Saturday, 22 January, 2022
EPCH is an apex organization of trade and industry for promotion of handicrafts and is credited with organizing Asia's largest Handicrafts & Gifts Show.

What do the buyers say

More than 6000 buyers from more than 20 countries spanning North & South America, Europe, Middle-East, Asia, Australia and the African continent have made this show an annual sorcing meccas for the rich variety of Indian Handicrafts. This is what some of them had to say about the last fair:

Jess Supple and Sue Silva, Australia:

" We are wholesalers of textiles and have been in this business since last 15 years. There's no denial of the fact that IHGF has seen improvement
over the years in terms of design variety and infrastructure. The EPCH app. that was launched today shows the effort the organizer has taken for the betterment of the whole business. We deal majorly with home accessories and there has been a satisfactory variety in the products in that sector. We believe in introducing our own trends to handicrafts in India by working with the manufacturers here and it has so far been a pleasant and beneficial experience."

Paul and Ash, Germany:

"Furniture and stationery are our major areas of focus in this fair. And as this is our first visit to the fair, we are exploring the Indian market which seems very organized considering the work EPCH has done as organizers. As importers we are particular about the quality of our import and from India, which has a strong middle class, we would like to focus on local products. The organizers have initiated various efforts for the betterment of the artisans and I think they are slowly getting there and improvement is inevitable."

Dov Franki, Israel:

" I have been into the business of home décor since last 10 years. And as a wholesaler in this business, this year I am looking for items in iron casting and lighting products. I see improved designs though the demand has not parallel increased. Our suppliers from Moradabad have been our constant associates and have helped us in growing the business by modifying items according to the trend. The only limitation that holds the acceptance of Indian products is the finesse that seems to be a bit lacking. Yet, items from India have their own place in the world market.I like the idea of starting a mobile app. for the benefit of buyers."

Prakash, UAE:

My purpose of this visit to the fair is to specifically look for the p r o d u c t s catering to the middle-eastern taste. We are aware of the fact that the suppliers here aim mainly for the western market and the products manufacturing also target the same. But I have found the specific dealers for home décor. I think a fair as grand as IHGF has something for every buyer. "

Xavier De Vil, Belgium:

"We deal with home accessories. In our business we majorly pay attention to the global trends and this has been the secret of our success in the business in last 15 years. Though EPCH has been a commendable cohort for Indian handicrafts and its initiative for developing the infrastructure should be appreciated. The newly launched EPCH mobile app is one such example of the multiple EPCH initiatives."

Petra Langstraat, Netherlands:

"We represent FDO Furniture and majorly deal with small furniture. Being international exporters of these products we also import from China, Indonesia and Egypt but India has unique products to offer which cannot be matched with anything else in the world market. This is the second time that we are attending this fair and we have seen tremendous improvement from the previous time.The idea of EPCH's mobile app. is great. It is time saving and can help one get organized before a visit to IHGF."

Dimitri, Netherlands:

" We are importers of a wide range of furniture and have been associated with Indian handicraft market since last 22 years. As a visiting buyer I have only seen improvement in the past years. What we aim to find here in terms of handmade products cannot be compared in any way with the Chinese or Vietnamese products. Through this visit, I have concluded that India has only improved with the global development. And it is an encouraging sight to see new suppliers who had not been there previously. EPCH's involvement has been commendable and it shows in how this business has grown in last 22 years. "

Abdool Hakiim Bin Awang, Borneo Bulletin, Brunei:

"This is my first visit to India and to any international handicraft fair of this kind. I am awestruck at the commendable range of exciting products that India has to offer. As a foreign visitor what intrigued me the most is the use of recycled products that some manufacturers have made. Given the cultural reality of Brunei, I feel that buyers from my country would be interested in the exclusive range of cashmere shawls, textiles and home décor available in the fair. Brunei has already been importing these items from Syria and gulf countries, so availability of Indian handicrafts in our market would be something to look forward to. Export items from India are also exclusive because they are mostly eco-friendly. Another reason for promotion of Indian handicrafts in Brunei is that the organization of the handicraft sector in this country is a lot better than what I have seen elsewhere. This also helps artisans in a major way where they can innovate and experiment. Also, in Brunei, we have mostly spacious houses, so I feel that home décor from India would really do well in our market. And this should be the target business area when Indian suppliers deal with buyers from Brunei."

Rashiqah Ilmi Binti Abd Rahim, Journalist, Berita Harian, The New Straits Times Press, Malaysia:

"As a political journalist, I see this fair as a medium to strengthen political ties between India and Malaysia. The two countries already have a strong common culture and through well-thought out business exchange, ties between two countries can be made stronger. I can say that products on display here can easily match our market and buyer requirements as many things here match up to the taste of consumers in Malaysia. Specifically, the range for carpets in the fair would surely find a strong market in my country. Indian involvement in Malaysian import market can already be seen by the range of shawls imported. But there is always a scope for expansion of the market. And considering the good organization of handicraft business in India through EPCH, I think it won't be very difficult."

Chayy Sophal, Editor in Chief, New Youth & Cambodia News, Cambodia:

"It has been an exciting experience for me as an online reporter to visit and report a gala festival like IHGF. Since this is my first visit to India, the whole idea of cultural exchange through the involvement of media has been really commendable. This fair holds added significance for me because India and Cambodia share a culture where a great percentage of the population includes Hindus and Muslims. We share each other's culture also in terms of mythology and history. Also the social scenario in both the countries is comparable. Knowing about the economic reality of the artisan through the sources here, where 7 million artisans work throughout the year to bring out the visually stimulating products that we see here, we must understand that the export of these handicraft is beneficial for financial and social development in India. The market for Indian products is not much established in my country. Therefore the idea of inviting journalists for promotional purpose indicates EPCH's intelligent foresight. I feel buyers from my country may be lured to India because of cheaper prices and good quality. But for this business exchange the govt. of both countries must work together to formulate a business strategy. Looking at the products here, I think Cambodian importers would be interested in home furniture and lighting products. I feel that this is an appropriate time for India's foray into the Cambodian market because our economy is booming and there is increased demand."

Patrick Jonas Editor, Tabla (newspaper), Singapore:

This fair has been beyond all my expectations and has changed my perception about the business of handicrafts. Unlike my existing notion, products available here actually cater to the modern market and comply with the changing trend worldwide. And the diverse culture that India has, leads to the amazing variety of innovation which is reflected in the products offered. EPCH's involvement has helped to bring the artisans to a global platform where they get international recognition. This fair also gives me a platform for exchange of business and cultural information where I want to make visitors aware of the International Indian Shopping Festival, Singapore 2014. The business ties also hold relevance because Singapore is a probusiness country and lacking in natural resources. We depend on imports for a lot many products that are there in our market. Thus, by encouraging people to attend fairs like these expands horizons and enables smooth flow of international demand & supply. My knowledge about EPCH had not been much before coming here but looking at the involvement of the organization I must say that it is doing a commendable job to bring out the better side of crafts into mainstream business.

Anteine Aknovx, France:

I am a designer looking for suppliers in this fair who would innovate and customize according to the designs that I have to offer. I always go for a slight touch of Indian traditional ethos in the modern designs that I prefer. Home Décor is my area of interest and Japan is the other major country that I get supplies from. Doing business with Indian manufacturers has become easy due to the involvement of EPCH.

Charles, USA:

I came to this fair looking for items in wood and metal and this fair has been quite satisfactory and I have already placed quite a few orders. The fair becomes an interactive platform for buyers and exhibitors owing to the involvement of EPCH as a well functioning organizational body. This is the reason why the 5 years of business with India has been a happy experience for me.

Vassil Raychev, Bulgaria:

I am a retailer and wholesaler for scarves, jewellery and gift items. I have been involved with Indian products only since last year and what I see in this second visit of mine is that the organization of this fair makes it all the more indulging and exciting. I also know about the recent launch of the mobile app and I may start using it for the remaining days of the fair as it seems beneficial for the buyers.

Timm Exner, Germany:

I am an importer looking for handicrafts in metal, glass and wood. I import from India, China, Philippines and Vietnam but a major part of my business that is around 40% is from India. The attraction in India has always been handcrafted products and EPCH's involvement for the betterment of crafts has been appreciable. Also the new launch of the mobile app has been a commendable initiation keeping in mind the comfort and necessity of the buyers.

Michael, South Africa:

This is my first visit to India, and I am looking forward to explore the wide range of gift items that manufacturers here offer. I am keen on the modern trendy designs with a mixture of the traditional touch that is conventionally associated with India. I anticipate an expanded investment in the Indian market considering the variety that I have come across.

Luisa Pezza, Italy:

We deal majorly in scarves, jewellery, and bags. The innovation in designs that we see here is what makes Indian handicrafts stand out in the international market. I seek creative inspirations, from craftwork around the globe. Thailand is the major hub for my business, and 10% of my supplies come from India. But there is always scope for expansion and I am hopeful for it.

Logan, USA:

I am looking for ceramic and glass items and the variety that I see here is beyond expectations of overseas buyers. This is the reason why my supplier base is only from India. I am a starter in the business and this is a great platform for development and building new ties with India.

Sambain, France:

I am a home textile importer but this year I am concentrating on lamps. We are wholesaler importers and have been in this business since last 20 years. My permanent suppliers are based in Panipat, India. Mats and Curtains are another area of interest. Better prices and quality is what brings us to India. In this fair I have seen a wide range of innovation which makes IHGF a bright platform for business exchange.

Luis Mullet, UK:

We have been into the business for one and a half years now and we started our work by partnering with Indian exporters. As importers we engage in direct sale of furniture items. By visiting the fair, we got to know about the new product types which can be beneficial for our market. We also import from China and Vietnam and India has its own brilliance in the products that it offers.

John and Yvonne, Hong Kong:

We deal in lifestyle products and have been doing business with India since last 20 years. Design, quality and variety are what I look for. I think young artisans should be encouraged to work in the handicrafts business because they have a different outlook and worldview which brings newness to the business. I deal with various suppliers who are scattered all over the country and apart from India I also deal with China, Vietnam, Malaysia and UK.

Jordan Silver, Australia:

This is my first visit to India and as a designer I am looking for lights and lamps in the fair. My supplier base in India is going strong since many years. IHGF 2014 has helped me to get new resources, know about them and implement it in my business. I usually prefer getting my own designer to my suppliers but this fair serves my purpose where I get exclusive hand woven and handmade look.

Koko, China:

I am visiting India exclusively for handicraft products and this year furniture and fabrics in this category would be my priority. We are a trade company so the involvement of Indian handicrafts along with the wide array of products from all over the world is an interesting mix. The other countries we associate with are Nepal, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia. And 65% of our business comes from India and we are looking for business expansion.

Saras Naidu, USA:

My business majorly deals with furniture, textile, gift items and accessories. So basically I am looking at a wide range of products in this fair. I have been attending the fair for a long time and my association with this organization has only grown stronger. The show now seems more extended and offers better things for display. It's a lot more professional now. And the mobile app launched by EPCH is an example of such initiative for the betterment.

Bhoopesh Narsee Bhagwan, South Africa:

I am a wholesaler importer of garments and textiles. I supply to chain stores and mini chain stores throughout South Africa. The Western outlook of South Africa as a nation has led to a different sort of fashion trend that is followed now. This calls for a dissimilar demand from what India had to offer traditionally. But after coming to the fair I realize that India is also changing with the global change in trends and artisans in India are actually innovating by complying with the global demand. EPCH has been a helpful organization for the artisans as well as the buyers by bridging the gap for better business. And considering the fact that the next IHGF fair is going to be bigger, the move towards development and positive change is already apparent.This fair has actually completely changed my belief about the handicraft business in India and the range I see here is immense. And not only in terms of design but also the improving quality is what makes Indian handicrafts stand out.

Hay Kim Tha, Cambodia:

The purpose of my visit was to explore the exciting range of jewellery that India has to offer. The beautiful range of bangles and neckpieces that we find in India are exclusive and I must add that after going through the fair I got to know about the wide range of bags that are available as well. Mats and items of home décor are another area of interest for us. In this fair I tried to learn about the real exercise of business from India and also about the specific ways in which craftsmen function. Indian handicraft items have a large market in Cambodia because the Cambodian population is well aware of the Indian culture through movies popularized in the late 80s and they have a basic knowledge of Indian culture so Indian products are welcomed in our market. I wish to return with details and samples of innovative products from IHGF, as a new beginning of improved business ties.

Feroza Mody, India:

I have a store in India where I bring together various hand crafted products from all over India. My store is exclusively of Indian products and we have been in this business for almost 50years. I get a chance to explore the supply contacts that I already have by coming to the fair. My suppliers are based in Rajasthan, Pondicherry and Moradabad. And I look for the traditional tough Indian-ness in the products that I go for.

Eugen de Boer, Holland:

I have an online sale portal which deals with a broad range of products. We only sell products of individual artisans and small manufacturers. Our task is to find markets for their products, to improve the living condition of every laborer and to retain Indian craftwork for future generations. In connection with Fair Trade organization we improve Fair Trade activities by every cooperative manufacturer. EPCH has done a great job in bringing a wide range of artisans within one umbrella but as a buyer I would suggest that there could be more transparency in terms of background information.

Loretta Fabbri, Italy:

I am looking for garments and bags. My existing suppliers are from New Delhi. I myself give designs where I look for incorporation of interesting ideas by the suppliers. This is my first participation in this fair and I hope this business journey with India turns out to be a good one.

Hiroko Wada and Koseki Haruka, Japan:

We are basically designers of jewellery and other fashion accessories. We have been into traditional Indian products trend since the very start of our business and have been importing 10% of our material from India for last three years, and rest from Malaysia and Italy.

Tonu & Tiki, Denmark:

I am a tattoo artist and have my own stores. Plus, I work for retailers and here I am looking for T-shirts as well as new stuff for my company. I am open to exploring different product categories and a lot of products here have really caught my attention. I would be soon placing orders. I have found a really amazing range in bracelets and other jewellery using materials like leather and suede with the feel that would please the consumers in my country. I am mainly looking for something fancy that can be put in our stores and catch attention instantly

Alexander Becerra Drakgon Group, Venezuela:

" My parents have been visiting India for business since the last 10 years. Their venture is in the 2nd generation now. We don't source from any other country but India. I've bought lamps, flower vases and silver jewellery for our wholesale business. My experience of the fair is first class and meets international standards! "

Andrew Riley & Rod Innes, Silkroad Interiors, Australia:

"Its my maiden visit and I found it really good. As retailers we are looking for home furnishings mainly curtains and bed linens. We prefer subtle prints. The fabric here is quite good with many new designs. People here are quite warm and friendly."

Angelo Luoni and Laura Luoni Cardano al campo, Italy:

"We as retailers looking for furniture, handicrafts, clay items and wooden products. The fair is big and interesting. Products have a fresh look. Facilities are at par with other international events. "

Antonio Mendes GM, Carving, Coimbra, Portugal:

"I have been visiting this fair since seven years and must assert that it has grown over the years. I have continuously increased my sourcing which stands at 30% now. My company also sources from China. Products involved are furniture, ironware and textiles. This venue is of top drawer."

Kiyotaka Twiga, Tokyo, Japan:

"This is my third visit to IHGF and I find it better this time. I got new and good designs in accessories and shawls for my wholesale business. Must say that quality is very nice."

Meratish and Linda Brisbane, Australia :

"We are setting up a wholesale store in Australia and are here to look for ideas. Found a few already. Among products, Indian bags and furniture are popular in Australia. We are also looking to source homeware and bedspreads in particular."

Marta Caimana s.a., Spain :

"I've been visiting since many years and almost 30% of our purchases are sourced from India. While designs and quality look better with each fair (as always). Venue arrangements are better here then the previous one. In Spain, Sheesham and Teak products are liked more."

Tarsem Wood Retailer, Ambiance, UK:

"This is my maiden visit and I am here to lookfor home furnishings. I have found several new nice products. Among Indian favourites in UK are sequin bags, shawls and most Indian cottons. For the coming season in my market, smooth & soft autumn colours are being appreciated. The fair is well organised but should have more seating space on each floor."

Vicky Commaide Elite Publishing Co., Australia:

"I am overwhelmed. Products are a perfect blend of old & new and traditional & funky designs. Australia is a country with varied cultures and home furnishings from India are often hot-sellers there. I really liked the natural cottons, silk and leather curtains and bed covers. Among other products, fashion jewellery and clothing is fascinating. India can easily cater to the high & medium end Australian market. With naturals and neutrals as guidelines, our tastes are shifting from subtle to accent colours, bigger cushions and more colourful bed linens."

Yousuf Al Rayes & Suhair Al Rayes Bahrain :

"We have Ventured for the first time but are highly satisfied as we could get value for money. Mainly bought cushions in bright colours and aluminium plates for our showroom. Facilities are good and people very cordial. We would definitely be here next time and possibly increase our sourcing."

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