An Insider Look at the Indian Handicraft Industry and its Post COVID Export Statistics 2021-22

What are Handicrafts?

Handicrafts are textiles, embroidery pieces, ceramics, artistry, jewellery, and other items made by hand or with simple tools rather than machines. These one-of-a-kind items represent a region’s culture, heritage, and tradition and have varying social, aesthetic, and religious values. Painting, hand dyeing, handloom weaving, woodblock printing, and other traditional techniques are used to create handicrafts.

Handicrafts have grown in popularity in recent years because they require little capital investment, generate foreign exchange revenue, and provide employment opportunities.

The Indian Handicraft Industry

The Indian Handicraft Industry

The Indian handicrafts market is currently expanding rapidly. Handicrafts are one-of-a-kind artefacts that are either handmade or made with simple tools rather than machines. They represent a place’s or nation’s traditional, cultural, and artistic values. Their popularity is growing in India as they add aesthetic and decorative value.

Significant improvements in the availability of handicraft products on various online portals are propelling market growth in India. Aside from that, handicrafts are becoming increasingly popular as the country’s travel and tourism industry grows.

Tourists are known to spend a significant amount of money on souvenirs and other craft items, expanding the opportunity for local artisans and craftspeople to produce and sell efficient handicrafts. Furthermore, the rising demand for handmade décor accessories in homes, offices, as well as in restaurants, are propelling market growth. 

Furthermore, rising disposable incomes and an increasing willingness among individuals to invest in vintage and high-quality handicraft products are driving the country’s market growth.

However, rising cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and subsequent Government of India lockdowns have had a negative impact on the handicrafts market. When lockdown restrictions are lifted, the market will expand. 

Looking ahead, the market is expected to maintain its rapid growth throughout the forecast period (2021-2026).

Key Market Segmentation of Indian Handicraft Industry

Key Market Segmentation of Indian Handicraft Industry

The India handicrafts market report by IMARC Group includes an analysis of the key trends in each sub-segment, as well as regional growth forecasts from 2021 to 2026. The market has been segmented in our report based on region, product type, distribution channel, and end use.

Breakup by Region:

  • North India
  • West and Central India
  • East India
  • South India

Breakup by Product Type:

  • Woodware
  • Artmetal Ware
  • Hand Printed Textiles and Scarves
  • Embroidered and Crocheted Goods
  • Zari and Zari Goods
  • Imitation Jewelry
  • Sculptures
  • Pottery and Glass wares

Latest News About the Handicraft Sector

Latest News About the Handicraft Sector

The good news is that the country’s handicraft exports are expected to grow by 10-15 percent in the current fiscal year due to strong demand in key markets such as the United States and Europe, according to the EPCH, which is the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts .

However, EPCH Chairman Raj Kumar Malhotra warned that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could have an impact on growth.

“Based on current trends, we anticipate a ten to fifteen percent increase in revenue this fiscal year. Exporters’ order books are full, and demand in our major markets of the United States and Europe is strong “he continued.

In April-June 2021, exports increased to Rs 3,447.71 crore, up from Rs 1,259.34 crore in the same period last year.

Government assistance, such as the release of funds under the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), will help increase outbound shipments, according to

There is a huge demand for handicraft products around the world, and e-commerce can help in reaching out to new customers, he said, adding that special provisions for e-commerce should be included in the next foreign trade policy (FTP).

“Special provisions in the FTP may be made to encourage overseas warehousing for B2B e-commerce purposes,” the chairman proposed to the government.

More About the Handicrafts Sector

More About the Handicrafts Sector
Handicraft exports from India increased by almost 2 per cent year-on-year to US$ 3.39 billion in FY-20 (till February 2020). – Source: Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). The handicrafts sector is vital to the Indian economy because it is one of the most important job creators and contributes significantly to the country’s exports. Handicrafts export is heavily influenced by state and regional clusters. With over seven million regional artisans and over 67,000 exporters/export houses promoting regional art and craftsmanship in domestic and international markets, India’s handicrafts industry is fragmented.

Key Facts about the Indian Handicrafts Industry

Key Facts about the Indian Handicrafts Industry
  • India’s rich cultural diversity and heritage offer a one-of-a-kind and enormous resource for developing craft products.
  • Every year, the Indian handicraft industry grows at a rate of 20 percent.
  • The handicrafts industry is an important segment of India’s decentralised sector.
  • The majority of industry operates in rural and semi-urban areas across the country, and it has a potential Indian and international market with approximately 67000 exporters to tap into.
  • According to the National Council for Applied Economic Research’s national census of handicrafts, the value of handicrafts produced last year was Rupees. 26,213 crore.
  • This industry provides numerous job opportunities for artisans, including women and people from underdeveloped and underserved communities. This is a significant source of income in the area.
  • The Indian handicraft industry is known to be a $100 billion global industry.
  • India’s share of the global market is 1.2 percent.
  • The total value of craft exports is Rs. 13412.92 crore.
  • 1.51 percent of India’s exports are accounted for by industry.

Indian Handicraft Industry Statistics

From April 2020 to March 2021, India’s handicraft exports in various segments were as follows:
    • Woodwares are valued at $845.51 million USD.
    • Embroidered and crocheted goods are valued at $604.38 million USD.
    • Art metal wares valued at $468.66 million USD
    • Hand Printed textiles and scarves valued at $339.03 million USD
    • Imitation jewellery valued at $ 186.65 million
    • Miscellaneous handicrafts, valued at US$ 826.68 million, are exported across geographies, with the top ten destinations being the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Latin American countries (LAC), Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, as well as Australia.

Recent Developments in Indian Handicraft Industry

Recent Developments in Indian Handicraft Industry

The Government of India increased incentive rates for handicraft items under the merchandise export from India scheme (MEIS) from 5% to 7%, assisting exporters in recovering the input costs involved in the production of handicrafts, resulting in competitive pricing and increased export.

To assist artisans in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, the Ministry of Textiles approved a fund of Rs 2.8 crore for the integrated project for development and promotion of Varanasi handicrafts in September 2020. has announced a Handicrafts Mela from September 26, 2020 to October 10,2020 to support local artisans and weavers ahead of the festive season, benefiting over 8 lakh artisans and weavers across the country.

In the year 2020, the global handicrafts market was expected to be worth $718 billion USD. According to IMARC Group’s analysis, the top handicrafts companies are focusing on producing commoditized products and selling them to tourists willing to spend money on souvenirs and other craft items. They are also introducing modern designs to cater to consumer tastes and preferences, as well as investing in various programmes that promote handicraft production. Looking ahead, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 10% between the year 2021 and 2026.

Frequently Asked Questions on Indian Handicraft Industry and Its Post COVID Export Statistics 2021-22


Question 1) Which Indian handicraft is the most popular in the international market?

Answer) Some of India’s Most Valuable Handicraft Export are –

  • Home Décor in Indian Style.
  • Handmade sarees and other handcrafted items.
  • Furniture, textiles, and housewares
  • Precious stones and jewels
  • Jewelry made in imitation.

Question 2) What is causing the decline of the handicraft industry?

Answer) British goods were imported at very low prices into India, and a heavy duty
was imposed on the export of Indian handicrafts. As a result, Indian markets were
flooded with finished goods from Britain at low and affordable prices. It resulted in a decline in Indian handicrafts on both the international and domestic markets.

Q3) Who is the Export Promotion Council for Indian Handicrafts?

Answer) The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) is the apex government
body, reporting to the Government of India’s Ministry of Textiles. EPCH is a ‘model council,’ a self-sustaining organisation that funds all of its promotional activities.

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