Umbrellas are the most commonly and extensively used in India to protect against the sun and rain. The umbrella business in India is mainly dominated by small-scale businesses where even the hawkers and small shops play a significant role in expanding the umbrella business in India. Umbrella impacts a population of more than 850 million residing in the coastal areas, receiving an annual rainfall of over 1,500 mm per year.
Even with a meager requirement of one umbrella per family, the requirement of an umbrella in India will go up to 210 million umbrellas. The demand for an umbrella in the Indian market is more than in the United States. The Indian domestic market is 100 million US dollars and is growing at 7% to 10%. However, China is one of the biggest competitors in India, having a total manufacturing capacity of 3 billion umbrellas. But, in the present scenario, China is getting more expensive, and a shift in market trend due to trust issues with China has led to more scope for Indian domestic manufacturers’ growth. India can capture the EU and the US market, which is being dominated by China.
The demand for Umbrellas in India is as high as 120-150 million pieces a year. For the preceding three years, most of the umbrellas were being imported from China at cheaper rates. But with the rising labor cost and material cost in China, it has made its products expensive. With the Indian rupee’s depreciating value in the past two years, the imports from China have reduced to over 7-8 million umbrellas. Hence, it is an opportunity for all the small-scale businesses in India to start-up their umbrella business in India.
The global umbrella business in India has undergone a huge change in recent times. China, at the peak of its Industrial growth, has started manufacturing the umbrellas in bulk and leaving no scope for other markets to flourish. But the Indian Government along with Indian manufacturers is looking forward to changing this trend. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly pushing the small-scale and young entrepreneurs to make India a primary manufacturing hub and help the umbrella business grow. And with this, the umbrella business in India is looking forward to taking advantage of the positive change and establishes itself as a global leader in manufacturing and sales of umbrellas.
The manufacturing sector has also changed as it now relies more on the service sector and labor power. A shift from bulk manufacturing from a hand-made manufacturing industry will boost the Indian economy as there is the availability of a large workforce which will be absorbed and will generate employment opportunities in the rural areas. In the developing nations, with innovations spark and additional demands, with the change in consuming class, the global manufacturers will have new opportunities but they have to keep up the pace in a much more uncertain environment.
A new global consuming class is expected to emerge by 2025, where most of the consumption will take place in the developing economies. This will create larger and more wide market opportunities and it will lead towards rich innovations in materials and processes to create fresh demand and drive more productivity gains in the umbrella business in India.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a huge step to place India on the world map as a manufacturing community and boost the Indian economy at the global level. Under this initiative, it is an ambitious target of the Indian Government to increase the contribution of manufacturing output from 16 percent to 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2025.
With a wide variety of seasonal changes in India, the umbrella is extensively used in our country as the demand for umbrella depends upon various factors like different climatic conditions, population, change in social outlook, income variations, and availability of raw materials. Thus, the umbrella business in India has a huge market potential as the demand for umbrellas will increase more with time.
Umbrella manufacturing involves a hand-assembly process where various parts are joined together which are made up of wood, metal, plastic, or any other such material.
The other parts of an umbrella apart from the canopy are as following-
Shaft – The shaft of an umbrella is usually made of wood, steel, fiberglass, plastics, or aluminum. The wooden shafts are made with the help of wood-shaping machines such as tuning machines and lathes. The metal and plastic shafts are made to give them the required shape.
Ribs and Stretchers – The stretchers join the ribs with the shaft while ribs run under the canopy of the umbrella. The ”U” shape to the ribs is methodically given by assembling the ribs and stretchers which are usually made of steel or some other metal. The joiner which is a small jointed metal hinge interconnects the ribs and stretcher together. The joiner opens or closes simultaneously through an angle of 90 degrees. The two catch springs in the shaft of the umbrella are placed which when pressed slid up the shaft to open and for closing. The metal shafts are made hollow so that the catch spring can be inserted effortlessly.
Canopy – The canopy is hand sewn to the ribs of the umbrella which cannot be cut from one piece of cloth as they have to be shaped following the curve of the canopy and following the patterns of the threads and weave. The standard umbrella has eight panels, and each panel is separately cut from a material called gores. The cutting of piles of gores can also be done by the use of machines. The end tip of the covering of the umbrella reach past the canopy is left without any covering or covered with small plastic or wood, or glued and sewn to the ends of the ribs through the small holes in the end caps with this, the process of making umbrella completes.
First cut – The process of making an umbrella begins with the cutting of a suitable size of the fabric which is called ”large cut” or ”first cut”. This is the pre-stage for the second cut where the fabric is cut in a rectangle shape by the use of a machine or hand-cutting.
Small Cut – The process of small cut is also known as the ”second cut” stage. In this stage, the fabric is cut in the triangle shape from the rectangle shape. To make a triangle shape, wood is used as a mold and such mold is placed on a rectangle fabric and hand-cutting is done on the fabric. The panel of the umbrella is triangle shape which is known as gores.
Printing – The next procedure after the cutting of fabric is printing where the silkscreen printing is used and gores are placed on a long table and graphic on each gore is printed on the fabric.
The next step after getting ready for the printing gores, 8 pieces of gores is sewed by using the sewing machines to make the canopy.
Installation of umbrella tip – The umbrella tip is the piece of metal or plastic stick placed at the end of each rib to give stability to the canopy. In this process, a special sewing machine is used to sew the tip of the fabric and the number of tips installed is the same as the number of ribs present in the umbrella.
Joining the frame and canopy – In this process, the canopy is sewed with each rib of the umbrella. This process is hand-assembly and does not use any machine.
Installation of Handles – After joining the frames and canopy together, the handle of the umbrella is installed by using various methods like screwed on, heat shaft, or glue to secure the handle.
Quality check – The QC staff is appointed in each production unit to perform the quality check of the umbrella which is the most important aspect of every process. The umbrellas after assembling and the production process is sent to the quality control department for the final quality check procedure before its packaging.
Packaging – The umbrella after passing the quality control test is sent to the packaging department to pack into a carton. The packaging is the most important process of the umbrella business in India which makes it attractive for marketing purposes.
To give an actual shape to the umbrella business, a person has to understand the requirements of the business and what all it takes to build an umbrella business from scratch.
Following are some steps before starting the business-
India is constantly increasing its market share in the umbrella business in India. ‘Opportunity’ is the word that is closely related to the market availability of umbrellas with China getting expensive; the scope for domestic players’ growth is huge. Umbrella business in India today is hopeful that Chinese supremacy may not last for long as it has opened up new dimensions and opportunities for the Indian market on the global front.
Despite the umbrella industry’s existence for more than six decades, the Indian manufacturers were still dependant on Chinese products. But the Indian Government, under the leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi, has started the ”Make in India” and ”Start-up India” initiative that will boost local manufacturing and give employment to rural sectors and young entrepreneurs. It is a tremendous step taken by the Government to make India self-reliant and minimize its dependency on other countries for raw materials and finished products.
These initiatives have encouraged the Indian umbrella manufacturers by taking various blanket measures through which it will cater to the internal market and improve the exports of umbrellas. The Aatmnirbhar Sena is also working in line with the government initiatives towards making India self-reliant. Our organization is committed to providing various financial credits to young and budding entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of starting an umbrella business in India.