Exporters undertake initiatives to survive and grow in difficult scenario
Overall, the global home furnishing market has not been very upbeat over the past few years; even in India, many internal issues are hurting the growth of exporters...
Overall, the global home furnishing market has not been very upbeat over the past few years; even in India, many internal issues are hurting the growth of exporters. Though the situation is difficult, some exporters are taking a very pro-active stance and are constantly taking initiatives not only to survive but also grow. Their efforts include adding new products in their product baskets, bringing down the cost by changing or mixing value addition techniques, increasing focus on recycled materials, exploring new markets and adding more compliance/ certifications… Team Apparel Online observed such initiatives of various exporters at the recently concluded Home Expo India 2018 (organized by EPCH) in Greater Noida. The fair-witnessed participation of 695 exporters offering soft as well as hard goods.
The positive initiatives being undertaken by various exporters in the home segment are helping them to get more buyers and also to serve the existing clients better. The 25-year-old Jaipurbased company Artasia boasts of its expertise in hand embroidery for high-end products, but it is today offering mix of hand embroidery with machine embroidery to fit the product into the buyer’s price bracket. “We have to keep the prices competitive to survive the market and this is one option for the same. Earlier we were not focusing much on printing but now it is also our strength,” says Sushma Laddha, Owner of the company. To offer most of the product range under one roof, the company recently started upholstery, rugs and is trying to create a package of furniture and textile for their buyers. Working with wholesalers across the world, the company has also started working with buying offices to get more orders, and recently shipped an order through a local buying office. The 100 per cent EOU, Artasia offers cushions, quilts, curtains and allied products. Its capacity is nearly 25,000 pieces per month.
Adding new markets and new buyers from existing markets is one of the most common tool for many companies and same continues as they are getting success through this route. Naveen Kapur has been in this business for 40 years and his four-year-old venture in Noida, Good Earth India, recently added new clients from Spain, Italy and Germany who placed orders for embroidered cushions and now the company further plans to open an office in the UK so that they can cover entire America and EU in a better way. Naveen informed the
AO team, “I sometimes ask myself, does growth ever stop? Many of our
regular customers have quit the line altogether. But we are constantly taking steps to overcome these challenges. We are also focusing more on designs as I believe if you’re design-oriented you can cater to your customers otherwise the buying market is very average.”
The company specialises in handlooms and surface ornamentation and it has capacity of manufacturing 1,00,000 pieces a month.
One more such example is from
Jaipur – Ocean Home Store, renowned for its prints, exporting products into USA, UK, France and Japan, and associated with brands like Ralph Lauren and Anthropology. The company is actively exploring new markets like Australia, Canada and also resorting to online business. For past two years, it is expanding its business by working on flooring, woven cushion and small upholstery furniture with external vendor support from UP and Panipat.
Jayanto Chatterjee, Creative Head of the company shared that the organization is doing its best to grow, and more efforts will be taken for the same. The company also has 3 stores across Jaipur to tap domestic market. As sustainability is in the core of the industry, in the long run it is costeffective too; few companies are also focusing on it by various means. Well known Jaipur-based export house Cheer Sagar who has larger focus on its collection, is all set to introduce recycled material-based products. “There is a lot of scrap in the factory that has no resale value, so we are processing it to make recycled products, which will be a part of our catalogue soon,” adds Rishika Saini, Merchant of the company. The company’s present collection is full of pastel colours and embroidery. It uses traditional aari embroidery to uplift the local artisans.
On the contrary, there are few companies that are of the view that own efforts/initiatives will be fruitful only if the Government changes its policies or systems, be it delayed refund of GST or other policies. Ganpat Mehta, Co-owner, Arawali Exports, Jaipur shares his opinion: “The market is on an all-time low and business is going on as usual. It is very difficult to get new buyers or success in new markets. We have added new line of handloom throws in our collection as its demand was forecasted, but much more than that is needed.” Arawali Exports is offering a wide range of home products and is focusing more on compliance. The company is certified by Sedex, Fair Trade Forum India, Smeta and few more agencies.
“Export market is not generating much demand, so the innovation isn’t really helping since prices are high. We have to take into account these factors to survive. We are keeping limited volume and output to sustain this business environment. Imposition of the
GST and no returns yet has jeopardised the business,” says Vireshwar Vijay, Senior Manager Merchandising, The Reed and Shuttle Company, Noida. He aptly concludes: “In this environment there is a cost of doing the business and there is a cost of not doing the business; these times are making us choose lesser of the two evils.”
Sushma Laddha (L), Owner of Artasia, with Jai Singh, Senior Merchant
Rishika Saini (R), Merchant, Cheer Sagar with her colleague Mamta Dixit
Ganpat Mehta (L), Co-owner, Arawali Exports, discussing the products with the buyers
Vireshwar Vijay, Senior Manager Merchandising, The Reed and Shuttle Company
MD, Good Earth India, Noida