Trade Event | Designers Fair ’18
3rd Designers Fair in Chennai
At most fairs in several countries it is a common practice among designers to present their design collections and projects which are procured by individual exporters on payment basis. However, most Indian exporters have to travel to attend these overseas fairs to experience such exposure. Underscoring this shortage, Council for Leather Exports(cle) decided to overcome this by creating a platform called Designers Fair. The fair provides a common opportunity to the overseas as well as home-grown designers to present their design projects in India to the Indian manufacturers of leather and leather products.
Design, apparently, plays a vital role in market penetration of leather products and footwear. A good design substantially increases the value of not only the product but also of the manufacturer or the brand concerned. Considering the importance of design development in moving-up the value chain, long term agreement with foreign designers to create new designs for new markets and train local designers was included as one of the fundamental initiatives for the leather sector under the Make in India programme.
Accordingly, CLE, an autonomous organization under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, constituted a Task Force on Design under the Chairmanship of Naresh Bhasin, Regional Chairman (West), CLE to implement various design development projects. As per the strategy formulated by the task force, CLE organized the 1st edition of Designers Fair during in 2016, from February 1-3, in Chennai. This was under Phase 1 of the Make in India initiative with the objective of helping Indian companies to meet popular designers in India and also to enable them to explore the possibilities of not only procuring design projects but also entering into long term associations for product development. The first two editions of the fair ended on a highly successful note, with the display of designs and prototypes of famous designers from India and abroad. Designers from Italy, USA, Brazil, Russia, Belgium, India and Indian design institutes in India participated in the events. As a result, the fair has helped in creating concrete business relations between overseas designers and Indian companies.
In the last edition of Designers fair held in 2017, 34 overseas designers and 8 Indian designers and institutes
have emerged as the two key areas where the industry needs to make headway, across all product segments. Substantial grant has been provided by the Government for development of common infrastructures like testing centers, common facility centers, multi-skill development centers etc., 14 such projects have been implemented or are under implementation by CLE. The Integrated Development of Leather Sector (IDLS) implemented in XII Plan helped a lot in capacity modernization as well as development of industryspecific infrastructure at the factory level.
According to Naresh Bhasin, Designers Fair has achieved the objective of helping the manufacturers and exporters in providing a platform, not only for buying the required designs but also in developing long-term associations with designers in the area of product development. Mention may be made that the task force he has been leading has been instrumental in conceptualizing the design requirements of the Indian leather industry and in taking the decision to organize the fair.
Design development initiatives are aimed at not only the exporters but also at the manufacturers who are catering to the domestic market. India has been able to maintain its status as the fastest growing economy with a projected GDP growth rate of 7.1% for 2016-17. In case of footwear, the per capita consumption is expected to increase from the current 2 pairs to 4 pairs by 2020, which itself explains the immense scope for tapping the huge potential in the domestic market. As the demand for more and more middle and high-end products is increasing in the domestic market, the need to take design development seriously also arises. In such a context, technology plays an essential role. ROMANS CAD/CAM Solutions’ presence at the Designers Fair last year highlighted its significance.
CLE is the single largest and apex trade promotion organisation of the strong and rapidly growing Indian leather and leather products industry. It is committed towards the overall development of the Indian leather sector and therefore to achieve higher export growth to enhance India’s share in global leather trade.