Crafting Access

Case Studies, Design, Designers, Markets, Marketing, Trade, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Crafting Access: Building a Market for Indian Handicrafts in a Globalised World

Wood, Sharmila

Current Situation:
Globalisation and the Machine Made Problem
Globalisation, the liberalisation of trade policies and economic reforms mean that borders in worldwide trade have been lowered, and new markets have emerged for handicrafts. Today, vibrant and quality handmade products from all points of the globe vie for a market share in the international marketplace, and the Indian craft sector has found itself competing with talented artisans from many countries, in particular from regions in South East Asia, Latin America and Africa. In some market segments, the economics are not in favour of Indian artisans, with competitors able to produce high quality products at lower prices, with the support of modern infrastructure, and better credit, research, management and market development.
The biggest threat to the Indian craft sector remains industrial manufacturers who produce cheap products in volume and can respond quickly to changing consumer trends. Small scale, cottage industries can be slower to adapt to the market; struggle to compete on price points and to meet the production timelines of industrial manufacturers. As a result, they often lose out to large corporations and macro industries which are supported by modern technology, capital, resources, and ...
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