Millennium Post

After tremendous success in retail stores, Tantuja looks to capture e-commerce platform

The huge profits are enough to tell the story of Tantuja – which recently launched a successful partnership with Flipkart and Amazon. Tantuja’s products, especially sarees, are now available on most popular e-commerce platform.

Once ailing due to financial crisis, the organisation under West Bengal State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society made a record operational profit in 2015-16 at Rs 3.5 crore against a turnover of Rs 123.19 crore.

The profit margin was Rs 2.05 crore in 2014-15 against the turnover of Rs 106.67 crore.

This year, in 2016-17, the turnover has also crossed passed Rs 125 crore.

“We have tied up with Amazon. We were selling Tantuja sarees through Flipkart and have clocked sales of Rs 50 lakh,” said state MSME minister Swapan Debnath. Tantuja, a State government undertaking, has 48 stores as of now and plans to open at least two more stores at Digha and Mumbai soon. 

“We are expanding our stores and also harnessing the multiple e-commerce marketplace portals to expand our reach,” the minister added.

‘Biswa Bangla’ stores at airports and a few major locations, including the National Capital, sell Tantuja products as well. However, Tantuja products will not offer any special discounts in the online marketplace and will maintain the same price strategy for both online and offline stores.

Meanwhile, Tantuja is planning exclusive wedding sarees in line with Banarasi variety by roping in weavers from Varanasi. These exclusive sarees will cater to the niche clientele across the world.

The measure will help in raking in higher revenue in the years to come, the officers believe.

The state government would consider capex support for expansion of Tantuja, but the government will not subsidise operational expenses.

Tantuja has been churning out profits for the last three years. The profits have made it one of the best ‘turnaround’ stories. With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s taking a personal endeavour to revitalise the organisation – which was lying lifeless – her ‘Tant Sathi’ scheme played a vital role. An amount of Rs 120 crore has now been allotted to Tant Sathi as compensation to the tant weavers.

Speaking about the use of multiple marketing channels by Tantuja, a senior officer at Nabanna said that the adoption of ‘omni-channel marketing route’ to expand Tantuja’s reach is also the Chief Minister’s brainchild. It will help in reaching out to more customers, besides introducing new products.

Tantuja, set up in 1945, has been awarded the esteemed ‘Images Retail Award’ by a private organisation in Mumbai. It has been acknowledged as the ‘Best Turnaround Story’ by Indian Retail Forum, the biggest retail platform in India.

The award was given for its innovative branding, marketing and retailing strategy and concept building, after having been a loss-making company for the last 25 years. planning is to take up marketing of India Handloom Brand products.

The erstwhile state government established Tantuja to give healthy promotion to weaving and craftsmanship, part of Bengal’s unique culture.

However, militant trade unionism and poor work culture turned it into a loss-making entity and eventually a burden to the government. Now, it is once again on the path of growth.
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