With the world’s longest dance festival currently at its peak, Navratri has emerged an occasion for companies to exhibit new collections, with a trade organisation estimating the festival-related business to cross Rs 12,500 crore in Gujarat alone this year.

Corporates have increased sponsorship budgets by 15-20 per cent anticipating rise in footfall at Garba venues as millions participate in the festival daily across the country, and overseas.

Growing at a compounded annual growth rate of about 25 per cent, business in both organised and unorganised sectors during Navratri festival in Gujarat is likely to cross the Rs 12,500 crore mark this year on the back of high consumer confidence, an Assocham report said on Wednesday.

The size of advertising and sponsorship apart from other related business opportunities during Navratri festival was estimated at about Rs 10,000 crore last year.

Corporates from sectors ranging from apparels, automobile, real estate, jewellery, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), telecom, electronics, home appliances and others are cashing in on the festivities by tying up with Garba organisers, private societies across cities and towns to promote their brands during the event.

In a fortnight-long survey with organisers of nearly 60 Garba dance festivals in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat and Vadodara, to gauge the general mood, Assocham also interacted with 150 large, small and medium companies, including multinationals and domestic players to know about their marketing budgets and efforts to get maximum mileage out of the world’s longest dance revelry.

“Anticipating 10-15 per cent jump in number of people thronging Garba venues, the sponsors have increased their branding budget relatively by 20-25 per cent as compared to last year, considering it as a lucrative opportunity to showcase their latest brands,” the survey said.

About 30 per cent Garba organisers said they have seen an upsurge of up to 20 per cent in sponsorship. Sponsorship and advertisement support this year is not confined to only big ticket players as many companies representing the small and medium enterprises have also shown interest.

Although a religious festival, Navratri has evolved as an occasion for socialising and as a major commercial event. It has been notching up high commercial value considering that sponsors find it the right time to advertise their products and services as people from all age groups turn up to enjoy the spirit of togetherness, D.S. Rawat, National Secretary-General, Assocham, observed.

Besides, Navratri also helps in promoting regional tourism and boosts the state economy as tourists, both domestic and foreign, get a chance to interact with the local community. It also provides employment to local artisans, traditional sweet makers, flower traders and vendors, orchestras and bands, people involved in lighting and decorating and as part of security arrangements.