Technology to the rescue

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Technology to the rescue

Monday, 16 August 2021 | Raghuram Kuchibhatla

Technology to the rescue

Raghuram Kuchibhatla discusses how digital mediums can help improve the lives of Indian artisans

Technology has been advancing expeditiously over the past few decades and is collaborating with different industries across several verticals to elevate productivity and profitability. India, a developing country, is not new to the comfort and assistance of a technological revolution and thus, encourages digital advancement along with adopting other tech-supported tools to attain success across industries. There have been several initiatives by the private as well as the government sector to uplift businesses, especially artistes and their ventures, with the help of technology. One of the endeavours that have made its way through is ‘Vocal For Local’, where the Indian government encourages Indian startups and businesses to grow, requesting citizens to promote their country’s ventures over international brands and businesses from overseas.

However, artisans are undergoing a turbulent time with their efforts and art, as the small craftspersons and artistes do not have a rigid medium to market their art and reach the people of the country. Indian artisans who reside not in commercial places or city apartments but streets, chawls and other lesser-known recesses are devoid of technological advancements and digital progressions. This further regresses their growth and obstructs their financial standing in society. Some of the ways to prevent the descent of Indian aesthetics, authenticity and artisanship are:

Setting the online narrative

Influencing the reach of the internet amid rural and urban regions alike will help set a modern precedent for artisans to kickstart their new-world journeys. An artisan from Kolkata or a Rajasthani folk print craftsperson deserves equal recognition as any other international company known for its fancy bags and shoes. Helping the artistes of India to establish their online presence and collaborate with platforms to present their authentic art will help everyone to see technological reform as a tool to success instead of a threat to our culture.

Numerous portals are now supporting small artistes to exhibit their work and earn a respectable income from what is rightfully theirs. The key is to educate people across the country on the importance of the internet and provide them with resources to introduce their art on it.

Inventory and material management

Technological advancements have helped in launching websites and businesses that aid artisans to set a much-needed structure while growing their business simultaneously. Technology is enabling artisans to obtain raw materials via e-commerce portals and reach out to a bigger audience, delivering what has been crafted with a warm heart and skillful hands. Some of the retail and commerce portals that are powered by technology allow artisans to have their personalised inventory reminders and raw material stock alerts that make them aware of their material running low. This helps in giving artisans time to stock up and restart their artful process of creating beauty with their abilities.

AI and IoT blending well with art

Empowering artisans with a secure technological base that safeguards their blueprints and designs digitally, Artificial Intelligence offers personalised recognition and security. Furthermore, the digitals tags and codes along with online art tours in the streets of true India have the power to change the perspective of many. Implementing the amalgamation of AI and the Internet of Things will be a revolutionary step in drawing people towards cultural art and artisans.

Hanging by a Thread

Hanging by a Thread represents the initiative where artisans have WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social media for their assistance and can start marketing their art to the people of the country. Advertising their prints and designs while they tread the road to monetary and artisanal growth is how technology can uplift the native art of India and simultaneously fuel Vocal For Local while focusing on true artists and their long-due recognition.

Technology has been an added assistance meant to catalyse the upward spiral of success for artisans. It has been helping artisans passively for a long while, but it is about time we educate Indian artisans about this tool and make their spirits more resolute by the day.

(The author is the founder and CEO of Yes!poho, a techno-experience social platform which connects like-minded people with artisans.)

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