Still facing the heat of slow European markets, medium- and even bigger-level home furnishing exporters are doing their best for survival, and finding means to explore newer markets and have more focus on PD. The recently concluded Indian Handicraft and Gift Fair (IHGF) by EPCH witnessed many such exporters that are geared up for newer markets. Some of them even prepared country-specific samples, continuously increasing their PD initiatives. The good thing about this is that such efforts are helping them to grab more orders. The fair was a huge affair with 3,064 exhibitors (showcasing hard as well as soft goods) and 4,900 buyers, besides their representatives from 91 countries visiting. EPCH claims that the fair generated overall business enquiries worth Rs. 1,700 crore this year. Apparel Online talked to some home furnishing exporters at the event on their initiatives.
For most of the exporters, finding new markets is still one of the biggest ways to survive in the business, and they are exploring particularly those countries where the potential still exists. Kabra Exports, New Delhi which has capacity of 1 lakh pieces per month and is working in core markets of USA and Europe, is now targeting Scandinavian market. B.K Kabra, MD of the company informed, “It is a good market with good buying capacity, especially in comparison to other European markets. We have strength of handwork and value addition which makes us different from our competitors, like China and Vietnam.”
Some of the companies were present with specific preparation to penetrate into particular markets like Rajat Singla of Rajat Overseas, Panipat who was targeting the Japanese market. “Japanese buyers are more honest, so we are attempting to tap this market. We have done lot of research work and sampling to keep Japan in focus,” he shares. The company is exporting mainly cushion covers and rugs to the US and Canada.
Companies that are established in many export regions are also exploring further for newer markets. Mahajan, Overseas (Maspar), Panipat, having clients in markets like US, UK, Europe, South East Asia and Japan, now wants to expand its footprints in Korea and Continental Europe also. The company is focusing more and more on product development, new product lines and innovations in bedding collections. Gaganbir Singh, Director, Global Sales & Marketing of the company informed that digital printing and washed products are much in demand today. “Our design team follows latest trends strongly which creates value for us,” he says. The company has a wide range of products that includes kitchen textiles, bed spreads, bed covers and quilts and also holds its strength in kitchen linens and printed cushions. The company has capacity of 5 lakh pieces per month.
Product development is also the strength of Ghaziabad-based Sundram Hastkala as its Director, Anupam Bhatnagar focuses more on innovation. Using cotton, polyester-cotton blends, and linen for curtains, the company tries to offer latest designs at very competitive prices and caters to smaller order quantities. “Our products have lot of input of handwork, which makes us capable of doing small orders of even 50 pieces,” says Anupam. The company’s product lines include cushion covers and bed sheets too. Talking about his market, Anupam adds, “We are exporting to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Europe (France and Italy). European market is going slow but it’s a good way to enter into the market where target prices are required. Many companies don’t want to work with these kinds of markets/buyers, but we are managing with our extra efforts and strengths.” Unique designs with different and unusual colour schemes is the focus of Kanpur-based Sun Industries which has specialization in home products for kids. Sonal Sureka, Designer of the company says, “We do work based on client’s demand apart from doing our own innovation in kids’ sections which are out of the box.” Having in-house designing and production, it caters mainly to the US, Europe and Japan markets.
“We are sourcing home products from India, since last 10 years as Indian exporters’ collections are quite impressive. Even in this fair, we have finalized some orders.” – Jenny Jones Rugs, Australia
Jaipur based Bhagwati Textile’s Avinash Jain is very confident of growth just because of his product development. “Our products collection is unique (they do have artisans’ touch) as our offerings are not easily available in the market. But at the same time, we keep it competitive as we have advantage of manufacturing in Jaipur, and also have less overheads. Due to these qualities, buyers like to introduce these products at their stores,” he says. Furthermore, the company is hiring designers for more development and looking to explore wool fabrics as buyers are demanding something else than cotton. The company dealing in hand woven fabrics, bed covers and home furnishings has vertical setup with its looms and is exporting mainly to Europe and Australia. “Nowadays, European buyers are demanding more of dyed products,” Avinash informed. With regards to market, Avinash feels that the fastest growing markets are Germany and Australia while UK market is also giving good response.
Focusing on in-house value addition as a tool for exporters, Shailesh Miyanbazaz of Miyanbazaz Exports, Jaipur informed that they recently started their own printing unit with digital as well as screen print facility. “It will help us to be more aggressive on PD as well as save on costs,” says Shailesh.