The Union Textiles Ministry is looking to concentrate on new markets and opportunities for local handloom and handicraft sector as many global companies are willing to tie-up with Indian weavers and artisans. This was stated by Textiles Secretary Rashmi Verma at ASSOCHAM Luxury Summit. “There is a huge scope for promoting Indian handloom and handicraft products in the niche markets world over,” she remarked.
She said that though most of the sectors registered a decline in exports of Indian products to global markets, export of handicrafts continued to grow at the rate of 17 per cent.
“All stakeholders should make efforts to engage with artisans and weavers in the country and hand-hold them not only for ensuring that they get right price and market for their products and also get recognition which they deserve in the world and domestic markets,” said the Textiles Secretary.
The Textile Ministry has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 20 e-commerce companies to engage with artisans and weavers in different handloom and handicraft clusters across India and help them market their products directly. “This will go a long way in ensuring that they get the right price for their product as they are able to sell their product directly to the consumer,” she said.
She also said that the government is taking number of steps for skilling weavers, for giving them design inputs, quality raw material, tools and upgrading their looms to empower them so that they continue to remain engaged in this craft.
The Textiles Ministry has taken an initiative for training children of weavers and artisans to become entrepreneurs so that they can emerge as leaders in producers’ groups and market their products through e-commerce and other channels directly.
Speaking at the summit, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant informed that the luxury market in India is likely to touch $18.5 billion (bn) in 2016 as against $14.7 bn last year and will clock a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 per cent.
“Sheer social demographics, growth of the economy, rise of the very young population coupled with the introduction of GST (goods and services tax) that provides a huge competitive advantage to India’s luxury sector will fuel the growth of this market in the country,” he remarked.
He said that India’s luxury sector is dogged by various challenges like extremely high rents in Tier 1 cities which have led to very diminishing space. “For the luxury market to grow, we need to provide space at extremely low cost and I think with demonetisation land prices will fall over a period of time and that will give a further push to the growth of luxury market,” said Kant.
He said that while the luxury market in India together with high net-worth individuals and spend on lifestyle products will keep growing, one of the key challenges for India is that it has not been able to create its own luxury brands.
“France and Italy have made their own remarkable brands and it is important that India creates its own great brands in the luxury market because brands give real values over a period of time,” said the NITI Aayog CEO.
He emphasised upon the need to promote love and passion for luxury brands in India. “Luxury market is essentially driven by good brands and therefore, in the long run, while high net-worth individuals will grow, a lot of wealth will get created in India, I think you need to look at this market from not a prospective of two-three years but a long term perspective of two decades market,” he added.