KSIC plans to sell silk saris online

Aug 3, 2017

Mysuru: Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation Ltd (KSIC) is all set to enter e-tailing business before Dasara. This will enable customers of Mysuru Silk, which has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag, to buy products of their choice at the click of a mouse.

At present, KSIC is selling its silk saris through its outlets. The popularity of Mysuru Silk is growing by the year, thanks to its quality. The saris are pricey too, with the starting price standing at Rs 9,500. KSIC sold saris and other products worth Rs 155 crore in 2015-16, and Rs 172 crore in 2016-17. In the first four months of this financial year, it has recorded a turnover of Rs 50 crore. Officials are expecting it to touch Rs 185 crore by the end of this fiscal.

The silk enterprise, which is more than a century old, wants to makes its presence online too. Big e-tailers like Amazon and Flipkart had approached KSIC sometime back, offering their platform to sell its products online. But the public sector unit rejected the proposal as it wanted KSIC to hike the prices by 35%.

A year down the line, KSIC plans to have its own e-tailing platform. “It is developing a software to sell its unique products, especially saris,” said M K Somashekar, chairman of KSIC.

Bhimappa L H, general manager (procurement) of KSIC, told TOI that Mysuru Silk is popular all over the world. “Till now, we didn’t have online platforms to market our products. We were selling it through our outlets. About less than 1% our unique saris, which have pure gold laces (zari), were sold through our portal,” he added.

Indians residing abroad place orders on the portal, and those in the US, the UK and Australia place form a major chunk of online customers. “Approximately, we sell 250-300 saris in a year through our official portal,” Bhimappa said, adding that their customers have never rejected the products.

“Now, we are trying to tap the global market with renewed efforts. An exclusive software is being designed, and the related work will be completed in less than two months. The project has been outsourced to a private firm, which will maintain and demonstrate how to handle the platform. It will be on the lines of Amazon and Flipkart. Our product range, which has a wide range of colour combination, will be displayed and presented like popular e-tailers,” he said.

“We have not been into e-tailing as most of our customers want that touch-and-feel experience while purchasing silk,” explained Bhimappa. “Sari is our main product. We also manufacture dhoti, shalya, peta, handkerchief and shirts,” he added.

Source: Times of India