Economics of Bangle Market

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Case Details:

Case Code : ECON040
Case Length : 08 Pages
Period : 2012
Pub. Date : 2013
Teaching Note :Available
Organization : --
Industry : Bangles
Countries : India

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Background Note

Since the time of the Harappan civilization, bangles had been an integral part of Indian wear. They were considered auspicious in the Indian tradition and came in all sizes and shapes. If one were to take a trip to Charminar in Hyderabad, it would be impossible to miss Laad Bazaar. This more than 400-year-old market, home to an exquisite range of glass and lac bangles, was considered one of the most important bangle markets of the country. The history of Laad Bazaar went back to the dawn of the Qutab Shahi dynasty (1518-1689).

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The origins of Laad Bazaar were, however, unclear. But the local people had different versions of how it all began. Some people believed that the term ‘Laad’ came from Ladli Begum, the name of a queen belonging to the Qutab Shahi dynasty. They said that the king had had a bangle bazaar built for her which later expanded and came to be called Laad Bazaar. Others opined that the market had earlier been called ‘Lord Bazaar’. This over a period of time, became Laad Bazaar. Some were of the view that the name had been derived from Laad meaning lacquer, the primary raw material used to make the lac bangles for which the market was famous.

Over the years, Laad Bazaar had grown at a breathtaking pace. Being close to Charminar, a major tourist spot in Hyderabad, ensured that the market had heavy footfalls throughout the year. According to local bangle makers, there were about 40 shops in Laad Bazaar in the late 1980s. As of 2009, there were more than 300 shops. The shops provided employment to more than 15,000 people as compared to a work force of 200-250 in the late 1990s. Earlier while only a handful of workmen were involved in making bangles, in 2009 the industry provided a livelihood to more than 4,000 artisans.

Over the years, the bangle business had grown both in terms of size and product diversification. As of 2009, Laad Bazaar was famous not only for its bangles but also for a wide variety of arts and crafts, culture and religion, formal and informal skills, education and technology. Some of the shops in the market were quite diversified and dealt with a wide variety of products such as semi-precious stones, pearls, saris (traditional wear for females in India), jewelry, and wedding related items. This bazaar attracted and engaged technologists, computer professionals, and post graduates. It had become the networking point for businessmen of different states, cultural backgrounds, and religious affiliations...

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