The 48th edition of India Handicraft and Gift Fair, better known as IHGF, concluded recently with a good visitation from 7,312 buyers from over 100 countries – much to the joy of garment manufacturers. It was indeed a joyous moment for garment manufacturers! Focusing on autumn 2019, the 5-day show generated business worth Rs. 3,750 crore.
The event, organised by EPCH, witnessed participation from more than 3,200 manufacturers all across India, who showcased 2,000+ products, 300+ trend-specific design developments and 14 display segments of home, lifestyle, fashion, furniture and textiles. The event was spread out in an area of 1,97,000 square metres at India Expo Centre & Mart.
With each passing year, the number of exhibitors in the show is increasing; notably in the current fair, the textile-based handicrafts section saw over 500 participants. The show was explored not only by overseas buyers, brands and retailers, but also by domestic giants like Pantaloons, UCB, Reliance Retail, Fab India, M&S, Westside, Shoppers Stop and many others. Team Apparel Resources met few garment manufacturers at the show and explored various aspects of the show.
Many garment exporters, especially SMEs, participate in this fair regularly, with some of them being a part of the event for more than a decade and what has fascinated them is the consistent increase in buyer visitation, as in each edition they are able to meet ‘few’ new buyers. Naresh Apparels, Noida; Dipin Creations India, Delhi and IBBAN Industries, Moradabad, etc., are some of the SMEs who participated.
Owners of these companies shared that they regularly meet existing buyers at the event in addition to getting some new buyers from continents like US, Europe, Asia, etc. However, M. Kumar, Owner, Naresh Apparels, was of the view that order size from the buyers is decreasing. “Nowadays buyers don’t prefer much to visit sourcing fairs, and so events now have fewer opportunities for garment exporters. Despite that, we get one or two new buyers in each edition of IHGF,” he added.
Focusing on recycling garments, Monica Oberoi, Owner, Dipin Creations India, has been participating in the fair since last 4 years. She shares an interesting observation, “Lots of store representatives come here to explore products that can be used to sell as gift items. It can be a versatile garment too. So, in my opinion, it is a very good fair and we have always benefitted by participating in the same.” She was very happy with the overall arrangements.
And, it does offer growing opportunities for garment exporters and manufacturers! The show is also attracting companies that have not been participating in the event for last few years. For example, Pradeep Nahata, MD, Karni Exports, Jaipur participated after a long gap of 8 years in this fair and he was enthusiastic about the experience that he had in this edition. “IHFG is truly international fair and it is not easy to explore it completely even in 5 days. Every buyer, whatever he or she sources, got something interesting here. Even the buyers who visited here, place bulk orders compared to buyers visiting IIGF or any other sourcing fair in India,” said Pradeep who finalised one order at the show and met 5 new and good buyers. Karni Exports is also planning to go for compliance certification.
As far as collection displayed in the fair is concerned, garment exporters displayed their products for winter and summer. Along with highlighting their product strengths, they consider the fair to be beneficial from a long-term perspective too, as they can meet buyers for any kind of garments.
Expressing optimism and happiness over buyer visitation, Mohamad Ibban Banne, CEO, IBBAN Industries, Moradabad highlighted denim and canvas jackets with handwork (beautiful value addition). “We have a good demand of the same from few buyers, so we highlighted the same,” he shared. Two-decade-old IBBAN Industries has 200 stitching machines and experts in hand embroidery.
How does EPCH ensure the visitation of such a large number of buyers? Answers Rakesh Kumar, DG of the organisation, “EPCH has undertaken extensive promotion and publicity campaign all across the globe through advertisements in international magazines, online portals, outdoor media and road shows at various international shows.”