The recently held IHGF as always ushered good number of buyers with the key highlight being buyers from unconventional buying destinations like Japan, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Namibia. A good number of buyers were also spotted from Italy, Spain, Australia, US, UK, Germany and Poland. The most eye-catching products were from Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir and North East Indian states, which were not only unique in design but produced out of sustainable raw material like natural fibres, wood, bamboo, jute, coir and coloured with natural dyes which caught immediate attention of the international buyers. Cushions were showcased by almost all the textile product manufacturers both in basics and high embellished categories…
The Spring 2013 edition of IHGF maintained a ‘Green’ theme with several exhibitors displaying eco-friendly products. As the consumer demand for ethical products is increasing, the suppliers across the world are exploring greener options to manufacture their products. Meerut based Palish International exporting its furnishing products majorly to Denmark, showcased its cow leather products; however, the highlight of the display was its recycled denim and cushion covers made out of recycled flat knits. Buyers from Germany showed keen interest for the recycled products.
Another company which showcased its cow leather products was Delhi based A.S. International. The company manufactures cow leather products like rugs, carpets, ottomans (big puffs were priced at US $ 50 to US $ 55 and small puffs at US $ 20 to US $ 25), upholstery, cushions and is catering to the European, US and Australian customers like Filament – Belgium, Gram & Green – UK, King Design – Denmark, PTMD – Netherland, Kori-Craft – South Africa and O B Collection – Australia. Asloop Ahmed, Owner of the company shared with Team Apparel Online that the demand of cow leather products is really picking up in the international market. Talking about the price range of these products, which make them popular, he shared, “Normally rugs cost – US $ 35 to US $ 40 per square metre and cushions US $ 10 to US $ 11, which the buyers find quite reasonable.”
Budget Products in Demand
Bangroo Arts from Srinagar, producing curtains, cushion and rugs, and exporting to the European and the US markets, exhibited cushions made out of Dusoti fabric, which is a handmade fabric and is a cheaper substitute for duck fabric or canvas as it is commonly known as. “While duck fabric is heavy weight, Dusoti is more sustainable and far cheaper.
[bleft]Many exporters have started catering to the domestic retailers, while many others are now seriously thinking to enter the domestic market as they feel that domestic market is growing with the increasing purchasing power of the Indians [/bleft]
Many buyers have taken enquiries for this product of ours,” said Mohammad Ibrahim, Owner of the company, who was looking at exploring newer markets like Germany, France and Sweden. Replicating expensive fabrics with cheaper alternates, to offer better costing to the buyers was an evident trend at IHGF. “We are decreasing the use of high-end fibres while developing our products. Like for example we are now using less wool in our products as the cost of pure wool is around Rs. 500 per kg which the buyers find exorbitant, so we are figuring out different blends as alternates without compromising the look of the product,” says Ibrahim.
Corroborating the same, Swati Nangia of Swati Exim, a Noida based company, shared that nowadays consumers want low-budgeted products, as they want to change decor quickly to avoid monotony. “Buyers move according to consumer demands, so they are now looking for low cost fabrics; earlier jacquard and silks were in demand, now they want the same look in imitation materials, so we develop fabrics accordingly,” stated Swati. The company is manufacturing bed sets, cushions, and children’s bed sets for US, Europe, Spain and Israel. Turkey is the recent induction to the company’s list of exporting countries. For Swati Exim, cushions are the fast moving category. “We are doing highly embellished cushions for the European market, as they take small quantities. US is about low pricing so we have prints for them,” avers Swati.
Faridabad based Shipra Exports, which is producing all kinds of home furnishing products, cushions being the main product category, is also moulding its designs to give better pricing to the buyers. “In cushions we do products in cotton, silk, tissue and organza and our designs and fabrics are generally dictated by the buyers. We do a lot of embroidery, crystals, sequins and beaded work in our cushions; however to give competitive pricing to our buyers we are reducing on hand embroidery as it costs more, but the machine embroidery which we do is very close to the hand embroidery,” shared Mukesh Chandak, Owner of the company catering to Argentina, Chile, Europe, Germany, Spain and South Africa markets.
Similarly, Delhi based export house Trishul Home Saaz, specialising in embroidered cushions too, is now looking at producing more cost-effective products. “Our embroidery is inspired by Uzbekistan… it is called Suzani embroidery which is traditional work of the country. Initially we were doing this embroidery by hand but now we have also started imitating the same design on machines as hand embroidery is more expensive for us as we have to send it to villages in Rajasthan near Jaipur, Jodhpur and Barmer, both the logistics and lead times add to the costing of the product,” said Sunny Arora of the company, catering to the Latin American and European countries like Columbia, Spain, Argentina, Chile and UK. The FOBs for cushions varies from US $ 5 to US $ 10 (size 40 x 40 cms).
Domestic Market… A Lucrative Option
[bleft]Home furnishing manufacturers are replicating expensive fabrics with cheaper alternates, to offer better costing to the buyers. They are now decreasing the use of high-end fibres while developing their products and using various blends to meet the costings [/bleft]
Besides catering to the international markets, a majority of the exhibitors with whom Team Apparel Online interacted with, have now started catering to the domestic retailers like Pantaloon, Westside, Reliance Retail and the likes, while many others are now seriously thinking to enter the domestic market as they feel that domestic market is growing with the purchasing power of the Indians increasing. Swati Exim has started supplying its products to Pantaloon and Westside. “Retail market has started coming up in a big way and we got to know these two companies through exhibitions,” shared Swati.
Gurgaon based Lakshmi Handicraft, producing cow and sheep leather products too is contemplating a foray into the domestic market both through retail outlets and online selling. “We are happy with our overseas business; however the growing Indian market is compelling us to try out the domestic market, as the Indian consumer is now prepared to shell out money for good quality and designs,” shared Udai Piplani, Managing Director of the company.
Following the same path, Noida based Krishna Sales Corporation specialising in bath lines, floor rugs and cushions has recently ventured into domestic retail. The company is supplying its products to Pantaloon, Lifestyle and Reliance Retail. Gaurav Kapoor, representing the company at the fair shared with Team AO, “It’s just a start for us and we are looking at growing our domestic business by adding a few more reputed retail chains in our portfolio as we feel that the Indian market in the next five years is going to grow exponentially.”
Mumbai based Venus Designs too is now gearing up to cater to the domestic market and the reasons are similar to that of all exhibitors. Harish Palecanda, Owner of the company feels that the population in metro cities is becoming discerning and they want to decorate their homes more often. “Exclusivity is what the consumers’ look at and as we are producing for international market, the Indian retailers really like our designs because that is what their clients are looking for,” reasons Harish who specializes in decorative cushions, throws and curtains.
However, there are exporters like Pawan Enterprises, a Jaipur based export house majorly into cushions and catering to primarily the Japanese who feel that though the domestic market is promising and there is a lot of competition. “In India there are many retailers both in the organized and unorganized sector and they have many choices when procuring their products, so the mark-ups in the domestic markets are not as lucrative as the export market,” reasons Arun Laskery of the company.