Utility and sentiment win over digitization with the sector anticipated to post a double-digit increase this year.
Traditional writing instruments are here to stay, despite the active move for digitization in India, which includes the widespread use of more modern and electronic options such as keyboards and touchscreens. According to Euromonitor International, the sector posted a 12 percent sales growth in 2016, which amounts to Rs 4,100 crore, equivalent to $616 million. Roller ballpens accounted for 17 percent in retail value, totaling Rs 700 crore or $105 million.
The demand for old-school writing instruments will remain strong in the next years, with a 10 percent growth anticipated in 2017, says Deepak Jalan, Linc Pen and Plastics MD and CEO. Growing literacy in the country is determined to be a key contributor to this increase.
Demand is also driven by consumer behavior, with sentimental value given usually to personalized pens, which have been gifted or received as a premium.
Writing instruments have also seen vast upgrades and innovation to stay relevant in a digital age. For instance, manufacturers are offering models that are more durable, and have longer-lasting ink and smoother tips. Others, such as the ChargeWrite+, is multifunctional, serving as a power bank and USB.