Are Indian Handicraft Items facing tough competition from machine-made products?


The Indian Handicrafts are renowned worldwide for their exquisite beauty and charm. The traditional crafts of the nation depict its deep culture and rich heritage. These are designed by skilfull artisans who carry a legacy of their land, myth culture and carve their arts into beautiful sculptures & statues, that exported to foreign countries.

But, these days due to rise in the machine-made technology, the creativity of artisans are lacking behind. The countries like China, are taking full advantage of these machine-made products and generating good income too. That’s also true that a superior buyer knows the difference between the handmade handicrafts and machine-made handicrafts, as handmade crafts are of good quality – Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles said while inaugurating the 43rd edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) Delhi Fair Spring 2017 organised by EPCH (Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts) at Expo Mart, Greater Noida.

Smt. Rashmi Verma further congratulated the EPCH for successfully bagging IHGF- Delhi Fair In Limca Book of World Records as the largest congregation of Indian Handicraft exhibitors under one roof.  She further said – “Every time I visit this fair I always see new product lines on display and this is the reason that; a large number of buyers from across the world visit this fair to source the requirement from varied product groups under one roof. Artisans and manufacturers of Indian handicrafts are to be guided for creating new products to be competitive”

Smt. Rashmi Verma was extremely happy and appreciate EPCH for providing a keen platform to small artisans, craft persons and entrepreneurs from different crafts background to directly interact with the international buyers.

She further stated – “Buyer-seller meet is the key factor of IHGF. Through this direct buyer-seller meet Indian handicrafts can grow further not only in terms of exports but can further enhance the image of brand India in the market of home, fashion, lifestyles and textiles across the world.”

Smt. Rashmi Verma also said that Indian Handicrafts are essential as they contribute in country’s GDP. And, the demand of handicraft is more as compared to other products, and increase every other day. The Government are also looking to run programs, in which they aware more people about Indian Handicrafts and how they can earn with this business? She informed the media that VRIKSH certificate for wooden items had been accepted worldwide.

She said, “O/o DC (Handicrafts) is working towards branding of handicraft items just like handloom branding has been launched by Handloom sector recently. This will further help in terms of quality assurance and certification and selling of handicrafts products in the International markets.”

Rakesh Kumar, ED, EPCH also stats – “We are delighted that a record number of exhibitors are exhibiting their products during the edition of this IHGF. The success credit for the Fair entering into the Limca Book of World Records as the largest congregation of handicrafts producers under one roof goes to each and every stakeholder, exhibitors, buyers, O/o DC (Handicrafts) and the team.”

Moreover, while elaborating the design registration process he added – “in the next edition of IHGF-Delhi Fair EPCH we will come with design registration process to safeguard the interests of the creator of the item and discourage copying of products. ”

He further informed – “Buyers from renowned international buying companies are visiting this edition. Apart from overseas buyers, domestic volume retails buyers from many leading retail chains of India and e-commerce companies have become the regular visitors to the fair. The products under the home decor, lifestyles, fashion and textile have attained a sizeable place among these retail stores such as Good Earth, Furniture Republic, Fabindia, West Side, Archies Ltd, DLF brands Ltd, @home, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyles group, and many other stores.”

Dinesh Kumar, Chairman – EPCH, while speaking at the occasion, informed “More than 3000 exhibitors including 900 permanent marts from all over the country will be showcasing a wide range of 14 product categories of houseware, home furnishing, furniture, gifts and decoratives, lamps and lighting, Christmas & festive, fashion jewellery &; accessories, spa and wellness, carpets and rugs, bathroom accessories, garden accessories, educational toys &; games, handmade paper products and stationery and leather bags. He also added that “Over 6500 foreign buyers from more than 80 countries, buying agents based in India and domestic retail volume buyers are expected to visit the mega fair to source their requirements”.

He further said, “The exports of handicrafts during the period April-January 2016-17 have registered a growth of 13.06% in rupee terms and stands at Rs.20282.18 crores. However, the growth in dollar terms is 9.43% with exports of $3018.58 million. The export target of $3600 million (Rs.23560 crores) is set for the year 2016-17 and going by the current trend we hope to achieve the target.”

EPCH (Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts) which is a nodal agency for promotion and development of handicrafts has been organising the Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair (IHGF) for the last 23 years.


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