Let us look at how far the Chinese imports have affected the Stationery products and what are the remedial measures that need to be taken in order to deal with them. The Stationery products are a commonly used set of products in homes, offices, and schools. However, the attitude that most stationery consumers have towards stationery products is that of ignorance and there is rarely any desire on the part of the consumer to know what he is purchasing. There is also a lack of awareness about the variety of products available and the consumer settles for whatever the local stationery shop offers at whatever price the shopkeeper quotes. There is no consistency in the prices quoted and Mr. Gul Asrani, President of The Mumbai Stationery Manufacturers and Dealers Association opines that the reason for this is that the Packaging Act has no guidelines provided as to what should be the maximum retail price to be printed on the pack of the stationery products.
Hence, the manufacturers print any amount desired by them and so there is no standardization of prices of the stationery products. In addition, there is no awareness amongst the consumers about the options available to a particular stationery product or of the correct utility of quite a few stationery products. This is because the stationery industry in India still is not completely organized. Thus, giving way for easy acceptance of foreign products amongst the stationery consumers. Because of this tendency of easy acceptance, the cheap Chinese imports have managed to creep into the Indian markets in a big way and this has affected the stationery industry to a substantial extent.
According to Mr. Gul Asrani, desktop stationery has been the worst affected by Chinese imports. Among the desktop stationery, writing instruments seem to have been affected the most. Apart from that, the Chinese stationery products are fast finding a strong base in the Indian markets mainly because they provide the same quality as the Indian products at lower prices. Thus, the situation is an alarming one, and the stationery manufacturers cannot afford to ignore this situation. Mr. Gul Asrani however renders this situation a more positive outlook and says that the entrance of Chinese products in the Indian markets is a blessing in disguise because it will make the Indian companies work with competitiveness. According to him, the Indian industry has been protected for a very long time and therefore the need to excel and to be cost-effective was lacking. He says, “Under a protective regime, the industry will never excel to the highest standards.” Therefore, we can conclude that there are quite a few remedial measures that will have to be taken to tackle this situation beginning with a change in the attitude of the Indian stationery products’ manufacturers.
And in order to deal with this situation in a competitive manner, there is a need for the Indian stationery manufacturers to provide the stationery consumers with quality at standardized prices and they will have to endeavor to give them quality that is on par or better than the Chinese stationery products and that too at low prices.
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