Treasures from the North-East
Be it food, music, fashion or culture, the states of the north eastern region of India, pack a punch. And, providing a glimpse of what's on offer by these states is Giskaa.com, an online store that sells products from the North-East.
Naga King Chilli Pickle, Rs 257
The name of the brand, co-founder Meghanath Singh tells us, comes from the capitals of the states from the region, such as Gangtok, Imphal and Kohima. The brand has been co founded by Singh, Surchand Wahengbam and Ratheesh-Elayat. "I have been working in the IT industry for 15 years.
Hand-woven cushion cover with Naga spear motif, Rs 391
We had always wanted to start something of our own, so we thought why not promote something from the North East. That's when I quit my job, and Surchand and I travelled to all the states of the North-East (except Arunachal Pradesh) and met several artisans, private entrepreneurs and government organisations. We call it our journey of discovery," relates Singh.
Longpi black pottery casserole, Rs 1,105
While the company is based out of Bangalore, their warehouse is situated in Guwahati. In each of the states, a product specialist deals with their suppliers and thus, all the products are then routed to Guwahati from different corners of the North-East.
Black rice scrub soap by Sahi, Rs 316
The website finally went live this March, and the buying patterns, Singh tells us are fascinating. "We were earlier aiming at the top five metro cities, but we have received orders from several small towns and satellite cities. We have had restaurants in Mumbai place orders for our pottery and even restaurant chains in the Middle East and Tanzania placed orders," says Singh.
Ethnic Zeliang Tribe waistcoat for kids, Rs 1,864
The highest selling products on the website are the food items that include fermented soya bean and fish, green teas, dry red chillies and pickles. "I discovered the Smoked Pork and King Chilli pickle for the first time on our trip," confesses Singh.
Handmade water reed sandals, Rs 390
The website also gives a back story of products, which helps build an identity of the parties involved. Singh tells us that they didn't want a market place model for their website and were closely involved with the artisans, including helping them design their products and organise photo shoots.
(From left) Co-founders Meghanath Singh, Surchand Wahengbam and Ratheesh Elayat
Apart from food items, the website offers handmade bath products, office accessories and jewellery. Giskaa also takes personalised B2B orders. One of the best stories that we heard from Singh was about our city, "Most orders from Mumbai are for our eco-friendly products." We like.
Log on to: giskaa.com