planet’s official website, along with Flipkart, Amazon, and MensXP.
As per Ranodeep, the startup’s annual run rate for the last financial year was Rs 6 crore, and now the team is trying to achieve Rs 2 crore monthly run rate.
Future Plans of Rare Planet
Rare Planet aims to work with 25,000 artisans and plans on offering authentic handicrafts from Kutch, Jodhpur, Madhubani, Nadia, Saharanpur, Cuttack, and Puri by 2022.
The startup is also looking to expand its offline partnerships through retail outlets across airports in India.