A Glimpse of the Indian Art and Craft Market

Ceramic Knobs in Khurja, Uttar Pradesh

India is a land where every corner is evident with the greatness of art and craft. The traditional quintessence of Indian art and craft can be seen even in the daily used objects like earthen pot, mugs, bed-sheets or any such things. The objects are created with great creativity that portrays magnificent work of art. That is what Indian art and craft industry is!
Indian art and craft is an old saga. Although, the present state of the industry is flourishing with a touch of contemporary designs and patterns but it is deeply entrenched with the rich craft customs from the past. The uniqueness in the Industry lies in its own way.

India’s richness in art and craft can be seen in every product whether garments, jewelry or household furnishings. These products are a perfect mix of traditional designs and modern techniques. Due to their diversity in designs and their being utilitarian in nature, they are high in demand. This has given many Indian traders to invest in the industry and flaunt India’s custom across the world. Products such as table mats, napkins, bed sheets, lamp shades etc are made out astoundingly with the use of natural material, textile printing, block printing, tie and die, hand printing etc, and are much in demand. Gems and jewelries are other obsession of India. The rising demands in gems and jewelries have transformed Indian craft traditions into a full-grown organized industry. Garments such as woolen shawls and phirens from Himachal, traditional sarees ranging from Banarsi Amru, Tanchoi, Paithani, Patola, and Kancheevaram are the most popular export garments. India’s zardozi and brocade work are highly recognized these days. Other utilitarian craft products like cushions, curtains, bedcovers, sheets, metal furniture, wood furniture, boxes, cabinets, terracotta items, utensils, garden pots, paper-mache products, brass and silverware, carpets, rugs and durries from Kashmir, jute and coir items, wood and stone sculptures, traditional paintings, decorative pieces, embellished wooden sculptures, stone and wood carvings, and many more are on the rise in India as well as in abroad.

Black Stone Pottery from the Longpi Village in North-Eastern Manipur
Black Stone Pottery from the Longpi Village in North-Eastern Manipur

The industry in India is $7 Billion+ and globally it is at $103 Billion, as per latest handicraft report by the government. Within the space, it is very fragmented with over 4 Million artisans and designers across India. They had only 3 ways of selling their creations:

  • Sell to major retail stores in India
  • Export to shops and buyers overseas
  • Sell direct to public (this is difficult)

The problem in India with crafting industry is that the artisans do not have easy access to these top sales sources and need a platform that can help them. On the other hand, consumers want access to purchase unique products and want designer products that are handmade . That’s where CraftsVilla came in to fill that need.

We see the Indian arts and crafts industry as an opportunity to aggregate the fragmented market, which is large according to market size numbers above, and bring these unique products to people globally. Also, what we sell is not branded, thus “price” competition is not an issue like other branded online shops have. We are on path to hit 2,000 “sellers” on CraftsVilla by June, so we see that there is a large growth opportunity in this industry.

Strengths of the sector:

  • Large, diversified and potential market.
  • Large product variety and range is available because of diversified culture.
  • It has strong, diversified and supportive retail infrastructure.
  • Diversified product range that service different market.
  • Cheap labor rates that result to competitive price.
  • Need low capital investment.
  • There is flexible production flexibility.
  • Low barriers of new entry


Weaknesses of the sector:

  • Lack of infrastructure and communication facilities.
  • Unawareness about international requirements and market.
  • Lack of co-ordination between government bodies and private players.
  • Inadequate information of new technology.
  • Inadequate information of current market trends.
  • Less interest of young people in craft industry.
  • Lack of skilled labor.
  • Still confined to rural areas and small cities and untapped market.
  • Lack of promotion of products.


Opportunities of the sector:

  • Rising demand for handicraft products in developed countries such as USA, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy etc.
  • Developing fashion industry requires handicrafts products.
  • Development of sectors like Retail, Real Estate that offers great requirements of handicrafts products.
  • Development of domestic and international tourism sector.
  • e-Commerce and Internet are emerged as promissory distribution channels to market and sell the craft products.

Threats to the sector:

  • Competition in domestic market.
  • Balance between high demand and supply.
  • Quality products produced by competing countries like China, South Africa.
  • Better Trade terms offered by competing countries.
  • Increased and better technological support and RandD facility in competing countries.

Source: fibre2fashion

Image source: www.thebetterindia.com

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