The Covid pandemic might have spun a fortune for the humble khadi. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) would probably have remained a somnolent venture, selling handspun fabric and some handicraft items in 15,000-odd outlets across the country, doing sporadic sales that surge around Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, when they offered discounts. But the lockdown and the demand for masks spurred some initiative in the organisation as it ventured into online marketing in July. Starting only by selling masks in cotton and silk fabrics, KVIC is now selling 600 products—its latest addition being a footwear collection.
Starting from sales of around Rs 7,000 a day, the daily turnover of online sales, in just three months, is anything from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. They may not account for much compared to its flagship khadi store in Connaught Place (CP), Delhi, it is enough to evince interest from e-tailers. Chairman of KVIC, V.K. Saxena, says there has been “an overwhelming love and support for khadi”. On October 2, when the big Gandhi Jayanti sale started, the CP outlet had done business of Rs 1.02 crore.