IHGF-Delhi Fair goes virtual to tap diverse pool of overseas buyers, online brands

In step with the new normal, the 49th edition of the IHGF-Delhi Fair went virtual on Tuesday. Restricted activity due to the pandemic led Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) to introduce the digital platform of the virtual fair scheduled from July 13-18.

As a precursor to this fair, the Council organised two products specific shows on Indian Fashion Jewellery and Accessories and IHGF Textiles Virtual fair which had a combined visit of 2700 overseas buyers, beside buying agents, wholesalers and retailers and collective business enquiries of more than Rs 400 crore.

A range of product categories such as houseware, bathroom accessories, lawn, garden ornaments and accessories, lamps, lighting & accessories, furniture, furniture hardware & accessories, home furnishing, decorative and gifts among others will be on display by more than 1500 member exporters of the Council in the 49th edition of the show.

Shri Rakesh Kumar, DG – EPCH said in a statement, “Though it’s a new platform, it is expected that large numbers of overseas buyers from across the globe will be visiting the show to source their requirement. For inviting buyers, EPCH has done exclusive publicity through emailers, online banners, social media, tele calling and by also involving Indian missions and embassies abroad to promote the show.”

The overseas buyers who have registered to visit the show include countries such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, France and many more.

Buyers from companies/departmental stores who have already confirmed their visit to the show include Cost Plus World Market, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, Mudpie, Cracker Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond from USA, Marc O Polo, Impression from Germany, Pick n Pay from South Africa and others.

Some of the major Indian retail/online brands have also shown great interest and registered themselves to source their requirement from this virtual platform. Those registered so far include Bombay Store, Synergy Lifestyles, Fab India Overseas, Goodearth Design Studio, Reliance Retail, Walmart, Asian Paints, Raymond and Sleepwell, among a host of others.

Kumar further elaborated that EPCH has made many efforts to match the features of the physical fair in which themes used to be set up. On the virtual platform, special thematic participation to showcase the crafts of North Eastern Region and Jammu & Kashmir will also be set up. More than 20 artisans and entrepreneurs will be displaying sustainable eco-friendly crafts made from natural materials such as cane & bamboo, terracotta, natural fibres, eri silk, muga silk, black pottery etc in the North East Region pavilion.

Jammu & Kashmir is famous for its beauty and exclusive raw material base that inspires and shapes crafts in walnut, Papier Machie, crewel embroidery, pashmina shawls, namdas cushion covers & other home furnishing, carpets, naquash silverware, willow baskets, copper and brassware. 20 artisans and entrepreneurs have been motivated to showcase the above products to attract the overseas buyers, wholesalers and retailers.

Thematic displays of craft demonstration by national awardees on artistic textiles, Gujarat; Kani shawls from J&K, Mithila Painting from Bihar; Horn Fashion Jewellery, New Delhi; Meenakari & Gold leaf craft from Rajasthan and Warli Art from Maharashtra will also be a part of the highlights.

The handicrafts exports during the year 2019-20 was Rs. 25,027.08 crore, added Kumar.

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