Indian Handicraft Market Report 2022, Industry Trends, Share, Size, Analysis and Forecast

Indian handicrafts are known for their exquisite designs and art across the globe. Its prehistoric civilization is reflected in the handicraft industry. It is the second most employment generating sector after agriculture and employs craftsmen from rural and urban parts of India. Handicrafts of India represent the rich traditions, culture, and art of the country at the global platform. Apart from it, the handicraft industry is economically of extreme significance from the perspective of high value addition, low capital investment and gigantic capacity for export and foreign exchange earnings.

In the past few years, there has been an ever-increasing amalgamation of the domestic market of handicrafts into the international economy through liberal trade and investment policies. The Government of India has implemented programmes like the National Handicrafts Development Program (NHDP) that has helped artisans and craftsmen cater to the global audience and contribute to the exports of India. Despite the Covid pandemic spread across the world, the handicrafts sector of India has performed extremely well. In this article, we will go through the handicraft market of India and try to understand its nuances by studying various industry trends, share, size, and analysis of the industry.

Table of Contents

1)    Overview

2)    Industry Trends and Recent Developments

3)    Handicraft Market Share and Size

4)    SWOT Analysis of the Indian Handicraft Market

5)    Future of the Indian Handicraft Industry


The rising number of positive cases of Coronavirus disease has impacted the handicraft industry. After the implementation of lockdown in the country, every segment of handicrafts suffered, and their revenue numbers declined significantly. However, once the lockdown was lifted and trading and exporting started again, handicrafts revenue numbers shot up. Exports of handicrafts from India have increased almost by 2% year-on-year. After a very long time, Indian handicrafts have started to gain its long due respect in the international market.

Industry Trends and Recent Developments

Industry Trends and Recent Developments
  1. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has conducted a Virtual Indian Fashion Jewellery Accessories Show (IFJAS) in June 2020, in which more than 200 member exporters have showcased their products virtually.
  2. Design and Technology Workshop on Kinhal toy crafts was conducted in Karnataka under Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana (AHVY) in November 2020.
  3. Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has organized the 51st Indian Handicraft and Gift Fair (IHGF) Delhi Fair in March 2021.
  4. Virtual Buyer Seller meet was organized from 27th of January to the 29th of January with the buyers of Nordic countries which included Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
  5. Ministry of Textiles, Government of India approved a fund of 2.8 crores for the integrated projects for development and promotion of handicrafts of Varanasi and to overcome the sufferings faced by the artisans and craftsmen during the Corona pandemic.
  6. India International Mega Trade Fair (IIMTF) is to be held from December 23rd to 3rd January 2021 at the Science City Ground, Kolkata.
  7. According to the reports, the market value of handicrafts is probable to reach about US$ 984.8 billion by 2023, expanding at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 11% during 2018-2023.
  8. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed with Hun Armand-an association in Uzbekistan in February 2020 by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts towards catering mutual interest by intensifying the cooperation in the field of handicrafts and better consociate with cultural life, provide free workspace for the sale of handicraft products of artisans and exporters.
  9. MOU was signed between Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU), Moradabad and EPCH to collaborate for MBA courses specialization in handicrafts.
  10. New Foreign Trade Policy (2021 – 2026) has invited suggestions on challenges faced by the Indian exporters.
  11. The Indian handicraft sector is thriving in developing countries like India because of its low capital investment and abundant labour force. The Indian handicraft sector is spread across the country with more than seven million artisans and over 67,000 exporters/export houses promoting regional art and workmanship in the domestic and international markets.
  12. The handicraft market is segmented into woodwares, embroidery and crocheted goods, art metal wares, hand printed textiles and scarves, imitation jewellery, and miscellaneous handicrafts. Woodwares rule the handicraft sector globally.
  13. According to the studies, handicrafts may earn a greater hand in the global market due to the Covid pandemic. People during lockdowns have used their full interests like crafts, painting, drawing, etc. This may ping enormous progress prospects for the arts and crafts supplies market.

Handicraft Market Share and Size

According to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation, in the FY22 (until August 2021), export of Indian handicrafts of various segments stood as below:

  •   Woodwares at US$ 380.83 million
  •   Embroidered & crocheted goods at US$ 283.27 million
  •   Art metal wares at US$ 228.95 million
  •   Hand Printed textiles and scarves at US$ 145.38 million
  •   Imitation jewellery at US$ 82.69 million
  •   Miscellaneous handicrafts at US$ 463.05 million

Revenue numbers of each segment might have declined compared to the previous year, but keeping the Corona pandemic in mind, these numbers are great. Exports of art metal wares amounted to 3344.01 crores in 2020-21, thereby decreasing by 3.28% compared to the previous financial year. Exports of hand printed textiles, zari and zari goods, imitation jewellery and miscellaneous handicrafts also showed a decline in the percentage of exports compared to 2019-2020. 

However, the segment of the handicraft which includes woodwares, embroidered and crocheted goods, shawls and agarbattis and attars performed extremely well in comparison to the previous financial year. Woodwares topped the segment marking a growth of around 20.49%. Exports of woodwares increased from 5494.85 crores to 6620.85 crores. The handicraft exports for embroidered and crocheted goods, shawls and agarbattis and attars stood at 4399.77 crores, 2.39 crores, and 1214.86 crores respectively. [ Data Source: 34th Annual Report -2019-2020 of Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts]

SWOT Analysis of the Indian Handicraft Market

SWOT Analysis of the Indian Handicraft Market

 Let us go through the SWOT analysis of the Indian handicraft industry to understand things more clearly.


  •       High ratio of value addition and low capital investment
  •       Abundant labour force who can compete on prices
  •       India is rich in varieties of handicrafts since the handicraft sector is spread across the rural and urban parts of the country, each community or state has special handicraft/handicrafts of its own.
  •       Hand-made and unique and hence has few competitors at global level
  •      Initiatives are taken by the Government of India through implementation of programmes like the National Handicrafts Development Program (NHDP) which focuses on development of Indian handicrafts in the international market.


  •       Inconsistent quality of the handicrafts
  •       Lack of market opportunities and market study by the artisans.
  •       Untimely delivery schedule
  •   Unawareness of the global market standards by many artisans and exporters in the market.
  •       Lack of communication facilities and inadequate infrastructure.
  •       Existence of middlemen who exploit artisans and craftspeople.


  •        Large discretionary income in the hands of people of developed countries who seek widespread novelty. There is a rising appreciation of handicrafts by consumers globally.
  •       Increasing globalisation.
  •       Use of e-commerce in direct marketing globally. Online trade platforms like Craftezy cater to a global audience and help sellers to sell their products and buyers buy authentic and premium quality products. This helps to increase exports and earn foreign exchange.


  •       Better quality handicrafts are being produced by competitors from Europe, Africa, South Asia, etc
  •       Increasing focus on research and development by competitors
  •       Stricter international standards namely, EN 71 Standards, CE Mark, etc
  •       Better packaging and consistent quality by competitors

Future of the Indian Handicraft Industry

Future of the Indian Handicraft Industry

It is a very well-known fact that the handicraft industry of India is making a significant contribution in the development of the country’s economy and helping in improving the per capita income, foreign direct investments, foreign exchange, and employment generation. The demand for Indian handicrafts has increased in the global market because of the recent trends. Although, Coronavirus shook the world as well as the handicraft industry, now it can be called as a blessing in disguise as Indian handicrafts have started to get its long due respect once again.

According to the reports of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), the export of Indian handicrafts is expected to increase rapidly through the period of 2021-2026. The Government of India has taken effective initiatives for the better functioning of the handicraft sector in the international market by executing schemes like research and development, technology, training, information upgradation, and marketing assistance. 

E-commerce platforms like Craftezy are making a huge positive impact on the growth of the handicraft industry by conducting virtual trade shows and fairs to reach scattered customers all around the globe. Craftezy is working to bring the artisans and craftspeople to the forefront of conversation so that there is a greater appreciation and acceptance of the Indian handicrafts.

 Tremendous efforts made by the government to promote swadeshi products in the global market in the last couple of years along with microscopic factors aiding in this direction, the handicraft industry of India is expected to grow massively in the coming years. To improve more rapidly, the government needs to take care of the challenges and threats faced by the artisans from the competitors of other countries. Strategic directions and proper action plans are of immense importance for the proper growth and survival in this era of globalisation. 

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