The handicraft sector is important to the Indian economy as it is one of the largest sources of employment and accounts for a large portion of the country’s exports. State and regional groups have a significant share of handicraft exports. India’s handicraft industry is divided into more than seven million regional artisans and more than 67,000 exporters/export houses that promote the region’s handicrafts in local and global markets.
Current Market Scenario
The handicrafts market in India is currently experiencing a great growth. Handicrafts are unique handicrafts made by hand or using simple tools instead of machines. They express the traditional, cultural and artistic values of a place or a nation. As they add both aesthetic and ornamental value, their demand is increasing across India.
In FY22 (until August 2021), handicraft export from India of various segments stood as below:
- Woodwares at US$ 380.83 million
- Embroidered & crocheted goods at US$ 283.27 million
- Art metal wares at US$ 228.95 million
- Handprinted textiles and scarves at US$ 145.38 million
- Imitation jewelry at US$ 82.69 million
- Miscellaneous handicrafts at US$ 463.05 million
In FY21, handicraft export from India of various segments stood as below:
- Woodwares at US$ 845.51 million
- Embroidered & crocheted goods at US$ 604.38 million
- Art metal wares at US$ 468.66 million
- Handprinted textiles and scarves at US$ 339.03 million
- Imitation jewelry at US$ 186.65 million
- Miscellaneous handicrafts at US$ 826.68 million
Change in the market
Significant changes in access to handicraft products on various internet portals have led to the growth of the market in India. In addition, handicrafts are becoming popular in the country due to the increase in travel and tourism. Tourists spend large sums of money on souvenirs and other handicrafts, increasing the number of local artisans and artisans who effectively make and sell handicrafts.
Furthermore, increasing demand for handmade decorative accessories in homes, offices, and restaurants along with increasing demand from the gift industry is driving the market growth. In addition, disposable income inflation and the growing desire of people to invest in vintage and quality handicraft products are leading to the growth of the market in the country. However, the increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and subsequent quarantines by the Indian government have had a negative impact on the handicrafts market. The market will grow when quarantine restrictions are lifted. Looking ahead, the market is expected to continue its strong growth during the forecast period (2021-2026).
The Indian government has increased incentive rates under the Merchandise Export from India (MEIS) from 5% for handicrafts to 7%, which helps exporters to offset the input costs of handicrafts production, resulting in competitive prices and an increase in exports.
In September 2020, a budget of Rs. 2.8 crore was approved by the Ministry of Textiles for a project to develop and promote integrated handicrafts in Varanasi to overcome the COVID-19 crisis that artisans are facing.
To support local artisans and weavers ahead of the festive season, Amazon.in had announced Handicrafts Mela from September 26, 2020 to October 10, 2020 which helped more than 8 lakhs artisans & weavers, across the country.
Many young and enthusiastic individuals from various states of India like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, etc., took their region’s art and artistic products to the e-commerce websites that kept them alive in the competition.