Direct Create: Craftsmanship in the Digital Age

Sheela Lunkad, Rajeev Lunkad, Co-founders, Direct Create | Insights success | Business Magazine

At Direct Create we are dedicated to enriching modern day design with authentic and excellent craftsmanship, whilst building societies and protecting these exceptional skills.
Direct Create is India’s only bespoke, online creative community platform that is bringing artisans, designers and interested customers together to co-create customized and premium handcrafted objects. They have a handpicked network of over 15,000 artisans and designers ensure that they work with only the best. Through a premium, bespoke service of the in-house curators they match client’s ideas by executing quality craftsmanship and by using the best of materials and timely delivery.
India has been long lauded for its exquisite handicrafts and its venerable place in the Indian traditions and culture. With digitalization and the internet connecting the world, it is indeed high time that the world recognises the beauty that lies in the expressions of the artisans through their handicrafts. The realization that India has the world’s largest community of hand producers and still in need to develop a solution perturbed the architect couple, Sheela Lunkad and Rajeev Lunkad.  At the same time it also pushed and gave them a boost of energy and motivation to go ahead and build Direct Create (DC). A truly integrated online platform for the Handmade consumer ecosystem, Direct Create aims to maximize the opportunity for the artisan community and showcase the art at the global level.
Direct Create not only forges new bonds, but also works on empowering the craft community by providing them with the best tools possible and gives them the freedom to tap their potential to the fullest and exposes them to the global market. With the launch of Direct Create operations in Europe through its new office in Amsterdam, the future holds innumerable potential for the Indian crafts representation in the global design community.
Direct Create is exhibiting an installation on the theme of “Craftsmanship in the Digital Age” at the MIlan Design Week 2019.
Engaging in diverse projects that involve its network of artisans and craftsmen, each year Direct Create incubates new handcrafted product development projects and presents it to the retailers and independent stores.
Dedicated Founders
Sheela has more than two decades of experience in the area of design and sustainable practices in areas ranging from craft revival, textiles, hand-crafted design space, and architecture and eco-sustainable hospitality. With an in-depth knowledge flow of artisanal communities, she has helped craft a 360-degree design solution, building ecosystems for self-reliance, innovation and growth within these communities.
Rajeev has worked on a wide range of culture linked design projects, both at the micro and macro scales. He is one of the primary designers and the Project Director of the Jal Mahal Project, which also helped restore Jal Mahal Monument and revive the ecology of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur. He has succeeded in bringing together the government, civil society, institutions, and businesses for India’s first public-private partnership-based tourism revival.
Staying Relevant
In the field of handmade, Direct Create is working to create a unique collaboration based community. From working with the hand producers, developing new, exciting and relevant products with design intervention and enabling the makers with a knowledge base to create market linkages and exposure in the country and abroad. It aims to overcome the challenge of low awareness of the sustainability, aesthetics, and design implementations on Indian crafts.
Through the company’s efforts, its global clients are getting access to talented artisans from across the country. It gives craftsmen, a reason to continue evolving their art by providing a steady flow of customers and also patronage. With a seamless connection , easy accessibility through web-portal and app, and a fully enabled support network, Direct Create aims at re-building the broken bridge between the consumers, designers and the makers. It reaches out to the remotest of the makers and brings to them powerful business management, logistics and financial tools – to access not just Indian but global markets.
The Societal Connection
The curated handicraft items at Direct Create bear a detailed description of the artisans. So the buyers exactly know what they are buying, from whom and what makes each product so special. This creates an emotional connection between the consumer and the maker – breathing life into a brand. This community-based model developed by DC is at the heart of its business, and it’s not just a good thing to do but also the right thing to do.
It recently worked with domain leaders such as Reliance Foundation for the setting up a one-of-a-kind bazaar showcasing the best of Indian crafts. Putting together the finest of Indian Arts, Craft and Design, 108 crafts of India were chosen as a thematic representation from across the country. The highlights of the bazaar were the Masters Treasures that showcased the best pieces of Indian craftsmanship and live demonstrations of crafts by artisans.
Handcrafting the Future
Direct Create is working with larger B2B markets, including the Interiors and Architecture domains, which are one of the biggest consumers of customized solutions. They are now targeting the design fraternity with unique sourcing solutions that were unthinkable in the past. Soon they hope to have a significant presence across the Interior Designers and Architects communities, enabling them to source for their projects directly from the Hand-producers who can rapidly customize for them. All these efforts are aimed at establishing a well-defined market link up, revive crafts, build trust, create jobs, keep the jobs in rural areas and establish an integrated model for sustainable and equitable livelihood.

Related Posts