ndian Handicraft goods are not produced in factories. It is an art which involves love, care and soul of the artisan who expresses herself/himself with hands. It is not a mechanical, monotonous process but a one where imagination and creativity take center stage. Being a country of 1.21 billion people who live in 26 states, India has a rich, vast art and craft legacy. Each of these states is famous for different kinds of handicraft. There is no wonder that India is one of the key sellers of these goods in the world wide market. According to one report, today around 70 lakh Indians are employed due to this industry, which is growing in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Today this business boasts at an average annual growth rate of 10 to 15 %. This trade requires a very less capital investment because most of the products are handmade and need basic tools. It has provided jobs to people of lower sections of the country and also to the rural women, thanks to women empowerment. These artisans hand pick ranges of bits and pieces from glass, bamboo, stones, shells to wood, clay and create an amazing master piece using their skills. Their devotion and love make each of these pieces unique. Today we export goods like paintings, jewelry, wooden show pieces, metal statues, embroidered clothes and many more to countries around the world like Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Britain.
Our imitation jewelry, zari work, hand printed clothes and woodware are quite in demand. Due to profuse and inexpensive labor, we are able to give competitive prices on our handicrafts in the global market. As these items are handmade, the machine-produced goods are no match to them hence the industry doesn’t face tough competition. There is a lot of growth and potential in this industry. However, our share in this arena is still minimal. We haven’t explored this field to maximum yet. Our highly labor-oriented industry is stretched all over the country, from rural areas to modern cities. It is not centralized. We still have many limitations. Our capacity to cater to large orders is limited. Plus many artisans are still unaware about the international standards.
At times, the quality levels are not consistent and there is not a proper infrastructure and communication to see to the benefits of this industry yet. But people have become more concern for pollution and they want to give their share in saving the environment by buying ‘Eco-friendly’ products. This has given rise to the trade. Developed countries have more income hence the consumers have more spending power these days. There are many who want to possess a rare and novel piece of craftsmanship. These consumers of developed countries appreciate these masterpieces. Keeping our strengths and weaknesses in mind, we can say that India’s handicraft industry has a good future in the global market. Because of technology, today a simple artisan can reach to the global market by using e-commerce and make contact with millions of people in a blink of an eye.