Rare Planet, a handicrafts start-up based in Kolkata, was registered by Ranodeep Saha in 2017, while he was still completing his BTech degree. The startup was subsequently joined by Vijaya Kumar Thalanki Rajagopal in 2019, who has prolonged experience in retail and lifestyle operations.
Ranodeep Saha founded Rare Planet at first to create and sell earthenware-made kulhad (teacups) both online and in physical stores.
In an amazing growth path, the startup has now extended its product offering to include indigenous handicrafts, writing material, adornments, earthenware, containers, and home decoration items manufactured using earthenware, copper, clay, metal, wood, and marble.
Ranodeep has always dreamt of selling authentic made in India abroad, as there was hardly any product at international airports which would be Made in India! But profit and revenues weren’t the only things on the agenda. The company is ensuring that the artisans who make the different products for Rare Planet have access to a good quality of life and a rewarding workplace.
Through Rare Planet, more than 10,000 local artisans and karigars have found a source of income. By procuring items from these craftsmen directly, Rare Planet has eliminated the role of middlemen. This has resulted in the karigars a higher profit than they were previously making.
“The Covid times are extremely challenging for these local artisans. But Rare Planet, with the help of its community of artisans, ensured that these people, who were at the base of our success, we’re not scrambling for daily basic needs.” Rare Planet has been successful in building a community of such artisans, which has also proved to be a form of social security for them. The startup does its part as its contribution to society by bringing rural-based handicrafts and decor items to the center stage at international airports, shopping malls, and large format bookstores. Empowering local artisans, the products are designed and listed by the startup’s in-house team itself.
Besides more orders and consistent work to do, the startup also facilitates loans and helps artisans get access to machinery and tools required for making the process much easier.
Ranodeep Saha hopes to further uplift these artisans, as the start-up is funded through various sources. In 2019, Mr. VijayaKumar Thalanki Rajagopal joined as co-founder and has been a mentor to the young start-up, ever since. In the initial days, it had not been easy. “I had bought a domain and created a website, but it was not generating reasonable revenue. So we started to sell in the offline model through bookstores and local shops. There, it picked up well,” says Ranodeep.
But when he started receiving international orders gradually, he realized his dream of selling Made in India products internationally, was coming true. Now this dream has taken the shape of Rare Planet’s stores across major international airports in India, catering to travelers from around the globe. Covid is just a pause, feels Ranodeep and believes that his home-grown startup will reach newer heights going forward.
Disclaimer: This is a Brand post. No IG journalist was involved in the creation of this content.