Business Overview (Introduction)

India is one of the important suppliers of handicrafts to the world market. The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labour intensive cottage based industry and decentralized, being spread all over the country in rural and urban areas. Numerous artisans are engaged in crafts work on part-time basis.

The industry provides employment to over six million artisans (including those in carpet trade), which include a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society. In addition to the high potential for employment, the sector is economically important from the point of low capital investment, high ratio of value addition, and high potential for export and foreign exchange earnings for the country.

The export earnings from Indian handicrafts industry for the period 2009-10 amounted to US$ 2.2 billion. In addition to the high potential for employment, the sector is economically important from the point of low capital investment, high ratio of value addition, and high potential for export and foreign exchange earnings for the country.

Handicrafts and handlooms are two such industries in India that have their special identity. With a mode of expressing one’s mind, soul, traditions and modern outlook, these two industries have created magic all over the world. The variety and expertise of handicrafts speaks through pottery, metal work, jewelry, wooden art, marble or stone work, paper mache items and toys. On the other hand, the glory of handloom industry can be stated in the form of designer clothes with a variety in fabric, printing styles, designs, patterns and specialized embroideries. In fact, almost every state in India has their own style of handicrafts and handlooms to boast their distinctiveness.