Indians and Hindu communities across the globe are all geared up to celebrate Rakshabandhan over two days this year. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has estimated sales worth ₹12,000 crore for rakhis this year. “Chandrayaan rakhi and G-20’s Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam rakhis are trending this season to commemorate the recent developments,” said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT. 

According to CAIT, all rakhis were made in India, and neither the rakhi nor rakhi material was imported from China this year. The sale value of FMCG items has been estimated to be around ₹5,000 crore.

Paradigm shift 

The pandemic led to the shutting down of businesses, forcing them to evolve out of traditional operations and adapt new-age technology and platforms. 

“Since Covid hit, we started selling rakhis on our own B2B e-commerce website. From using WhatsApp for Business to keep in touch with customers to leveraging Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube to get more inbound queries, we do it all. Apart from this, all top B2C e-commerce gifting companies are among our customers — Blink It, Flipkart and Amazon bestsellers, The Gift Studio, Archies, FnP, FlowerAura,” said Kamal Kishore, Director at Shree Rakhi, the largest rakhi manufacturer in India.

However, people’s emotional connection with the festival has helped rebound sales after Covid. In 2019, sales were estimated at 3,500 crore. With a steady increment, it recorded a 7 per cent hike in 2022. It reflects better prospects for goods made domestically, according to CAIT. 

“Rakhi is manufactured and assembled completely by hand. A lot of laborious work is involved, and we manufacture all throughout the year. It’s important to note that not only are we big proponents of Make In India, 95 per cent of the workforce involved are women artisans who are able to take on such work and bring in additional disposable income for their households,” said Kishore.

A group of women from Vikramgad in Palghar district, Maharashtra, craft eco-friendly bamboo rakhis. Centered around sustainability, the initiative creates opportunities for tribal women in remote areas. The bamboo rakhis garnered PM’s attention and found a mention in Mann Ki Baat. These rakhis come as an antidote to unemployment in the tribal areas. They also provide work-from-home opportunities, which are more suited to remote areas.    

Khadi Rakshasoot was launched in August in New Delhi. “It empowers the rural women who spin multiple threads on the charkha to create a natural product, devoid of chemical additives,” said Manoj Kumar, Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

A wide range of rakhis, such as Kosa Rakhi of Chhattisgarh, Jute Rakhi of Calcutta, Silk Rakhi of Mumbai, Khadi Rakhi made in Nagpur, Sanganeri Kala Rakhi in Jaipur, bamboo rakhi made of tribal items in Jharkhand, tea leaf rakhi in Assam, dates rakhi in Kerala, pearl rakhi in Kanpur, Banarasi cloth rakhi in Varanasi, Madhubani and Maithili Art rakhi of Bihar, made their place in the market this year.

Meenakari, a famous Persian art form embraced by artisans in Varanasi, is highly demanded in rakhis for its intricate designs. Kundan rakhis are also a popular choice for the festivities. This artwork dates back to the Mughal era, which blossomed in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.