Having a background of rich heritage, culture and history, India’s handicraft industry plays a major part in the economic growth of the country in its internal market as well as to the export basket earning a good amount of foreign currency and signifying a huge potential of expansion. With a growth rate of more than 15% over the last five years and contributing a share of a whooping 10% per cent to the total export value of India the handicraft industry targets for a twenty five thousand crores market in recent future.Indian handicrafts, carrying a notable importance for its quality and craftsmanship to the connoisseurs of art, are exported across geographies, with the top 10 destinations being the US, UK, UAE, Germany, France, Latin American countries, Italy, Netherlands, Canada and Australia.
Spread all over the country mainly in rural and sub-urban areas this labour intensive industry has become a major source of income for the rural and backward class communities creating employment for over seven million artisans. Being mostly unorganised and categorized under the small scale industry the production units are often family or small community based, labour intensive, requires very little use of machinery or capital input and operates mainly in regional basis.
The major strength of the Indian handicraft industry is that it has a large, diversified and potential market with a wide variety and range of products in and outside of India.
Being a very low capital intensive industry the initiation and operation is easy and flexible.
The use of cheap labour in terms of semi-skilled and unskilled work force helps to keep the production cost very low.
Although the production and distribution process is not very organised, the retailing system is better.
As the products are high value added output in terms of ready to use finished goods and with an aesthetic beauty the chance of earning higher revenue is greater.
The major weaknesses of this industry is that being centralized in rural and semi urban areas the production units and the workers lack the proper infrastructure, communication with the world and facilities. And which results in a serious shortfall of knowledge in new technology and developments, market requirements and trends and proper promotion and advertisement.
Shortage of skilled worker and less interest of the younger generation is also a concerning factor.
The whole world considers the Indian handicraft industry as one of the best producer of artefacts and that’s why the demand for Indian handicraft products are constantly increasing in the international market.
The fashion industry is a big consumer of handicrafts and the changing trends and innovative styles keep the demand for handicraft product rising.
The interest of common people for using and caring for handicraft industry in their day to day life is increasing.
The increasing occurrence of social events and festivals and greater use of handcrafted items in those functions are creating new demands in this industry.
- To create, develop and pursue a platform for the backward class and less privileged artisans and craftsmen.
- To impact and improve the standard of living of the craftsmen by trading with them directly without the help of any middleman.
- Encourage the rural communities and groups to learn, practice and develop a traditional form of art by creating a steady demand for their work and also facilitating them with new styles, technologies and development.
- Channelize the flow of capital to the handicraft industry by using government aids and loans.
- Showcasing a traditional handicraft in an innovative, different and useful way to the world to attract the potential buyers and customers by participating in international fairs, seminars and workshops.