India is a country that specializes in producing unique and handcrafted products not found in other countries of the world. Here suppliers focus on design and regularly develop and launch new products they have created in-house.
Wide ranges of indigenous handicraft styles that are unique to the country are found in any exhibition. Some of the famous indigenous products are blue pottery from the state of Rajasthan, or cane and bamboo products made in the Eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, and Sikkim. Likewise the leather products from the state of Kanpur.
India is a vivid nation where a diverse range of products is manufactured. Some of the products have an increasing number of sales, which makes it an alternative market when compared to China. Read this article to know more about the tips regarding the sourcing of products from India for a very good profit.
Important Points to Know about Sourcing Products from India
1. Look for a specialist
For the sake of better quality and rates, you should look for a supplier who is a specialist in his field of manufacturing. Having a specialist means, you will avail yourself of a better quality of products and a variety of goods. You should know and understand a supplier as they might be experts in one field but can be fruitful in providing advice in other areas also.
2. Look for the Right Production Centre
After looking for a specialist, you should look for the right production center. In India, the production center is in huge numbers and you can do business anywhere you want. However, one should keep in mind the difference between a production center and a trading company. Suppliers in manufacturing clusters can offer better prices as they have easy access to raw materials, skilled workers, and other facilities.
Tip: If you are sourcing a specific product from a city that is not the production hub for that product or material, it is likely you are dealing with a trading company.
3. Look for Quality, not Price
In the end, this will benefit you. The emphasis on quality not price seems not reasonable but trust me profit lies in quality. There is a norm in Indian production houses that if someone is focusing on price rather than quality, he might compromise on quality. Do not do this. Emphasize quality over price.
4. Look for a Good Factory
This depends on the quantity of your sourcing and the nature of the company you have. If you are a small e-commerce seller just starting, and you will be sourcing in small quantities, work with a small or midsize factory instead of a big company.
Small to midsize companies, on the other hand, are more likely to accommodate smaller orders and grow with you as a small buyer. Similarly, if you are sourcing in high volumes, do not work with a small or midsize company, as they might not have the capacity to meet your needs.
5. Look for a Warranty on Products
Asking for a warranty on the quality of products is highly recommended. For example, products made from wood or metal would require a warranty on finishing, coating, and workmanship. This is for the sake of the customer and if you are selling it on Amazon, USP for your brand will help differentiate you from competitors.
Products Sourced from India
1. Wooden Home Decor and Gifts
It is one of the popular materials used for making a variety of products, such as home utility and decor items, furniture, kitchen and table products like utensils, and sensory and educational toys.
There are about 15 varieties of wood available from Indian suppliers, however, mango and acacia wood are the most commonly used. The most expensive among them is Teak but mango and acacia wood is not.
Places that are hubs for the production of wooden goods are Jodhpur and Jaipur as both cities are located in a desert region in Rajasthan. So, when you are sourcing wooden products go to the state of Rajasthan.
2. Metal home decor and gifts
Amazon sellers can also source a variety of home products made of metals including copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, galvanized iron, and wrought iron. Goods made from metals include kitchenware.
The city of Moradabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh is the main production hub for metal home decor items in India. The city accounts for over 40 percent of total handicraft exports from India.
3. Textiles and Clothes
India is a major source of the key materials are cotton and cotton blends, silks and wool textiles – both woven and knitted, handloom fabrics, and recycled fabrics. So, the major category of products being manufactured in India is apparel and textiles.
South India is a major production house for knitted garments such as cotton t-shirts, hosiery, and other products particularly from the last 10 years. 7,000 garment units in the city of Tirupur and more than 50 percent of India’s total knitwear exports come from the same city.
Products that are made from Ceramic in India are kitchenware, dinnerware, mugs made from stoneware, terracotta, earthenware, and porcelain. India is known for decorative ceramics as they are mostly made by hand.
5. Leather Products
All kinds of leather from buffalo, goat, sheep, and cow are available in India with a wide range of quality from high to low. Products made from leather are shoes, garments, bags, and stationery. Garments like biker jackets are typically made of goat leather, as the leather is fine and can be cut and stitched easily. The city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is known for leather and leather goods.
6. Home Furnishings
The materials used to make home furnishings from India are cotton, linen, silk, wool, and rayon, or a blend of two or three materials. Products made from these raw materials are bed sheets, pillow covers, cushion covers, bed covers, curtains, macramé, and poufs.
The city of Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan is famous for cotton and cotton blends not because of the manufacturing but for block printing. Also, the city of Panipat in the state of Haryana is known for hand-tufted rugs, cushion covers, bathmats, macramé products, and a range of other types of home furnishings.
You can also source paper and products made of paper from India. Mostly you have to focus on stationery items from this industry. You should know that stationery items from India are made not only from paper but also from recycled paper, woven grass, and palm leaves.
The wide range of products available are journals, wrapping paper, paper for greeting cards, mill-made paper, and denim paper. Desert areas in the city of Jaipur and Jodhpur are hubs of stationery items.
Also read: How To Start Selling on Etsy in 2023?
Effective Sourcing from India
For effective and efficient sourcing of products from India, you should keep the following things in mind. These are very important and can be helpful for your business.
1. Build Relationships
When doing business in India it takes some time to cultivate a relationship with your supplier. Develop trust with the supplier by making payments. If you can build a relationship with the supplier, you will be favored more. These favors include better prices, better payment terms with lower or no advance payments, longer credit times, or no charges for samples.
Indians are very hospitable people and like the Chinese businessperson, Indians like to take their clients out for meals or arrange trips to visit tourist locations such as the Taj Mahal.
2. Maintain Hierarchy
Hierarchy in business is very important in India. Decisions always come from the highest level of the hierarchy. In small companies, the owner of the company typically makes decisions but in a large company, top managers are important. You should also know seniority is determined by the person’s position within the company or their age.
3. Ask Right Questions
Do not ask dichotomous questions. Dichotomous questions are specific questions that require a direct yes or no. Indians do not give answers in negative. They will say maybe, will see, etc. as they want to keep every option open. So prepare your questions well and try to understand the market where you are supposed to procure.
4. Do Not Just Do Business In India
If you are in India for business only, you are a mistake. India is an exotic country, a country rich in culture and history. So when visiting India take some time out to do business. The are many places to see and one of them is the Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World.
A mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.
It does not matter if you are a newbie or a seasoned private-label e-commerce seller; India offers a plethora of unique and innovative products to source. The sale of these products gives you an edge and is a great way to differentiate from the thousands of other Amazon third-party sellers purchasing products from China. Brands like Walmart, IKEA, Armani, Woolworths, and the like have been sourcing from India for decades.
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Mir is a British-educated Digital Marketing Expert with 10+ years of experience in the B2B, D2C, and eCommerce Industries. Having worked with 50+ startups and SMEs, he has a clear understanding of what it takes to establish growth on online platforms.
He is also the Founder of Kashmirica, a social impact brand that aims to take exclusives from Kashmir to the Global consumer. An enthusiastic cultural entrepreneur, Mir is driven by a passion to bring about a social impact.
An avid reader, he loves writing about marketing, and entrepreneurship.