The success of any business in today’s competitive world depends upon how well it is able to capitalize upon its core competencies. Indian handicraft industry, too, can’t be any different. So it is natural to ask ourselves – what are these core competencies of this sector?
Indian handicraft industry can be divided into two broad segments – one being the ‘high end’ segment comprising of the luxury products and catering often to the foreign markets. Examples could be the pashmina shawls or the fine sari works of Kanchi. The other segment is the one catering to the local market and often selling the ‘no frills’ products at cheap rates. Examples could be the temporary stalls put up around festival times in many cities selling flower garlands or pots for the ‘pooja’. Both are obviously different and have different sets of core competencies. Some further thought quickly tells us that while the former segment draws its strength from the rich socio-cultural heritage of India, the ‘no frills’ sector depends upon its ease in cost effective geographical penetration. Clearly the wants of both segments are very different.
Next we must ask ourselves what does it take for a business to be able to successfully draw upon its core competency or what are the key factors driving success. In the framework we use, such factors can be broadly classified under three ‘pillars’:
– The Knowledge Pillar,
– The Linkages Pillar, and
– The Environmental Pillar.
The knowledge pillar includes factors like how well is the business using modern management techniques, or how is it faring on the technology front. Is the entrepreneur willing to take the needed risk to grow his business or are there certain factors which are systematically suppressing the risk taking appetite in the industry? Finally, is the entrepreneur being able to impart the needed skill training to the labor employed (including his self labor and that of his family as the case may be). Needless to say the importance of this...