A case of small scale industry marketing for growth

In this article we are highlighting the case of a small scale industry group who in the real sense are ‘small scale’ and how they are planning to increase their sale despite all odds. It is the plastic bangle industry and we have considered a few statistics from the city of Mumbai, India.

The plastic bangle industry, which fell under the small-scale industries sector, has been looking for newer avenues of growth with the increasing input prices of manufacturing bangles and overhead costs.

The prices of monomers, the raw material used in manufacturing plastic bangles, have seen a 43 percent rise in the last three years to prevailing rate of $1,400 per ton. This, coupled with a host of levies like 16 percent import duty and 16 percent excise duty, worsens the prospects of manufacturers and traders.

Rising power bills have also been affecting our businesses.

Mumbai’s small-scale plastic bangles industry is set to go global with plans to promote their wares in fashion shows to target the NRI market.

When it comes to depicting feminine grace, westernization has been more in Indian women opting for swanky watches and taut bracelets instead of the traditional plastic and glass bangle, much to the concern of the Rs 30 crore plastic bangle industry in Mumbai.

But the industry body that represents 200 bangle making units in Mumbai is now set to step on to global stage, by participating in fashion shows of various trade promotion councils to promote the long-held tradition of wearing bangles. The target audience, of course, would largely by NRI women.

All India Plastic Bangle Manufacturing Association want to propagate the armlet culture among the NRIs. Mumbai in India alone currently exports plastics bangles worth Rs 6 crore to the Middle East and the US.

The local bangle manufacturing industry which includes 200 bangle making units around Mumbai recruits 12,000 workers directly and over 25,000 women indirectly. The latter takes up gold and silver stamping, along with enamel work, which is decorating the finished product.

The story doesn’t end here. The biggest wholesaler bangle market of Mumbai, also finds competition from the distant Firozabad again in India renowned the Mecca of glass bangles, since green glass bangles have always witnessed steady demand irrespective of business cycles.

In India, in some parts of the country, woman green glass bangles when she is pregnant. Folk lore suggests that green is considered an auspicious color for a married woman in the state of Maharasthra. Similar sentiments are also shared by the Rajasthan community. As a result, there is a sustained demand for green glass bangles.

As the fund-starved industry is charting out a game plan to attract Westerners, the strategy would really lie in urging women to enhance their grace by trying the Indian armlet.

Women of the world must try the fashion of Indian bangles, and they look more attractive with Indian Bangles of different colors and designs.

The above manufactured item is one of the rare items to be successful in small scale. Other items include handicrafts or hi-tech like electronic PCB where individual talents matter and competition is negligible. In case of handicrafts customers buy items based on their personal liking and in case of hi-tech items the demand may be restricted to specified industries and supply is also from few individual technical experts operating as small scale industries. The rules of the game applied in case of large and medium industries may not be applicable and the small scale industry management may have to adopt different strategies.

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