The handicraft sector is not only a heritage for any nation, but also brings out employment opportunities for the rural artisans.
There’s no denying the fact that the worth of anything gets multiplied when it is made with love and hard work. A perfect example for this could be the worth of handicraft. Artisans sweat their blood to make handicrafts that reflect upon the culture, tradition and heritage of a country, and that too with an unmatchable quality. And that’s why handicrafts have a special place in the hearts of many people.
The handicraft sector is not only a heritage for any nation, but also brings out employment opportunities for the rural artisans. It’s also one of the promising and productive sectors in the Indian economy and creates avenues for artisans to explore the world of entrepreneurship with the help of their uniue artistic creations.
Art & Tradition Weaving Success in the Modern Era
In the glooming shine of machine-made goods, many people often ignore to look at the elegance of handmade goods. But, the outlook of customers has started to change gradually as people have started realizing the worth of the hard work put into the handicrafts. So, what exactly is making Indians to take a glance over handicrafts market? In conversation with Franchise India, Mrs Varuna Anand, Founder & Designer, ‘The Splendor of Kashmir’, shares her outlook on the Indian handicrafts market in a broader sense. ‘The Splendor of Kashmir’ has a wide range of Hand Embroidered and Hand Woven Shawls.
“Taking pride in our rich heritage of crafts is the most important factor to influence anyone who loves handicrafts. The appreciation of the hard work, dedication and talent required to produce these handcrafted wonders which can be compared to a piece of art leads a person into loving handcrafted products”, says Anand.
Talking about the growth of handcrafted market, Varuna says, “The market for handcrafted products is a very niche market for the people who consider product quality as the biggest virtue and not price. A lover of handcrafted products knows that he has to buy ‘one in a million’ and does not desire to buy mass-produced products. So I firmly believe the target audience for a handcrafted product us totally different from those who are enamoured by machine-made products.”
Business Aspects of Handcrafts in India
India is a country with a very rich heritage of crafts, each state has a speciality craft which cannot be created outside of that state, a culture each Indian should be very proud of and should flaunt. Certain crafts are limited to their usage in our culture like Kanjiveram Saree’s, a must in the wardrobe of every Indian woman who is fond of draping a Saree.
“Shawls from Kashmir are even desired overseas by people as an accent over any attire, their sale is not just limited in India or by people of Indian origin. Handcrafted products positively have a niche market and are cherished both within the country and overseas. I strongly believe that they do not have a mass market and remain desirable to a select clientele only”, says Varuna when asked about the growing demand of handicraft.
While talking about the presence of Indian handicrafts beyond international boundaries, Anand opines, “For the longest time, the west tried to ape the process of shawl making from Kashmir but failed to create this handmade wonders, the closest they got were the machine-made replicas of our shawls. They appreciate and admire the efforts that go in producing handcrafted products and value them far more than we do in India. I think since India has such a rich heritage of handcrafted products sometimes we tend to take them for granted and do not give them the due respect or credit they deserve.”
Another biggest trend in the handicraft market is the wave of organic produces that is spreading across every other business idea. These products largely contribute to the organic produce market and hence are witnessing a greater demand. “In a cottage industry, the use of chemicals is very limited and more organic products are used. So, consciously or subconsciously, we end up supporting this organic produce wave,” adds Anand.
Towards the Franchise Route
While the market is favourable for a handicraft business, one has to think of a great investment when they think of starting an independent business. As per sources, the start-up investment cost of a handicraft business ranges from Rs 25-50 Lakhs approximately.
While investing in a franchised outlet of an already established brand, a lot of errands can get cut-off. The unique selling proposition of a handicraft franchise is that it is a low investment business opportunity. One of the biggest brands in handicraft business offers a franchise opportunity in an investment of just Rs 50,000 – Rs 2 lakhs in which, franchisees are provided with complete guidance and training to run their outlets and are given sales, marketing, technical and operational support.