Khadi in fashion: Industry witnesses record sales of Rs 50,000 crore

Last year, the low-profile Khadi industry saw sales worth Rs 50,000 crore for the first time in India. Products manufactured in villages by small-scale industries and social entrepreneurs, most of which are run by women, also saw huge demand. Such products include honey, soaps, cosmetics, furniture and food items. This feat was made possible through constant push by the government of India and the increasing trend of using organic products worldwide.

According to a report in the Times of India, the sales of village industry produce, or Gramodyog, grew 24% in the last fiscal. The growth pushed the sales number to almost Rs 50,000 crore mark. Also, khadi products achieved sales of Rs 2,005 crore, up 33% from Rs 1,635 crore in 2015-16.

In the last fiscal year, khadi output grew by 31% to Rs 1,396 crore, while village industries saw a 23% rise to Rs 41,110 crore – thus contributing towards the excellent growth of the sector.

The combined turnover posted by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) makes it even bigger than several consumer goods companies in the country. In particular, Khadi sales are closing in on big names like Bombay Dyeing and Raymonds, which are yet to disclose sales figure for the previous financial year.

The government body has now set a bigger target of achieving Rs 5,000 crore in khadi sales by 2018-19.

"Earlier, khadi was only preferred by the political class, be it the kurta or the cap," said brand expert Harish Bijoor to the . "But with consumers increasingly looking for natural products, the organisation is on a roll."

During a survey in 21 overseas markets, khadi was the most recalled Indian brand, along with yoga, said Bijoor. No wonder the government organisation is now looking at exports. "Currently, we are not doing direct exports. But we will soon kick it off. It will help make khadi an international brand," said KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena.

The use of khadi products saw huge demands from young shoppers as well. Since khadi cloth is handspun and the end products are created mainly by artisans in rural areas, it is said that the brand invokes good vibes in consumers, especially millennial shoppers.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel