"Despite falling rupee, rising inflation and slowdown in the economy, the large business industries are targeting high profits margins during Durga Puja in West Bengal which is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 35 percent," revealed a latest survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Making public its recent paper on "West Benga cashing in on Durga Puja celebrations", the ASSOCHAM said the cost of organising the puja has increased as much as over 30 percent compared to last year due to hike in the materials used. "The current size of the Durga Puja industry is about Rs.25,000 crore, and is likely to touch Rs.40,000 crore by 2015 with its annual growth rate of 35 percent," it said.
As per the estimates, the pandal (marquee) industry is expected to touch Rs.500 crore in 2013 from Rs.350 crore in 2012, by growing at the same rate of 35 percent this year. "About 10,000 Durgapuja marquees come up every year. The average expenditure of organisers is expected to go up by 20 percent this year owing to the surging inflation," says the paper.
"The total expenses have increased by 20 percent due to appreciation in all expenses from artists conceptualizing the theme to labour constructing the pandals to cost of idols, transportation, price of puja offerings and charge of dhakis (drummers)." The entertainment companies as well as organisations in the lighting and decoration business seize the opportunity and often also see more than 35 percent growth in total turnover compared to other times, says ASSOCHAM.
Every year, over 20,000-30,000 idols are prepared across Kolkata. As per the estimates, the cost of raw materials for making the idols have also gone up by almost 15-20 percent this year. "Due to the rising inflation, the prices of raw materials like clay, paint, clothes, ornaments etc are on the rise which has raised the total cost. It is being found that the cost of preparing idol has also increased between Rs.60,000 and Rs.5 lakh.
The food and beverage industry is anticipated to do an additional business of Rs.50-60 crores during the festive season. "The demand for items for the puja such as lightings, flowers, flooring etc has already started increasing and is expected to increase this year by 20 percent compared to last year." As per the ASSOCHAM findings, Durga Puja will also increase the profit margins of micro, small and medium enterprises.