India which is still recognized as a developing country, has pulled up their socks very tightly. Not only the government but we all are trying become best in our ways. If we talk about the trends, they are changing or evolving in secs.
The revolution of digital things has started more with an outbreak of covid-19. This covid has made us more dependent on the virtual and digital modes. This covid has induced a lot more changes in our social life.
With everything becoming digital and virtual human interactions have decreased and preference for digital mode over traditional mode has become the norm. Every industry was affected by this covid and this is also due to the digitalization of everything.
One such industry is the traditional card making for marriages. Where pre-covid covering distances to old and antique shops just to select the Shaadi card design was normal, post-covid selecting a design on the internet and handing it over to a designer became the popularly known new normal.
This new normal has given away to digital wedding cards which reach every individual's house. But this leads to a decrease in the business of wedding card makers. They need to suffer from these hardships.
During a visit to Card waali Gaali in Aminabad, Lucknow I spoke to the owner and they said “This digitalization is good but in every sector, it won’t work. We know it will work for the customer but not for us.”
Maybe we all are happy with some of the other new things approaching us but simultaneously these new advancements are harming us. While roaming around in that Gaali I came across Mr. Kabir who while putting forward his view mentioned “Town has ‘n’ numbers of graphic designers, creative artists and these are reasons we are suffering from 50% loss in our profession. This trend is not only destroying us but at times it is also degrading the credibility of the relationships.”
So true that we all are losing our relations credibility but it said that with times we change things change same is with digital wedding cards. Maybe today it is harming some businesses but tomorrow it will surely upgrade those businesses.
Amidst the steady decline in the purchase of these cards, there is a decline in the earnings of these people as well. “Initially, we used to have 5 laborers but after Covid, the number came down to 1, as we could not afford their salaries”, mentioned Mayank Jain, owner of Shawasti Cards, another local shop in the market operating for more than 10 years. Although people continue to visit these shops, there is a reduction in the number of cards they order. “Curtailment in the guests due to Covid restrictions has resulted in fewer orders we get now. Primarily we used to get orders for 500-600 cards now we get orders for just 100 cards or sometimes even 50. This has caused us to go into the stage of retrenchment and personally great economic loss”, he further added. On the one hand, where these shop owners are facing troubles, the trend of E-cards is blossoming on the other hand. Amar Fax Services in Hazratganj, Lucknow, delivers E-cards to the customer for Rs 1000-5000 or even above. Shri Nath, owner of Amar Fax Services said, “E-cards have gained more popularity now. People prefer to get an E-card designed and share the same on WhatsApp groups. No one wants to take the pain of visiting hundreds of people and giving them cards for the wedding. As a consequence, our sales have escalated like nothing”. While this view of E-cards is what the majority of people hold, Shahid, owner of Chaudhary Cards in the Gaali, added, “This is true that the card market is overpowered by E-cards and we are finding out ways to get accustomed to this trend but the actual impact of a wedding is when you take the card to individual homes and establish a connection with the people''.
However, in sync with the surging demand for E-cards, many shops have started their websites and have hired graphic designers, thereby operating both physically and digitally. Neha Singh, owner of Shri Cards, one of the oldest card shops in the market mentioned, “We have started our services on digital platforms as well.
We have our accounts on social media platforms through which people reach us, those who don’t even live in the same city. We get an order; we design the card according to the needs of the customer. Though Covid has given us a lot of problems, it has also taught us to expand our horizons”. Meanwhile, alongside the trend of E-cards, there is still some hope left for the shop owners. Though most of them had slow sales, some claimed that it has picked up recently. Mihir Gupta, owner of Gupta Cards in the Gaali added, “The real sales are from the months of October-December, and last year sales were decent.
Of course, it was not exactly what it used to be before Covid, but was enough to survive and sustain. For this year we look forward to more purchases”. E-cards can be used for the time being, but the actual feel of marriage is when you receive a box of goodies with a beautifully designed card. E-cards might be more attractive in terms of various factors including cost and convenience, but traditional cards will always hold a special place and will be a reminder of the gaieties associated with a marriage.
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