The handicrafts industry in India is offering various job opportunities for people who live in rural areas. It is the second largest industry next to agriculture which allows skilled artisans to showcase their talents with unique ideas and approaches. Moreover, it is the backbone of the Indian economy that generates high revenues every year.
The handicrafts industry doesn’t need high investment, machines, training, and infrastructure. Indeed, it is a home-based industry and artisans create products depending on their skills and knowledge. However, handicraft industries face several challenges and artisans should know how to overcome them to help run a smooth business.
What are the challenges faced by the handicraft industry in India?
The handicrafts industry in India is facing a lot of challenges today. A recent study revealed that most artisans became unemployed due to Covid-19. They are doing minimal to run their life which ends up in various problems. A majority of Indian handicraft artisans are leading a life of poverty and they don’t know what to do next.
Here are some main challenges by handicraft artisans in India.
1. High price of raw materials and insufficient funding
Artisans require raw materials, funding, and design inputs when they want to make certain products. Since artisans live in rural areas, they lack access to buy high-quality raw materials and choose sub-standard materials which cost high. For example, handloom weavers have to compete with the power loom industries because they are ready to buy materials whatever they cost.
Lack of funding is another issue that affects the handicraft industry in India. Most artisans find it difficult to get loans from banks because they need either collateral or security. Apart from this, they don’t know how to approach them due to the lack of ideas.
2. High competition
The handicraft industry is facing stiff competition in the markets and artisans don’t know how to overcome it. Nowadays, machine-made products are increasing in the markets which affect their growth. Furthermore, they cost less and handcrafts industries face difficulties in managing the issue.
3. Lack of design inputs
Design plays a key role in attracting consumers when they want to buy a product. Many artisans don’t know how to design their products to changing demands. They don’t know how to adapt to the increasing urbanization and globalization of markets. Artisans should consider designing products with great input to stay competitive for a long time.
4. Not having enough exposure to marketing techniques
Several artisans have poor education and they don’t know how to identify potential new markets while selling their products. They lack marketing skills that ultimately affect their growth levels. Some rural areas in India don’t have the facilities to market products and artisans face difficulties in using mobile technologies due to poor networks.
5. Lack of an organized system
Handicraft industries don’t have an organized system and many urban areas face difficulties to aggregate products. Since retailers have to buy products from select producers, artisans can’t reach them due to a lack of communication which results in a loss.
Guidelines to revive the handicrafts industry in India
1. Setting up exhibitions
Central and state governments should encourage handicraft industries by implementing new policies. They should consider setting up private and non-profit organizations to organize exhibitions in urban areas. Although some of them are already helping artisans, they are not sufficient.
The private companies can also work with them to set up exhibitions to encourage artisans when they want to market their products. Organizing a workshop or exhibition helps increase awareness in the markets allowing customers to know more about artisans and various art forms. It even provides methods to get feedback from existing and future customers.
2. Utilizing technologies widely
Organizations should train Indian artisans to utilize technologies wisely that will help them to connect with experts and others as soon as possible. They let artisans get more ideas including designs, marketing strategies, and networking channels with ease.
3. Educating customers
Educating customers will help artisans to grow their business in the markets. Today many people prefer online shopping when they want to buy a new product. Therefore, companies should sponsor building online channels to revive the handicraft industries. This, in turn, gives ways to connect with both buyers and sellers directly online.