Cash blues take the wind out of kite sales this season

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018


Sales have fallen 40-50%, say kite dealers

Blame it on demonetisation — there are fewer kites dotting the skies this season compared with the last.

According to kite dealers and retailers in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, the dip in sales is 40-50 per cent. In India, kite-flying is mostly during October-January.

According to Bablu of SB Kite Centre, Delhi, the festival season was hurt by cash blues. The demand for kites, especially for the wholesalers, did not commence on time this year.

“Kite sale at the retail level is generally not done via card payment. It is very much cash-based and we noticed a 50 per cent drop in sales this year,” Bablu told BusinessLine.

Ahmedabad too is facing a dip in demand but it has gained in a different way. “We are selling various types of manza (strong thread), which is similar to Chinese manza in quality, to all other States. The ban on Chinese and nylon threads is helping us in a way,” said Lekharam, a thread exporter from Ahmedabad.

Gujarat manzas are now available in many centres, including Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

The National Green Tribunal has directed States to ban the use of Chinese manza and nylon threads. More than half the States have already banned their use. The situation is not different in Mumbai too. “However, some who are selling via mobile apps managed to do business,” Prashant, who runs Prashnat Kites in Mumbai, said. The retailers have taken a major hit. According to M Laxman, who runs a kite shop at Himayatnagar here, the average daily sales came down from ₹10,000 last year to less than ₹4,000 now.

“We invested whatever cash we had in buying stocks but the demand is down,” he added.

But the silver lining is that the current flavour is desi. The Chinese models, which were in demand a couple of years ago, have lost their appeal along with Chinese manza.

Published on January 10, 2017

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