By Reena Mital
NEW DELHI, India–The 12th edition of the India Carpet Expo 2008, organized by the Carpet Export Promotion Council of India here, evoked good response from exhibitors last month.
Over 300 international buyers from the United States, Europe, Australia and other regions visited the 250 exhibitors. CEPC reduced the sizes of the stalls to accommodate more number of exhibitors, according to organizers.
“We will be taking up a bigger area for the next show,” said Ashok Jain, CEPC chairman.
Exhibitors said they were happy with the quality and quantity of buyers at the show. Almost all exhibitors reported good inquiries from existing and new buyers.
New finishes, washes, vintage looks, leather rugs, embroidered floor coverings, bright shades and subdued looks were seen at the show. Colorful polyester shaggies, in the lower to midrange segment, were prominent.
“Innovation and design will have to be the mainstay for the Indian handmade carpets industry,” Jain said. “These are good times for the Indian handmade floor coverings sector.”
Metallic looks in carpets are in, and Obeetee, among others, has used lurex, viscose and other fibers to create the look. With this, the company is increasing its buyers in the United States, thus compensating for the fall in value of its exports, the company said.
The Indian handmade carpets industry is working toward perfecting its design skills to meet the tastes of the international buyer, sources said.
Jaipur Rugs has a design studio with 60 designers, and consultancy agreements with designers from Italy, the United States, Australia, Estonia and Brazil to keep track of the latest developments and trends globally.
The company has developed in-house a supply-chain system to track production, movement of goods and orders.
For Global Overseas, the show was particularly good. The company has booked orders to manufacture a total of 9,000 square meters of floor coverings at the show.
“Our finished goods were sold on the second day of the show itself, and we had to bring in more collections for the rest of the days,” said Sanjay Gupta, director of Global Overseas.
Bright and warm reds were the main color theme at the Global Overseas stall. “We wanted to do something different; most people have on offer fairly subdued colors and designs, we went in for a bolder look and the response has been excellent.” The company has an in-house facility with 300 looms, and will be adding another 100 looms within the next five to six months.
Samara Carpets launched a number of designs targeted at the teen and kids’ segment. The company supplies to some of the leading U.S. teen and kids retailers.
“The rupee appreciation and the U.S. slowdown have affected us,” said Pavel Purkait, senior manager of marketing at Samara Carpets. “We have been able to increase our prices by 5 to 8 percent. And, we have also innovated with weaves to reduce costs—reducing knots per inch, while maintaining quality.”