Despite the pandemic, Khadi sales were able to bounce back in the financial year 2020-21 with 3.6X growth from the preceding year. According to the MSME Ministry dashboard data, 2,790 Khadi institutions involving 4.97 lakh artisans reported Rs 3,079.13 crore in sales, up from 2,687 Khadi institutions involving 4.96 lakh artisans reporting sales worth Rs 840.97 crore in FY20. “There were lot of government orders that we had received last year. While during the pandemic there was no sale but we had launched the online sale that supported our growth. Moreover, after khadi outlets were allowed to open last year, aggressive marketing was undertaken and customers had also started accepting local products,” Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) told Financial Express Online.
Khadi Sales (FY17-21)
Importantly, FY21 sales was the second highest over past five years. The annual Khadi sales in FY19 was the highest at Rs 3,215.13 crore before it plunged to a record low in FY20. KVIC had launched its e-commerce marketplace in the beginning of 2021 after running in beta mode for four months. Entering the e-commerce turf dominated by Amazon, Flipkart, and vertical marketplaces such as BigBasket, and Grofers, KVIC had products listed across categories such as groceries, footwear, apparel, herbal medicines, spices, and more. Overall, the e-commerce portal, introduced in July last year, had registered gross online sales worth over Rs 1.12 crore within eight months of its operations.
“We have added more than 527 new Khadi institutions and distributed over 50,000 new charkhas (to artisans) and around 10,000 looms that have added to the production. While the impact of second wave will be there, we will plan on growth once the lockdown lifts. Last year, over 28 lakh masks were sold while each outlet had sold 2,000-3,000 masks daily. Also, the government’s constant appeal to adopt khadi has helped in growth,” Saxena added.
KVIC had last year cracked down on fake khadi products being sold on e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and others as claimed by the commission. According to KVIC, it had forced such marketplaces to remove more than 160 web links selling products in the brand name of Khadi. KVIC had stated then that it had sent legal notices to more than 1,000 firms using Khadi India brand name to sell fake products. KVIC had reported 32 lakh digital transactions during FY21, according to MSME Ministry FY21 annual report.