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"the doomed looms"

"the doomed looms"



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Published by ranjan

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: ranjan on Mar 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A paper on Banaras HandloomIndustry
SRI SATYA SAI UNIVERSITY School of Business ManagementAccounting and Finance
India stands for its culture and heritage. Since aeons, our culture haswitnessed myriad changes. From Mughals to Rajputs to Portugese toBritishers, each one has left its indelible mark on Indian culture. One cardinalaspect of our culture are the various dresses worn in different parts of thecountry. And Indian saree is one such dress which is common to every stateand the womenfolk of India. Amidst plethora of sarees, Banarasi sarees arehailed as the topnotch in quality and design. Banaras silk sarees are anintegral part of the Indian sartorial landscape.
The problem:
Weavers are the soul of the Banaras handloom industry. They are the oneswho toil day and night to give us exquisite piece of art and skill. But todaythis industry is facing a major downturn. There are numerous people whohave been denied their share in the development process. One such group isthe Weavers of Varanasi. Their poverty prevents them from satisfying theirbare necessities. Their obscurity prevents them from making their sufferingsknown. Their illiteracy prevents them from fighting against the injustice.
Some sta tis tics:
 There are about one lac handloom weavers at Varanasi, presently 40,000 areactive. In addition, there are hundreds of traders, dyers, designers, card-makers and ancillary support providers. The annual turnover (at Varanasiprice) is estimated at around Rs.400 crores. While being concentrated inVaranasi City, the activity has spread to surrounding villages.70% of weaver force is in the city. 90% of city weaver force is Muslim, while30% of weaver force in villages is Muslim. The main product of Banaras Handloom Cluster is saree and its dominancecontinues. The other products are:
Dress material
Furnishing fabric
Fashion accessories, eg, stole, scarves
Saree Streams: Yarn and Look The saree segment typically consists of two subsequent.
Satin-based work (largely Karnataka yarn)
Organza type work (largely Chinese yarn)
Most of the output (90%) gets sold at Banaras. The incidence of contractorweavers and co-op societies selling directly to traders /others outsideBanaras is very limited.
Market for saree :
In the high end segment, A Banarasi silk saree is not so strongly on thepriority list of an Indian bride from a prosperous family as it was earlier. Theheavy work (embroidery) sarees are out-competing Banarasi sarees. Thereare two areas in which heavy work sarees apparently are exerting pressureon Banaras saree.
It is possible to make each heavy work or embroidered sareeexclusive because it is easy to make variations. This is not so in case of handweaving and currently, there is emphasis on exclusiveness.
Work pricing:
A basic heavy saree may cost Rs. 2000 and work on it getspriced at, Rs. 8000; leading to a price of Rs. 10,000/-. Unlike weave, workpricing is somewhat discretionary and offers scope to the retail outlets forlarger margins. The heavy work trend according to market observers isundermining the significance of exquisite weave in the traditional aestheticconsciousness.In the low end segment, Banarasi saree does not possess long-established ortraditional brand equity. It has grown quantitatively in this segment as aresult of expansion of weaver force and market conditions. It is fightingpower loom sarees there. It manages to secure some volumes but mainly atthe cost of helpless weaver. South India in recent years, has emerged an atattractive destination for Banarasi sarees in lower-end segment.At one level, the brand equity of high-profile retail outlets (e.g., Kala Niketan)now, in certain context, matches or exceeds that of Banarasi high-endsarees. This has affected the value-chain; such retail outlets securing alarger share of the price-cake; squeezing the share of Banaras-based players.In both price segments, saree has been facing problems and these problemsdo not appear temporary; notwithstanding occasional spurts in demand. There is a market for non-saree products too, but the dress material,furnishing fabric are selling on the strength of their own aesthetic /economicstrength; without drawing strength from Banaras brand equity. Thecustomers, unlike in case of sarees, do not actively seek Banaras weave in

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