Khadi India: The sale of Khadi garments and fabric has grown by more than 164% in the last five years due to unprecedented push given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and aggressive marketing by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) that also included expansion and modernisation of Khadi stores across the country. KVIC also took strong action against fake Khadi products that led to a surge in the sale of genuine Khadi prodcuts.
The sale of Khadi products has registered double digit growth since 2015, growing by close to 30% between 2015 to 2019, except in 2017-18 when it came down to 17%. Encouraged by the sales figure, KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena has set an ambitious target of achieving Rs 5,000 crore sales in the current fiscal.
The are two reasons for this growth: aggressive marketing and stringent action taken by us against fake Khadi products. We have served notices and took action against those who used to sell spurious mill made products in the name of Khadi, said Vinai Kumar Saxena, chairman of Khadi & Village Industries Commission.
Skin friendly Khadi products that were falling out of customers’ preference due to poor branding and marketing received a big boost when Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to buy at least one Khadi product while delivering his first weekly radio address Mann Ki Baat on October 3, 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to gift Khadi products instead of bouquet of flowers also encouraged government departments to buy and gift Khadi products.
Most important thing is getting the support of Prime Minister. I have seen the past records, our sale to Indian Railways used to be in the range of Rs 5-7 crore a year. Today, it is over Rs 80-90 crore a year, single orders are worth over Rs 15 crore, Mr Saxena told Financial Express Online.
Encouraged by the Prime Minister’s support, KVIC also targeted youth to turn Khadi into a fashion statement. It hired young designers from reputed institutions like NIFT for a complete makeover of its products to appeal to youth.
We generated awareness among youth. In order to attract youth we launched western wears. We also approached universities and colleges to reach out to students. Because of the support given by the IGNOU, over 4 lakh students adopted Khadi products, added Mr Saxena.
Due to the initiatives taken by the KVIC, last year Patna municipal corporation decided to use uniforms made of Khadi products for 17,000 sanitation workers engaged by it.
In order to capture the market dominated by private garment and cloth manufacturers, KVIC also invested heavily in expansion and modernisation of Khadi stores across the country.
There are over 8,000 Khadi stores in the country, selling both Khadi garments and fabric to customers. Out of total 8,061 stores, 1700 new stores have been opened in the last four-and-a-half years.
KVIC owns 17 stores and rest are owned and managed by Khadi institutions. KVIC has also helped Khandi institutions in modernisation of 2,000 stores during this period that completely changed the customers’ perception and experience.