GoCoop is a four-year old start-up that is creating an international market for Indian artisanal products such as handlooms through a B2B e-commerce platform. The company, founded by Siva Reddy, a former technologist with managerial experience in India as well as abroad has received a round of angel funding, followed by a Series A round recently. It has pivoted (i.e., changed its business model) twice and is now poised for a phase of rapid growth. The case traces the history of the company and examines some of the critical choices made by the entrepreneur and his key learning experiences. The case is anchored on the next steps that GoCoop will have to undertake to meet its growth aspirations. It also provides an opportunity for the class to deliberate and reflect on the choices made by the company and the entrepreneur so far. The case is accompanied by a background note on the marketing of Indian handloom products from an earlier period prior to the advent of electronic commerce. Company videos and those of Indian artisans are also available on YouTube.
The case can be used in Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship courses, and in general in any course that explores how rural artisans producing traditional products such as handloom fabrics and handicrafts can be economically empowered by integrating them into supply chains serving domestic urban and international markets. The case can illustrate to course participants the opportunities and challenges in connecting rural artisans to markets. It can also be used to explore different business models and their operational and financial implications.