Mumbai, October 3, 2018: Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank)’s study entitled “Indian Handloom Industry: Potential and Prospects” was released at the inauguration of ‘Exim Bazaar’, a three-day exhibition of handloom products and contemporary crafts organised by Exim Bank at the Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai.
The handloom industry has been vital in representing and preserving the vibrant Indian culture. The craftsmen are distinguished worldwide for their spinning, weaving and printing elegance. Although, the handloom sector is often considered as a dying industry, the Study contrarily notes that it is a promising sector, possessing huge export potential and uniqueness.
India’s exports of handloom products was valued at US$ 353.9 million during the period 2017-18. An analysis of the global demand and domestic supply conditions indicates that there is a considerable demand globally for handloom products, although India has not been able to properly position itself in the discerning international market. This is reflected in exports registering a consistent decline in each of the last five years; i.e. during the period 2013-14 to 2017-18. The Study identifies products where India can enhance its exports and increase its share in global markets as these are among the high growth product segments.
The growth of the handloom sector is inhibited due to various constraints that include shortage of raw materials, massive competition from power loom and mill sector, lack of credit availability, institutional inefficiencies, unorganised nature of the industry, paucity of novelty in designs, insufficient research and training, inappropriate quality of dyes, lack of information on schemes and shortage of skilled manpower.
To alleviate the growth constraints, the Study has recommended strategies to enhance the potential of this sector. These, inter alia, include improving quality and availability of raw materials, attempting renewed designing aligned to international demand, adopting effective marketing strategies, facilitating enhanced extension of credit, market and product diversification, and maintaining a comprehensive handloom database with the purpose of reviewing past trends and prevailing growth rates.
The Study emphasizes the eco-friendly and largely organic nature of handloom products, an attribute that needs to be leveraged to attract the attention of customers. The Study recommends undertaking traceability of handloom products in this respect. Since there exist huge potential for green clothing among environmentally conscious consumers, the Study asserts that this trend needs to be fruitfully taken advantage of by the handloom sector. Eco-friendly handloom products from India could be sold under a new brand name, which would highlight the fabric quality and eco-friendliness. This is expected to bode well in terms of increasing the overseas demand for Indian handloom products.
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