Pen used to be important point for trade in old times but was never famous for sculpture. Bhikaji Krishna Damodar and few others used to make traditional Maharashtrian headgear known as Pagdi but that business started to go down. During the same time Lokmanya Tilak re-organized the festival of Ganesh-Chaturthi as an opportunity to organize masses for independence. Hence, Ganesh came out of homes into public. This gave a perfect chance to Bhikaji and others who shifted to making Ganesh idols. Soon the business flourished and more people joined. Shrikant Deodhar, the President of Pen Murtikar Sangthan is fourth generation of the Deodhar family working in this industry.
People from all strata of life engage in the industry at the time of Ganeshoutsav. Some people like Gourab, who is pursuing B.Com. from a local college, engage in it for part-time income and others to help in completion of the idols on time. The industry has people specialized in various steps of making the idols giving birth to a chain system which helps in faster and cheaper production. But not everybody is happy with the trend, as Shrikant Deodhar points out that out of 50,000 people working in the industry only 25 are artists who design the idols and most of people make copies of them. This, he said, has mechanised the whole process causing people not to associate with the idols in a personal manner in the way it used to happen with clay idols. He himself has stopped making Ganesh-idols on mass scale and only works on selected projects. But not everybody can afford this luxury and the industry does provide a valuable source of income for the people in the region.