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Handicrafts are unique expressions representing a particular culture or community through

artisans and materials. Handicrafts are part of a much larger home accessory market, which
includes hand-crafted and machine made goods.
Handicrafts are mostly defined as items made by hand often with the use of simple tools and are
generally artistic and traditional in nature. Handicrafts are made from raw materials and can be
produced in unlimited numbers. Such products can be utilitarian, aesthetic, artistic, creative,
culturally attached, decorative, functional, traditional, religiously and socially symbolic and
The handicrafts sector assumes significance due to various reasons such as low capital
investment, high rate of value addition, robust potential for export and also foreign exchange

Industry Description:
Bangladesh is now very much a part of the international scene and keeping in mind the
discerning taste of the consumers, a vast range of crafts and novelties are now produced in the
country under the technical supervision of qualified product development specialists. With the
resurgence of worldwide interest in cane, development of cane products has gained momentum.
Bamboo, another tropical grass is often used as a base for support of cane furniture and
handicrafts, Bamboo baskets of various shapes and sizes are in great demand in Europe and
The most recent national survey on handicraft and cottage industries in Bangladesh was
undertaken by BSCIC in 1991 and published in 1994. The survey found that 1.3 million people
were employed in handicrafts and cottage industries and over three quarters are employed in
three industries - food preparation, textiles/leather, and wood/cane/bamboo, these were followed
in importance by metal work and potteries including minor crafts, a total of 9, 40,000 were
employed in craft industries. Exports of general handicrafts reached a peak of US$ 8.7 million in
1991/92 and declined to US$ 6.5 million in 1994/95, 0.2 % of total manufactured exports. By
contrast leather goods exports increased from nothing in 1990/91 to US$ 6.4 million in 1994/95
and artificial flowers from nil to US$ 800.000. The main importing countries of general
handicrafts in order of importance are UK, USA, Germany, and Italy; for leather goods, USA,
Japan and Italy for artificial flowers Italy. Thirty three (33) handicraft enterprises were surveyed
in detail comprising.
Organization Number

NGO exporters of handicrafts 7

NGO or cooperative producers (non-exporters) 4

Private manufacturer/exporters 10

Small private manufacturers (non-exporters) 12

The large NGOs were the main buyers of the products of the small non-exporting private
manufacturers as well as the small NGO producers. The large NGOs surveyed one was 100%
export and the remaining sit combined exporting with local sales through their own retail outlets,
mainly in Dhaka. For three, the major part of their income was export sales, and for three it was
in retail sales. “Although the large NGOs involved in handicrafts are basically traders, they
provide a great deal of support to their cooperative and self-help group suppliers. Assistance may
include training, product development and design, start-up financial assistance-management
support, transport and materials supply of the eight private manufacturer/exporters three were
100% export, three exported the major part of their output and also supplied (mainly NGO)
handicraft retail outlets and two sold the major part of their output through their own retail

Competitive Review:
Domestic Market:
 Creation (Pvt.) Limited
 Folk International
 Heed Handicrafts
 the Source
 Wax Lyrical
International Market:
 China
 India
 Africa
 And other cultures selling handicrafts

Existing Marketing Strategies:

Main Product Sub Product
Jute products Twine, hessian, gunny bag, twill, carpet
backing, wool pack, tarpaulin, mats, canvas,
wall cover, upholstery, and as furnishing
fabrics of different types and natures
Home textile Nakshi Katha, Jamdani Sharee, Benarashi
Sharee, Bags, bed cover, Cushion Cover,
Ornaments Box, Table Prettification, Vest, Wall
Leather goods Leather Embroidered bags, spectacle cases,
chair backs, embossed coin purse wallets
made from buff leather, leather wallets and
bags etc.
Wooden Desk Accessories, Kaleidoscope, Kitchen
Accessories, Photo Frame, Show Piece
Bamboo products Basket, Shoe piece, wall accessories
Candle products Birth candle, musical candle, candle doll

There is not much organized and planned pricing strategies in the handicraft industry especially
among local sellers. But both local and international sellers use cost-plus pricing.

Both local and international sellers use intermediaries to collect handicraft products from
producers, then local sellers use street vendors and international sellers use intermediaries in
other countries to reach final customers.
Not much promotional strategies are used to sell handicraft products. Word of mouth is the
mostly popular promotional method sellers depend on in this industry.

Recommended Marketing Strategies:

Modern production process can be used to increase production of handicraft products. Variety
should be increased to attract customers from around the world.
Value based pricing, depending on the quality, can be used to market the products. This strategy
will allow the producers to emphasize the quality of Bangladeshi handicrafts to customers.
Most handicraft producers are small companies with little business knowledge. As a result, they
can’t afford to use large intermediaries to distribute their small number of products. And, when
their products are collected by intermediaries, they are cheated of fair price. The small
intermediaries can form co-operative societies and bargain their price and set distribution
strategy. The most appropriate strategy would be indirect channel for distributing their products.

Handicraft producers can organize handicraft fair and exhibitions to promote their products.
They can also use positioning strategy to position handicraft of a particular region emphasizing
their heritage and quality. As a result, the handicraft producers of a particular company can be
profited from their positioning.