KOCHI: As the country awaits the onset of monsoon later this month, the Indian umbrella market, too, expects a push as sales were down for the past few years. Giving a breather to the industry, the online sales and exports of umbrella are now backing the sector, thanks to a 10-15 per cent price hike in China owing to increased labour cost. The size of the industry is pegged at Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 crore which expects a seven per cent increase in demand annually.
“Though there is no official data available for the umbrella market in the country, the size will be at least Rs 1,000 crore. About 60 per cent of the umbrellas are manufactured in Kolkata and Kerala,” said Joseph A Thayyil, MD, Johns Umbrellas. The other major manufacturing areas of umbrella are Mumbai and Tamil Nadu. The peak market for umbrella in the country is for six months starting from May. Not only parts but finished umbrellas, too, are being imported to India from Taiwan, China and Korea.
“The demand for umbrellas depends on climatic conditions, increase in population, change in social outlook and customs and export possibility. Demand is expected to increase by 7 to 10 per cent during the next five years in the domestic market,” a recent note from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has stated. According to industry players, online sales for umbrellas are picking up and now it contributes five to six per cent of total sales.
The major issue with the sector, according to K N Marzook, chairman of Colombo Group, is that the price of the product has not been increasing over the years. “Even now, umbrellas are available for Rs 100. However, a major breather for the industry is that off late Chinese umbrellas have seen a price hike of 10-15 per cent. Now the price is almost at par with Indian price, which is a boon for domestic industry,” he noted.