Is the Handicraft Export Business Profitable in India?

. 7 min read
Is the Handicraft Export Business Profitable in India?

If you are looking for export business ideas, a handicraft business would be a great way to start. India’s rich culture and heritage have catalysed this industry, and India's handicraft export business brings in lots of revenue from our foreign neighbours. When you start researching how to start a handicraft business, you might feel confused. The best way to start any business is by doing extensive market research and devising a sound business plan. Being one of the largest employment generating sectors after agriculture, it is not surprising that there is a huge demand for Indian handicrafts. There is a growing demand for Indian handicrafts in recent years. This article pens down all the information you might need to start your market research when contemplating starting your own handicrafts export business in India. Read through this ultimate guide to help you flourish with ideas while planning a successful handicraft business plan. If you are confused while starting a small business, OkCredit has several ideas that will help you build a plan.

The Indian Handicrafts Market

India, a country with great history dating thousands of years, has a very prominent handicrafts market. It is not surprising that we are one of the biggest suppliers of handicrafts in the world. India has many labour-based cottage industries throughout the country across rural and urban areas, and the added value of our rich culture makes India an excellent market for buying handicrafts. This is why many sellers are keen on learning how to start a handicraft export business in India. With 26 states, 18 primary languages, and over 1500 dialects, we have a treasure trove of diverse handicrafts across the country. Some places, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh, offer a unique range of collectables. This can either be decorative souvenirs or something that can be worn daily. The customs duty rates for most handicrafts lie somewhere between 5% - 8%, while dried flowers, T-shirts, and woollen blankets have a higher rate.

When writing a handicraft business plan, you will soon stumble upon our competitors. The Indian handicrafts market is soon being caught upon by other South Asian countries, Europe, and Africa. They pose a threat to our market and India’s handicraft export business. This is why it is important to strengthen it to ensure we sustain this economy by producing handicrafts of higher quality and focusing on other aspects such as variety and better packaging. If you are looking for export business ideas, OkCredit has several blogs that would stimulate your creativity to make your plan a successful one. In that case, starting a handicraft export business might be a good option as it requires lower investment and is fast-moving and profitable if done with a good plan.

Hand made colourful handicrafts in shop for sale

So Is Handicrafts A Profitable Business In India?

If you are looking to start a new business, learning how to create a handicraft export business might be a good search. This industry is quite lucrative as it deals in more significant numbers. Apart from being quite innovative, you only require a lower investment as handicrafts are generally made by hand. Certain items might require the use of machinery, though they are not expensive to purchase. Even if words might not sound compelling, numbers would. The Indian handicrafts industry increased by a whopping 6.44% year-on-year from 2018 to 2019, with about US$3.8 billion. With such growth, the requirement for human resources would increase too. Apart from helping our economy, this industry is also considered one of the largest employment generators. To give you more tantalizing news about this industry, the Indian government has increased its incentive rates from 5% to 7%, helping exporters manage any input costs.

If the government is aiding in this growth, platforms like Amazon have announced online shopping events such as the Handicrafts Mela from September to October. This move has helped artisans and weavers across the country to showcase their products well before the arrival of the festive seasons. Having a handicraft business plan is the best way to understand if your business will be profitable and predict any losses.

Read about the best businesses in India here

Major Buyers Of Indian Handicrafts

More than 50% of the total handicraft exports go to the United States and Europe from India. It includes handmade sarees, furniture, and imitation jewellery. If you are trying to start your own handicraft export business, you can try tapping markets including Europe, Africa, the USA, South Africa, and China. You need to remember that your major buyer would highly depend on your product. If you are keen on exporting Zari woods, printed textiles, jewellery and shawls, the USA would be a better option. However, if you want to tap into the UK market, you might want to start producing handicrafts such as crocheted goods, wood wares, art, and imitation jewellery. Germans also are keen on buying handicrafts from India. Out of all import-export business ideas, handicrafts is a very unique and low investment business. You can easily find buyers to export your produced handicrafts by attending trade fairs. These are usually conducted in Delhi by the Promotional Council of Handicrafts.

Handicraft Items That Are Exported

1. Textiles

If you are looking to start a handicraft export business in India, there are two distinct categories you might want to explore. This includes articles of everyday use and decorative items. Textile-based handicrafts occupy the most space in the Indian handicraft export pie-chart. This includes screen-printed clothes, batiks, tie-dye and even tapestries. India is known as the famous silk hub with various states where silk and cotton also have a huge demand.

2. Woodwork and stonecraft

One of the most stunning and in-demand handicrafts is wooden articles. They include furniture, decorative articles, and even toys. Woodwork is unique, and it helps foreign importers see the individuality and talent of India’s handicraft industry. Along with woodwork, carved stone articles have been around successfully for quite some time now. They carry the Indian heritage and traditions in the most artistic ways. A handicraft export business can include goods such as woodwork and stonecraft to get the highest profitability.

3. Jewellery

Imitation jewellery is the most famous and fast-moving handicraft. These daily wear items are made of brass, copper, bronze and other such metals. They are distinguished with precious and semi-precious stones. They also offer a wide range of styles and patterns. This section of the handicraft industry is evolving to match modern-day trends. If you are looking for some of the best export ideas, producing handmade jewellery would be an excellent way to start.

Being Successful While Exporting In Handicrafts

If you want to be successful with your handicrafts export business, finding various marketing strategies will help propel your business’s growth. In the current internet era, platforms that offer business-to-customer sales, such as Amazon and eBay, work like magic. If you are looking to export them in bulk, you can try business-to-business channels, including Alibaba. These B2B platforms have buyers worldwide and will help you sell your speciality goods in bulk. You can also try offline channels such as trade fairs, export carnivals and through relatives or friends living in the targeted country. If you want to stand out, apart from selling them across these platforms, maintaining an individual website with all the details and running ads will increase your brand’s value. There are several other channels you might come across while learning how to start a handicraft business in India.

Making of handmade jewellery on old wooden table

The Indian handicrafts market is still growing, and this might be the right time to explore it. We have several other OkCredit Blogs that will help you stay prepared if you own a small business. Our blogs are available in several languages, including English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi and other regional languages. The website is quite versatile and has valuable content for everyone, whether you are a reader or a business owner. You can download OkCredit now and continue reading.

Also read:

1) The Indian Import-Export Scene
2) How Can I Start Spice Export Business In India?
3) How Can You Start An Import Business In India?
4) Types of Direct & Indirect Taxes in India

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Q. Which is the highest-selling export handicraft in Indian exports?

Ans. Some of the highest selling goods include metal wares, wood wares, hand-printed textiles, imitation jewellery and scarves.

Q. Who is the biggest competitor in the Indian handicrafts market?

Ans. One of the significant threats to the Indian handicrafts export business market is from China.

Q. What are some e-commerce platforms to sell handicrafts?

Ans. To sell handicrafts, you can use e-commerce platforms like CraftsVilla, Amazon, eBay, and Qtrove.

Q. Do you need an Exporter-Importer code for exporting handicrafts?

Ans. Yes, for exporting any goods, including handicrafts, you need an Exporter-Importer Code (EIC code). You also need to register your business and get a PAN for your handicraft export business.

Q. What is the first step of entering the handicrafts export market in India?

Ans. If you want to start a handicraft business, having a handicraft business plan will help you finalise all the products you want to export and register your business.