Title: Innovation The Survival Mantra Word Count: 622 Summary: Indian art material Industry is a v ast scattered market consisting of different variety of attractive pro ducts like different types of brush es like synthetic brushes, painting brushes, artist brushes, Oil paste ls, crayons of different types, pai nting accessories, poster colours, fabric colours, liquid water colour s, colour pencils, drawing books, c olouring books, easel boards, canva ses, palettes, markers, paints, col oured chalk and many more. The indu stry is said to capture m... Keywords: Gifts & Stationery, Stationery Article Body: Indian art material Industry is a v ast scattered market consisting of different variety of attractive pro ducts like different types of brush es like synthetic brushes, painting brushes, artist brushes, Oil paste ls, crayons of different types, pai nting accessories, poster colours, fabric colours, liquid water colour s, colour pencils, drawing books, c olouring books, easel boards, canva ses, palettes, markers, paints, col oured chalk and many more. The indu stry is said to capture maximum bus iness from the consumer market dire ctly, which accounts to 70% of thei r revenue. The core Indian art material market of around Rs 500 crore is said to be growing at a rate of 4 - 5 % but there is intense competition in th is industry as the industry is high ly unorganized which proves to be a downfall for this sector. With the duty rates coming down the art mat erial imports have risen sharply in the last couple of years and sever al Chinese and Korean brands are av ailable in the market. Internationa l majors like Faber Castell etc hav e also ventured into the market. Ma ximum competition has come in the s chool colour range where the Indian manufacturers like Camlin Limited who has been in this venture for ye ars, Pidilite Industries who has la unched a new range of art materials for children (crayons, water and t ube colors, etc) under it's Acron b rand and others had to reduce price s to fight competition. There was a lmost 15-20% reduction seen in pric es since the last 5 years. The Indian manufacturers have to fa ce a tough time in the market. The threat of new entry affects the fir ms already existing in an industry and if a new rival can easily get i n, then the market becomes more com petitive, hence the firms must put some barriers to stop others from e ntering. Now the Indian firms also have the burden of VAT, which is le vied by the Indian government at a flat rate of 4%. The only tools in their hands are manufacturing new, innovative and attractive products in the market that compel the consu mers to buy their products. Also br anded goods have a hold on top of u nbranded goods, as now people prefe r to buy branded products expecting satisfaction of a good quality pro duct. But in a developing country l ike India still this phenomenon is not put much into practice, the mid dle and lower class still prefer to buy the cheap imported goods as th eir low price factor is indeed a te mpting offer. But with proper aware ness and guidance the Indian consum er's opinion can be reversed. The e xisting leaders should create a bra nd identification, the new entrants thus will have to try and take sat isfied brand loyal customers away f rom the leaders which makes it a di fficult task for them to conquer. Also new marketing activities like new products being introduced to se rve different market segments are b eing implemented to strengthen the brands. In the children's product s ector too many brand ambassador pro ducts are seem to be working well. For e.g., it is seen that children prefer to buy products with cartoon character's photographs or gifts a ttached as compared to others. In 2 005 too such products sale show an uptrend curve rather than the norma l art material products. Today the market has expanded and i t's not a child's play anymore. The threat of substitute products also comes into concern. If substitute products are readily available, the n the firms are likely to suffer. T he power of buyers should also be t aken as a considering factor. The i ndustry keeping in mind the innovat ion key in their hands can compete with the unorganized sector and imp orted goods sector that prevail in the market. Though many are of the opinion that through brand building initiatives, good quality and inno vation mantra they have managed to survive in the industry in 2005 and plan to do the same in 2006.