R&D is not an alien name any more, its relevance is well recognized in every industry, we in handicrafts are no different, ours is rather an industry where this subject is most applicable, since our ultimate consumer profile comprises of lifestyle around the globe, it become inevitable to align our collection every season as per the changing trends in the respective markets.
Handicrafts, over the last few years have transformed their utility from mere shelf decoratives to daily useable category. It is thus the primary need of any seller to constantly update, develop & add to his product profile. As repetition cannot quench the need of this fast changing market.
This observation is no discovery but the sad tale is that despite the well established relevance and application of this deptt. it has not found its deserved place in the industry. There is a miniscule percentage of exporters who have understood the need and have given due consideration to establish this department in their organizations. But a large chunk of the industry still depends on the neighbor’s garden or catalogue copying in the name of deign and development.
The need of the day is that we understand the importance of this subject and give prime attention to this because irrespective of the amount of money spent on infrastructure, advertising, production etc. the key issue is having the right product. That only comes after proper research and development -a company is bound to reap the benefits and get much more dividends from R&D than to try any short cut or quick fix approach.
R&D not only enhances the product as such, but helps further to enhance the image of an organization, buyers specially look for companies who are constantly striving R&D work and not just doing the run-of-the-mill product.
R&d is a very wide area, the 3 main areas where R&D plays a major role in making a product fruitful and saleable are:
1. To develop eye appeal.
2. To develop the correct construction of the product.
3. To arrive at proper costing to make it worth selling.
As an exporter of handicrafts, I personally feel that R&D is the major upfront deptt. of any export company. The product starts its life from this deptt. and then it is churned through various sections to reach the ultimate buyer and we as exporters are not selling a product for only monetary gain, but we are also enhancing creativity.
Last but not the least-we are facing major competition from our fellow assign countries like China-they are marching much ahead of us as far as R&D is concerned and we just following them which means we are much behind the race for creativity. Of course, for all this we need much more help, support and confidence to uphold the beautiful craft of India.
If companies start putting in more effort, time and money for R&D they will surely start gaining from it in the long run – R&D is not a short cut to success. It will show its true colors in due course of time and effort always pays in the long run.