India’s market for writing instruments and notebooks, estimated to be worth Rs 45 billion ($1 billion), is experiencing growth of 30 percent per year. And that growth rate is expected to continue over the next five years.
The impressive statistics were revealed by industry figures attending Kidex 2006, a children’s exhibition organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Leading firms within the Indian OP industry are increasingly targeting notebook and stationery markets as a method of diversification, having recognised the scope of the market for children’s products.
According to PK Mohapatra, chairman of Kidex and deputy chairman of the CII, India is the largest children’s market in the world. And the market is being greatly driven by the government’s goal of reaching 100 percent literacy, buoying demand for reading and writing materials.
Despite the impressive growth rate of both the writing instrument and notebook markets, the experts say that they will likely experience increasing competition from global players at both the premium- and low-end with additional competition coming from the availability of cheap Chinese imports.
But India’s manufacturers and exporters do have the opportunity to exert a competitive advantage over their Chinese counterparts. Chinese writing products are considered by some to have relatively short product lives. If Indian manufacturers recognise this flaw and develop their own products to assure the longevity of their writing instruments, India may be able to take advantage as it is one of the few countries with a manufacturing cost comparable with China’s.
Currently, the nature of the Indian writing instrument industry is going through a period of transition as the increasing affordability of products means that consumers are increasingly opting for new pens rather than refills. In this dynamic and fast growing industry, firms must be committed to seeking new technology and innovation to keep up with changing demand.