Chinese Holi products dampen SMEs’ fun

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 25, 2013

Last year, the ratio of sale of Chinese and Indian sprinklers was 80:20 but this year this ratio has changed to 95:5.

As the Holi spirit sweeps across markets in the North, innovative Chinese-made coloured powder ( gulal), perfumed sprays and squirt guns ( pichkaaris) are ruling the roost. But, there is one section of the population that’s in a state of gloom – small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Small colour manufacturers in Allahabad, Agra, Hathras, Mathura, Vrindavan, Delhi-NCR, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, and Patna said lakhs of people had lost their jobs after Chinese products flooded the market, says a survey of 1,000 such SMEs in North India, conducted by industry chamber Assocham in January.

“A sharp decline in SME units is forcing widespread job losses (full-time and part-time) in the sector estimated to be over 8-10 lakh, says the survey.

D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said these items could easily be manufactured here, and called for restrictions on imports from China.

“Nearly 1,000 SMES units have closed so far in the last 2-3 years, after the rise in imports from China,” he added.

A local manufacturer said he had sold only 12 per cent of the total produced sprinklers this year, while a wholesaler said he had sold almost all Chinese products. Last year, the ratio of sale of Chinese and Indian sprinklers was 80:20, this year, this ratio had changed to 95:5, said the survey.

“Chinese sprinklers are comparatively expensive but are available in different prices ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 1,000, and fit the budget of people from all economic backgrounds,” said some retailers. The local plastic sprinklers were priced from Rs 5 to Rs 50, but urban people prefer Chinese products so retailers were forced to sell local products in villages, the survey said.

Retailers, however, admitted that Indian products lose out on innovation. Chinese sprinklers have more variety, such as replicas of soft drink bottles to funny goggles, elephants, cartoon characters, flute, watch, mobile phone, they added.

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Published on March 25, 2013
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