Marketing Study

A marketing study on the products that may be produced through IGAs of the village residents will be commissioned. The Project will promote IGAs through existing or newly-created SHGs under JFMCs, EDCs, or PSS's (most of the SHGs established under the Project are expected to be new SHGs). The IGAs to be taken up by committee members will basically be identified through the PRA conducted at the microplanning stage and decided by the members of SHG. However, the success and sustainability of IGAs depend very much on the market and marketing strategies, which will require examination by experts. The study will aim to identify products with high potential for income generation and to devise marketing strategies for those products.

Regional variations in the socio-economic and environmental characteristics across Sikkim will be taken into consideration in identifying the products, ie, the results of the research should be compiled in a way that suitable products can be chosen for each target village. The terms of reference of the study will be drafted by the PMU. The study will be completed in an early stage so that the results of the study can be utilized for the selection of IGAs and the marketing of products by the SHG members. The expected outputs of the study are 
  • a shortlist of products with high market potential that can be produced through IGAs by members of JFMCs, EDCs, and PSS?s; 
  • marketing strategies for the short-listed products covering production, collection, processing, pricing, distribution, and promotion; and 
  • training modules to enable the JFMC, EDC, and PSS members to implement the strategies identified.

Another objective of this study will be to devise strategies to improve handicraft designs, local produce branding and packaging, and marketing. A list of items to be included in the terms of reference to meet this objective is proposed below. Similar terms of reference for other types of products such as agricultural products should be drafted at the time of project execution. 

The consultants will be recruited by the PMU with the following duties.
  • Carry out a survey of existing Sikkim handicrafts with specifications for improvements, where necessary, based on the expectations of the tourism market.
  • Make field trips to the priority villages to assess the skill levels of local craftsmen and women.
  • Consult with the Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom of Sikkim, which houses an institute as well as workshops, a sales emporium, and a museum.
  • Advise on improving designs of existing craft items where necessary.
  • Determine new types of handicrafts that can be developed based on the examination of traditional crafts, skills, and local materials of the various ethnic groups in Sikkim, and prepare authentic designs of these new items.
  • Formulate training programmes on improving existing items and producing new ones.
  • Train the master craftsmen at the institute of the Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom.
  • Determine the most suitable types and locations of sales outlets for the handicrafts and the distribution channels for moving items from producers to outlets.
  • Advise on fair pricing standards for the handicrafts and local produce.
  • Advise on the establishment of demonstration areas for visitors to view the crafts being produced, perhaps in the model handicraft shops or in the traditional village house museums.
  • Advise on marketing handicrafts and local produce.