The writing instrument industry in India is estimated to be worth Rs 2,600 crores. The organised sector accounts for 2,000 crores of this total. People still use pen and paper, despite the increased use of computers and smartphones.
The Writing Instruments industry has evolved into a more creative process of new fads and development. This is seen as the only way to keep up with the times. A once-exclusive industry has now become a crowded marketplace.
Although we live in an advanced age where the internet and cell phones rule the market, writing instruments remain indispensable. This industry has grown in the same way that every other industry has.
- The total market for writing instruments is valued at Rs 22 billion and is growing at around 8% to 10% per year.
- The informal sector’s contribution to the market is over Rs 6.6 billion, or 30% of the total market value and 65% of volume.
- While the low-end market accounts for 90% of total sales, the premium and top-end segments account for less than 1%.
- The moderately priced mid-priced products make up the difference.
- Linc pen & plastics, GM Pens International, Flair pen, today’s writing products, Rotomac pens, Add pens India, Schefield, Stic pens, Cello, Luxar writing instruments, Montex, and Lexi international are some of the major players in the Indian market.
- Flare and Rotomac have formed an Indo-Japan pen manufacturing company through a 50:50 joint venture with Pentel Corporation of Japan.
- Under the Pentel brand, it will produce pens priced between Rs. 15 and Rs. 115. Pentel is collaborating with a company from outside Japan for the first time.
- Pens are mass-market items. As a result, price becomes a critical distinguishing factor.
- The cost of a product is a significant factor in determining whether or not to buy it.
- Consumers rank price as the second most crucial factor behind ink colour when choosing a pen. Brand name and appearance, respectively, take third and fourth place. It is easy to deduce that brand loyalty is low in this category.
- This is also supported by the fact that most customers purchase a different pen if the one they want is not available at the store.
- Furthermore, most customers have no recollection of any brand communication. This demonstrates that consumer participation is meagre.
The Indian writing instrument industry
- India is a significant producer and exporter of writing instruments.
- India exports Rs 200 crores worth of pens.
- There are 15 large-scale manufacturing units, 100 medium-scale manufacturing units, and 900 small-scale manufacturing units in the Indian market.
- Daily, these units can produce over 10 million units.
- These units are sold in local markets, such as stationery stores, bookstores, supermarkets, and offices.
Market share in terms of products
- Pens costing less than Rs 15 per piece account for nearly 80 per cent of India’s pen industry’s revenue.
- Pen prices range from under Rs 15 per piece to over Rs 100,000 per piece.
- As a result, most revenue comes from pens priced under Rs 15, with only a small percentage coming from pens priced between Rs 100 and Rs 300. Premium-brand pens account for a tiny portion of the market.
- Pens under Rs 15 grow at a rate of 7-8 per cent per year, while pens above Rs 15 grow at 8-10 per cent per year.
- Students account for approximately 55 per cent of all writing instrument purchasers, with executives and office workers accounting for approximately 20%.
- Cello, Linc, and Reynolds are the major market players in the mass segment, where the price of the writing instrument is below Rs 20.
- Uni-ball, Pilot, and Parker are major market players in the high-value segment, where prices range from Rs 20 to Rs 400. At the same time, Mt Blanc, Parker, Cross, Lamy, and Sheaffer are major market players in the premium segment, where prices range from Rs 400 and above.
- Because India’s working population is expected to increase by 20% by 2020, higher per capita income will increase literacy and a higher demand for stationery.
- Corporate gifting has included writing instruments as well. Writing instruments are distributed as gifts or mementoes at corporate events.
- Many people believe that technological advancements will make pens and pencils obsolete.
- This is a false statement. We will see the growth of this industry in India as long as companies continue to produce high-quality pens and pencils that are up to date with technological advancements.
Current trends in the writing instrument industry
- Because of technological advancements in this sector, experts predict that the writing instrument industry will thrive for many years.
- The raw materials, ink, and metal used in the manufacture of writing instruments have all undergone technological advancements, which have improved the products’ user-friendliness.
- That is why, even in this technological age, people still use pens and pencils.
- India’s literacy rate should be kept in mind while considering these segments. Many of the above segments are too small to be served in India.
- Usage norms differ from one function to the next, as they do from one person to the next, and certainly from one segment to the next.
- Students make up 55 to 60 per cent of the market, with executives accounting for 20-25 per cent and other multi-level users accounting for 15-20 per cent.
- Computers and advanced telecommunication equipment are replacing writing instruments.
- As a result, while rising literacy levels and economic activity should dramatically increase demand, the increase will be limited and moderate.
Territories in the Indian writing market that have yet to be explored. However, because of the low entry barrier, the opportunities may attract new players to the industry, increasing competition and putting downward pressure on margins. The profitability of the industry is affected by the upward fluctuation in raw material prices. The growing economic strength of India’s 300 million-strong middle class, whose purchasing power is increasing by leaps and bounds, has provided another opportunity. In the coming years, the sharp rise in disposable income and the sharp increase in the savings rate are expected to have a multiplier effect, resulting in exponential growth in most sectors of the economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ireland on September 23, 2015. It was the second time an Indian Prime Minister had visited Ireland. The first being Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit in 1956. Ireland is an island nation located in Northwestern Europe and surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, had hosted PM Modi during his visit. The PM was attended by other dignitaries such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, and Ireland’s Ambassador to India, Feilim McLaughlin. The main aim of the visit was to create stronger ties and improve trade and cultural relations. Described below is the impact of the PM’s Ireland visit.
Impact on trade and commerce
India and Ireland have strong bilateral trade and business relations. Before the PM’s visit, trades with Ireland were valued at €650 million in business in 2014. This included exports worth €248m and imports worth €402 million.
The indigenous exports increased from €32 million in 2012 to €55 million in 2014. In 2019, the total bilateral trade was around €1.2 billion. The exports and the imports have also increased to €636 million and €480 million respectively. Currently, the total trade between India and Ireland is valued at €4.2 billion. This resulted from improved bilateral ties between the two nations, owing to Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Ireland.
Indian Companies in Ireland
Many Indian companies carry out trade and commerce in Ireland. They provide services to Irish markets and consumers across various industries. Pharmaceutical giants such as Reliance Genemedix and Amneal Pharmaceuticals operate in Ireland. Major IT companies such as Wipro, Infosys, TCS, and HCL also have a strong presence in the country. The trade relations were bolstered after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ireland.
Other companies like Crompton Greaves, Deepak Fasteners, Jain irrigation systems, and Shapoorji Pallonji provide consumer goods and services. Likewise, many Irish companies conduct their business in the Indian market. These companies include pharmaceutical and nutrition players like ICON and Glanbia, IT firms like Globoforce and other companies like Keventer, CRH Taxback Group, and Connolly Red Mills.
Impact on Education
Ireland has been a coveted destination for higher education for Indian students. Over 5000 Indian students have enrolled for higher studies in various institutions in Ireland. The students are admitted to engineering, technology, medicine and management colleges. More than 30 research agreements have been signed between the two nations that allow institutes in both countries to collaborate.
Many reputed institutes like Trinity College, Dublin, and Thapar University, Patiala, have signed MOUs for engineering and science disciplines programmes. Thus, Ireland is an essential collaborator in graduate and doctoral research. This collaboration is also considered an impact of the PM’s Ireland visit.
Indian Community in Ireland
Ireland is diplomatically significant for India also due to the large number of Indian citizens residing there. The Indian origin population is approximately 45,000 people, of whom 18,500 are Non-Resident Indians (NRI), and others are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO). The majority of the residents are working professionals employed in engineering, healthcare and management positions.
It has helped in establishing many policies for the Indian origin population. Two such policies in practice are wearing hijab as a part of the police uniform and the non-requirement of obtaining an additional work permit for the spouse or the partner of Critical Skill Employment Permit holders.
As a result of a large population of Indian origin citizens in Ireland and the relationship between the two nations, Ireland promotes Indian culture in various forms. One such example is the celebration of Diwali in Ireland since 2008. The event is organised every year in collaboration with Irish and Indian committees.
Further, an annual contemporary film festival is also a part of the celebration of Indian culture. The promotion of such events indicates the importance of cultural exchange between the two nations. The Irish communities also take a keen interest in conventional practices such as cultivating and consuming Indian herbs and spices. This connects the agricultural practices between the two nations. The cultural ties between the countries were strong, and Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Ireland helped strengthen them further.
Another significant practice is the celebration of International Yoga Day in Ireland. The Irish communities have accepted Yoga as a form of a healthy lifestyle. The practice is similar to the Indian tradition.
India attracts around 44,000 Irish tourists every year. Indian tourists too visit Ireland in similar numbers. This was facilitated by the introduction of the common British-Irish visa scheme. This scheme allows the tourists to visit the U.K. and Ireland under one visa, rather than applying for two separate visas. It is valid for short stays. India also extended its Electronic Tourist Visa facility to Ireland to digitally facilitate visa approval and generation. The impact of the PM’s Ireland visit was such that it has also helped establish the tourism sector in both countries.
The diplomatic ties between Ireland and India have been impacted positively after Prime Minister Modi visited Ireland in 2015. It was an essential step toward strengthening the bilateral relationship between these two nations. India and Ireland have been important to each other since the 1900s.
In 2010 and 2017, two honorary consulates were established in Chennai and Kolkata. Later in 2019, a formal and fully functional consulate general in Mumbai. Ireland and India have also shown their allegiance to fighting terrorism after the Pulwama attack. India has also hosted several Irish dignitaries on various occasions. These visits were directed toward engagement in business, education, health and tourism.
Further, many agreements were signed to provide opportunities for employment to people of both countries. Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Ireland helped revive relatively stagnant relations between these two nations. Several cultural and historically similar instances bind these two nations. From Yeats and Tagore to cricket and Diwali, the cultural semblance between these two nations has helped create a strong tie between them.