Fair Re­view: Heim­tex­til 2018 Reaped At­ten­tion for the Ex­hibitors, Yet Busi­ness was Miss­ing...

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Enor­mous in­stal­la­tions, bright colours, in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, pas­tels and prints dom­i­nated the Heim­tex­til 2018 show. As 5th edi­tion of the three-day show or­gan­ised by Messe Frank­furt rolled out its car­pet, vis­i­tors from across the globe crowded the city to catch a glimpse of the ex­hibitor’s prod­ucts’ of­fer­ings. The In­dian edi­tion of the glob­ally renowned fair not only pre­sented busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­ter­na­tional buy­ers, buy­ing agents and do­mes­tic re­tail­ers but also pre­sented a gamut of mod­ern de­sign con­cepts, na­tive dé­cor themes, art, colour trends and fresh busi­ness ideas to the ex­hibitors and vis­i­tors alike, through a host of sup­ple­men­tary events. The event was in­au­gu­rated by Ajay Tamta, Min­is­ter of State for Tex­tiles, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the event for the sec­tor.

As many as 165 ex­hibitors from In­dia, China, Nepal, Switzer­land and Thai­land dis­played an ar­ray of Liv­ing, Giv­ing and Home Fur­nish­ing prod­ucts to po­ten­tial buy­ers. The of­fer­ing in­cluded a variety of cur­tains, cush­ions, bed li­nens, blinds, tech­nolo­gies, a few types of ma­chin­ery and more. In­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors from Greece, Korea, Thai­land, along with vis­i­tors from across the coun­try were present. Top play­ers like D’dé­cor, Aditya Birla, Re­liance, R R In­ter­na­tional, GHCL Ltd., Manorama among oth­ers show­cased the first look of their lat­est col­lec­tions dur­ing the show. Raj Manek, ED and Board Mem­ber, Messe Frank­furt Asia Hold­ing Ltd. was very con­fi­dent that the fair has over the years cre­ated its own niche. “Ev­ery edi­tion of the co-lo­cated show (Heim­tex­til In­dia & Am­bi­ente In­dia) has suc­cess­fully man­aged to cu­rate ex­clu­sive pro­grammes for the ben­e­fit of its buy­ers and ex­hibitors. Along with a host of new dis­plays, zones and in­sight­ful ses­sions, this edi­tion has a spe­cially de­signed pavil­ion by COHANDS that will dis­play In­dia’s legacy in art and de­sign by highly ac­claimed Na­tional Awardees,” he said proudly.

The show saw a mas­sive footfall on Day 1, but by Day 3, there was a mixed re­sponse. Many ex­hibitors re­ported en­quiries but no con­for­ma­tions while oth­ers were just happy high­light­ing their prod­ucts, and meet­ing and greet­ing peo­ple. Prince Rathi, Di­rec­tor, Gem Col­lec­tion –a 25-year-old firm from Panipat that spe­cialises in up­hol­stery, cur­tains and leather prod­ucts com­mented, “The event looks good; it’s our fourth year here. We are ex­pect­ing good busi­ness from the show given the en­quiries we are re­ceiv­ing.” On dis­play were cush­ions, and trend­ing printed and plain cur­tains, with a lit­tle bit of jacquard to co­or­di­nate with other home prod­ucts.

Bella Casa Fash­ion & Re­tail Lim­ited, one of the lead­ing Home Tex­tile brands, put up an ar­ray of prod­ucts in satin and nat­u­ral fab­ric. Fol­low­ing the theme of ‘ro­mance’, their col­lec­tion oozed with pas­tel colour and aes­thet­ics. “We are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the show since its start; it’s a great plat­form to meet peo­ple and launch our prod­ucts. This long as­so­ci­a­tion has al­ways been fruit­ful for us,” in­formed Pawan Gupta, MD, Bella Casa Fash­ion & Re­tail Lim­ited. How­ever, De­babrata Seth, Man­ager Mar­ket­ing, Na­tional Tex­tile Cor­po­ra­tion was not as sat­is­fied. “We are get­ting trac­tion slowly, the first half of the show hadn’t had many vis­i­tors for us, but by the end of Day 3, we hoped to see more vis­i­tors,” he said. NTC had on show the com­plete prod­uct bas­ket of yarns, fab­rics, made-ups, tow­els and bed sheets for dis­play.

At the stall of Aadyam, an Aditya Birla Group ini­tia­tive, one could find hand­wo­ven prod­ucts. The show gar­nered a lot of at­trac­tion for them as the first-time par­tic­i­pants were dis­play­ing re­ally unique fab­rics and tech­niques.

“We are work­ing with three weaver com­mu­ni­ties from Bhuj, Varanasi and Pocham­pally and the prod­ucts cre­ated by them are on dis­play here. It’s our first time at Heim­tex­til In­dia whereas we have been ex­hibit­ing overseas for past two years now,” shared Cre­ative Head, An­jali Rana. Their col­lec­tion dis­played cush­ion cov­ers, ta­ble run­ners, up­hol­stery fab­rics per­fect for hos­pi­tal­ity, res­i­den­tial and luxury pur­poses. An­jali fur­ther added, “We saw lot of traf­fic through­out the day with a lot of en­quiries, keep­ing us en­cour­aged.”

At the stall of Aadyam, an Aditya Birla Group ini­tia­tive, one could find hand­wo­ven prod­ucts. The show gar­nered a lot of at­trac­tion for them as the first-time par­tic­i­pants were dis­play­ing re­ally unique fab­rics and tech­niques.

San­jay Khanna, MD, Ster­ling Cre­ations (which un­der one of its brand dis­played and pro­moted lo­cal artists and sus­tain­able prod­ucts), ex­pressed his con­cerns on buy­ing trends. “In all hon­esty, the show last year was better in terms of busi­ness; even with cus­tomers visit­ing daily, we are not get­ting com­mit­ments. This show is a mixed bag of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional buy­ers and prob­a­bly for this rea­son, we did not get enough buy­ers for our type of prod­ucts at the show. The cus­tomers we are get­ting from Delhi, Lud­hi­ana and Panipat are a mis­match for the luxury seg­ment. I would not like to blame the or­gan­is­ers; they have made a sin­cere ef­fort, yet de­spite that some­thing is amiss. Maybe in­ter­na­tional buy­ers are plan­ning to visit the Mum­bai show, hence there are fewer or­ders be­ing placed here,” rea­soned San­jay.

The home fur­nish­ing divi­sion at Ster­ling Cre­ations caters to both the in­ter­na­tional as well as the do­mes­tic mar­ket, of­fer­ing a wide range of bed­spreads quilts, com­forters, pil­lows, cush­ions and up­hol­stery items.

Buy­ers look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent were sat­is­fied, though many felt that the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional buy­ers were less this year. “The fair looks good though in­ter­na­tional buy­ers are scarce; I don’t see many of them this time. I am look­ing for in­ter­est­ing of­fer­ings in bed­spreads and em­bossed or em­broi­dered cush­ions. The range of sus­tain­able prod­ucts this year looks great, much better than last year, also the 3D print­ing ma­chine at the dis­play is in­ter­est­ing,” shared

Gidi Laks, Owner, Red Chilli, a buy­ing house from Is­rael, who is a reg­u­lar visitor to the event and buys many home-re­lated prod­ucts from the coun­try.

A series of panel dis­cus­sions also took place at the on­go­ing fair, on all days. Many key top­ics were dis­cussed like, Luxury Buy­ing for the niche mar­ket by Buy­ing Agent’s As­so­ci­a­tion where the panel de­fined luxury, trends, de­mands of buy­ers, sourc­ing the prod­ucts, how to com­mu­ni­cate the brand story. Mainly Buy­ing Agents and com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als at­tended the dis­cus­sion. In a spe­cial ses­sion, David Lan­dart from CAR­LIN Group, in­ter­na­tional trend fore­cast­ing and style agency, shared his 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in In­ter­na­tional Tex­tile and Fash­ion industry by out­lin­ing the top­ics of vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing and win­dow dress­ing. The ses­sion was fruit­ful for in­te­rior de­sign­ers, ar­chi­tects, re­tail­ers, de­sign di­rec­tors and top man­age­ment peo­ple, buy­ing houses, agents in at­ten­dance.

Along with new prod­uct launches, vis­i­tors also en­joyed the spe­cially cu­rated pavil­ion COHANDS that show­cased tra­di­tional craft­work in minia­ture paint­ing, ter­ra­cotta, cane bam­boo arts, wood carv­ing, wood in­lay, bidri craft, Mithila paint­ing, wood carv­ing, brass en­grav­ing and pot­tery. In ad­di­tion, vis­i­tors also saw the launch of Be­spoke Liv­ing, a spe­cial dis­play arena that show­cased ex­quis­ite sig­na­ture col­lec­tions from in­te­rior dé­cor and home tex­tile sec­tors, and a spe­cial screen­ing zone.

Though the show gar­nered a mix re­sponse, the prod­uct ar­ray was so wide that there was some­thing for ev­ery­one. En­cour­ag­ingly, many ex­porters shared that af­ter a few bad years, the US mar­ket is fi­nally show­ing signs of pick­ing up. Dur­ing the show, many trends were re­de­fined and many oth­ers were in­tro­duced, set­ting the tone for the com­ing year.

Vis­i­tors also en­joyed the spe­cially cu­rated pavil­ion COHANDS that show­cased tra­di­tional craft­work in minia­ture paint­ing, ter­ra­cotta, cane bam­boo arts, wood carv­ing, wood in­lay, bidri craft, Mithila paint­ing, wood carv­ing, brass en­grav­ing and pot­tery.

Pawan Gupta, MD, Bella Casa Fash­ion & Re­tail Lim­ited

D’Decor

Prince Rathi, Di­rec­tor, Gem Col­lec­tion

San­jay Khanna, MD, Ster­ling Cre­ations

Ster­ling Cre­ations

Aadyam, an Aditya Birla Group ini­tia­tive

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