Do you want to saree business in India and want to know how to go about it? If yes, you have landed at the right place. Here in this article, we will be providing all the details that are needed to start and run a profitable saree-related business.
In India, the saree is also popularly called Shari. It is a women’s garment. Generally, the saree comes in a 4.5-meter length and 4 Ft breath. Some of the designer sarees come along with a matching or contrasting blouse piece. Women drape a saree commonly with a blouse and petticoat.
Currently, the saree is a popular dress material not only in India but also in western countries. Many Bollywood celebrities promote the saree as national attire in foreign countries. The country earns a good amount of foreign money from the saree export.
In India, sarees have traditionally been in high demand. Women in a nation like India are always on the lookout for the appropriate ethnic attire to wear. And sarees are just a perfect fit for festivals, weddings, and the list goes on. Another reason for the popularity of sarees in this part of the world is the hot and humid climate. It gives a high-level comfort wearing in this type of weather.
Initiating a saree business is a highly lucrative opportunity for both men and women entrepreneurs. Depending on your investment capacity and expertise, you can start the business in different models. However, you need specific knowledge about the different types of sarees, their retail price, etc. Definitely, it is an easy business to start and operate.
Is Saree Business Profitable in India?
The answer to this is both yes and no. If you are selling low-cost sarees the profit margin is not much. One needs to sell in high volume in order to make good returns.
However, selling boutique designer sarees will fetch more profit margin. On average it is seen, sarees that cost more than Rs. 1000 come with better returns.
The profitability of the saree-selling business hugely depends on purchasing. If one can purchase from direct manufacturers or big wholesalers and negotiate the buying price the profit margin will certainly be more.
You can go with different business models including a saree shop, online saree shop, home-based saree business, Whatsapp saree selling, and saree wholesaling.
15 Steps to Start a Saree Business in India
1. Understand the Market Size & Buying Trends of Saree Customers
The first step to launching a saree business is to learn about the market potential and what kinds of sarees are bought by local customers. Visit retail saree shops nearby and find the kind of sarees that are selling the most. Also, if possible talk to prospective saree customers and understand their tastes and buying trends.
Another way of learning more about the recent trends in sarees is to visit online marketplaces. Have a deep look at the leading brands and know more about the types of sarees they are selling and the pricing.
2. Learn More about Different Types of Sarees
Depending on the weaving style, yearning, and decoration, you can find at least 60 different types of saree in the Indian subcontinent. In starting this business, knowing the different types of saree variety is crucial. Here, we put a list of some major and most popular types of saree that you can deal with.
a) Baluchari Saree
It is a gorgeous silk saree. Generally, the Baluchari saree comes with motifs derived from Ramayana and Mahabharata on the border and pallu. It takes approximately one week to produce one Baluchari sari.
b) Banarasi Saree
The Banarasi sarees are popular for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk, and opulent embroidery. Depending on the design and pattern, it takes 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete a Banarasi saree.
c) Bandhej Saree
Bandhej sarees are also popular as Bandhni saree. Generally, this hand-knit tie and dye saree comes in cotton fabric. However, the power loom saree in different fabrics is also popular as the Chunri print saree.
d) Bomkai Saree
The Bomkai saree is also popular as the Sonepuri saree. The saree originated from Orissa. The saree comes with beautiful threadwork on the border and pallu.
e) Chanderi Saree
Generally, the Chanderi sarees are produced from three kinds of fabric: pure silk, Chanderi cotton, and silk cotton. This is one of the finest fabrics in India. Chanderi sarees originated in Gujarat.
f) Chettinad Saree
This originated in South India. Generally, these sarees come in bold colors and are printed in checks or strips and sometimes both. The sarees have a contrasting border and pallu. You can find the Chettinad saree in two different fabrics – cotton and silk.
g) Chiffon Saree
The chiffon saree is very lightweight. It is a smooth and slippery fabric. Generally, different types of printed chiffon sarees are very popular not only in our country but also in the international market.
h) Georgette Saree
Georgette is a sheer, lightweight, dull-finished crepe fabric. Commonly, georgette sarees come with embroidery designs or stonework. Due to the colorful designs, it is also popular as a fancy saree. The price of the georgette saree depends on its work and design of it.
i) Gharchola Saree
Actually, the Gharchola saree originated in Gujarat. The dying process of Gharchola is historically associated with Jamnagar. Generally, these sarees come in bright red, green, and yellow colors.
j) Ikkat Saree
Ikkat or Ikat sarees are popular throughout the world. Actually, it is a specific dyeing technique. These sarees come in both cotton and silk fabric.
k) Jamdani Saree
Jamdani is a cotton fabric premium saree. It is also popular as Dhakai Jamdani. Jamdani originated from Bangladesh. It is a handloom woven fabric made of cotton, which historically was referred to as muslin.
l) Kanchipuram Saree
Kanchipuram silk is a very popular woven silk saree from the state of Tamilnadu. The sarees are woven from pure mulberry silk thread. Generally, these sarees come in gorgeous and bold color combinations sometimes with blouse pieces.
m) Kantha Saree
Basically, Kantha is a specific type of hand embroidery work. The Kantha stitch sarees come in two different fabrics – cotton and silk. And the silk saree costs higher than the cotton. It is a craft of Bengal and Orissa.
n) Kerela Cotton Saree
The Kerala cotton saree is also popular as the Kasavu saree. The saree has a beautiful and simple golden border with a cream white base. Women prefer this type of saree with a heavy gorgeous blouse. Kerala cotton saree is also a highly popular raw material for producing designer saree.
0) Kota Doria Saree
This saree originated from Kota, Rajasthan. It is also popular as the Kota Doriya saree. The chequered weave of a Kota sari is very popular. They are very fine weaves and weigh very little. The cotton Kota Doria saree retail price starts at Rs 700.
p) Muga Silk
The Muga silk is also popular as Assam silk. Muga silk is the product of the silkworm. The Muga silk is highly durable. The sarees often come in off-white and red shades combined with other colors. The retail price starts at Rs 1500.
q) Paithani Saree
The Paithani is a fine silk saree with a rich border and peacock design pallu. Only the rich class and sophisticated buyers buy the Paithani saree. India earns foreign currency by exporting the Paithani sarees.
r) Pochampally Saree
Pochampally is a saree from the Telangana state. The intricate geometric designs find their way into sarees and dress materials. The Indian government’s official air carrier, Air India, has its cabin crew wear specially designed Pochampally silk sarees.
s) Silk Saree
In India, you can find a lot of different types of sarees in silk fabric. However, simply printed silk sarees have huge popularity as office wear in regular use. The silk is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool when temperatures rise.
t) Tant Saree
Tant saree is a traditional Bengali saree. It is a handwoven cotton fabric saree. It comes in a beautiful zari border and designer pallu. The cost of this saree depends on the design and work.
Apart from the above list, Chikan Saree, Khadi saree, Ghicha saree, Kalamkari saree, Matka Silk, Katki silk, Sana silk, and crepe sarees are also popular in the Indian subcontinent.
3. Decide on Business Model
There are various ways to start a saree business in India. Based on your interest and investment capacity, select the one that fits best. Here are the 5 most profitable saree shop business ideas & models for you to explore.
#A) Saree Shop
A brick-and-mortar saree shop is still very profitable in our country. In the retail shop business, you need to pay attention to the choice of your target audience. You must understand the taste of your customers. Simply, what type of sarees do they prefer? And keep stock of those sarees.
The retail shop model ensures high-profit margins. You can earn 50% gross profit on the low-cost sarees while 100% and sometimes more margins on the high-value sarees.
Suggested Read: Top Retail Business Ideas in India
#B) Sell Sarees Online
As technology improves, you can find so many online selling platforms here. If you have knowledge about different types of sarees and their cost, you can also consider selling sarees on online marketplaces like Amazon, Craftsvilla, etc.
You can also create your own online saree shop and sell it online.
#C) Home-based Saree Shop Business
If you want to start a saree business with a small capital investment, then a home-based model is perfect for you. Simply, you can start the business even with Rs 50,000 cash in hand. Start the business with low-cost sarees. Additionally, keep variety and selective sarees.
First of all, inform your friends, neighbors, and relatives to check your collection. Never waste money is advertising. The word-of-mouth campaign is the only and best way to get customers into this model. As you get confidence, you can expand the home-based model any day.
#D) Social Media Selling
If you want to start a part-time saree shop business from home, then social media selling is the best option for you. Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook are the three most effective platforms where you can promote sarees in your group. Initially, you may get a lower sale volume but you can make a higher profit from unit pieces.
#E) Wholesale Saree Shop
If you have previous experience and knowledge, you can definitely open a wholesale-only saree shop. Here your customers are distributors and retailers. And your business actually stands on the secondary sale of your business partners. A well-planned purchase strategy is highly important for the success of the wholesale saree shop business.
4. Create a Business Project Plan
For any business, documenting a business project plan is essential. It holds the same for the saree shop business. Some of the issues that must be addressed in your project plan are the following:
- Market competition
- Type of customers you are going to target
- Company USPs
- Fixed & recurring Costs
- Inventory plan
- How do you plan to sell your saree items?
5. Name your Saree Business
If you are looking for a long-term successful saree business, selecting the name for your saree business is critical. Find a catchy and attractive name for your saree company. A properly coined business name will surely contribute to creating a unique saree brand personality. Some of the popular saree brands that you can take inspiration from are as follows:
- Sabyasachi Sarees
- Manish Malhotra Sarees
- Nalli Silk Sarees
6. Register your Saree Business
It is essential to register your business to make your saree company legally compliant. In India, there are various business structure structures that one can adopt. Some of the popular types are sole proprietorship, partnership, and private limited company. Every type of business formation comes with certain pros and cons.
However, if you are starting with a low-budget sole proprietorship or partnership is ideal. For a larger scale, one can go for register as a private limited company.
7. Get Licenses
Every state has certain requirements for licenses and permits for allowing businesses to operate. It is best to talk to local concerned authorities and procure them accordingly. It is worth mentioning here, Having a GST number is mandatory to carry out any business activity in India at present.
8. Select Shop Location
Choosing the right location for a saree shop is extremely important for the success of a saree business. If you have a space in a location that has the potential to attract traffic, it will be a huge plus. However, if you are starting from home, a lot of money will be saved as rent expenses.
9. Setup your Saree Shop
Setting up the saree shop is another aspect that must not be forgotten. It is advised to hire an interior designer and set up up saree store. Other than furnishings, sufficient space for sitting arrangements for buyers needs to be made. Also, arrange a POS( point of sale software) so that customers can pay you easily other than cash.
10. Open a Business Bank Account
After you get the required licenses to carry out business activities, it is time to open a business bank account. Talk to a local bank and choose the best current bank account that provides the best features as per your needs. You need a business bank account to carry out financial transactions on a daily basis.
11. Cost of Staring a Saree Business
The cost of starting a saree business will mainly depend on the space rent cost and the volume of inventories you plan to store. The other costs are interior designing costs, electricity costs, manpower costs(if any), website maintenance costs, software maintenance, and so on.
In India, you will need a minimum investment of Rs. 3 Lacs to 5 Lacs to start a small-scale saree shop business.
12. Make a Sourcing Plan to Buy Sarees in Bulk
Another very important aspect of running a saree business is to have a network of saree manufacturers and wholesalers. You are going to buy various types of sarees as per their demand from them. Contact them and negotiate the best available purchasing price for items that you are going to buy. Also check, whether you can arrange credit facilities.
13. Create a Website
It is almost mandatory to have a website for any business in the country. It not only helps in creating confidence in your saree brand but also can fetch extra customers. Nowadays, anyone can create a website with a nominal investment. you can check our step-by-step tutorial on creating a website to learn more.
14. Go Online
For the last few years, it is seen more and more customers are buying sarees online. As a saree business owner, you must tap the online market too. There are broadly two ways to start an online saree business. One is listing your sarees on online marketplaces like Amazon, and Flipkart. And the other is creating an online store.
15. Promote your Saree Business
Everything said and done, unless you have an effective marketing plan, it is difficult for any saree business to be successful. There are various ways of promoting your saree shop business with a limited budget. Some of the popular ones are distributing brochures, leaflets, advertisements in local newspapers and magazines, social media promotion, and many more.
We hope this article will help you in initiating your own saree business. Actually, a saree shop is an easier way to become financially independent even for housewives and home-stayed parents.
Rupak is the founder of MUVSI. He is a small business consultant by profession. His mission is to make people know how to make money and understand personal finance for a better living.