Business enquiries worth Rs 2,700 crore have been generated as curtains drew to mark the closing of 40th edition of IHGF Delhi fair (earlier known as IHGF) organised at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) – the nodal agency for promotion and development of handicrafts in the country. “Over 7,300 trade visitors including international buyers, buying agents and domestic volume retailers interacted with India’s handicraft sector making it the world’s largest fair of Indian handicrafts, home, lifestyles and fashion products”, informed Rakesh Kumar, ED – EPCH.
Since the inaugural edition in 1994 with 313 exhibitors covering an area of 5,500 sq.m, the show has come a long way; in its 40th edition the IHGF Delhi Fair played host to over 2,750 exhibitors spread over 1,90,000 sq.m area, with more than 1,600 product lines and styles at state-of-the art India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida.
The spectacular display of traditional Indian art and craft mesmerised overseas volume buyers from more than 110 countries and Indian volume retail visitors. Business was transacted in an ambience enlivened by colorful spectacle enriched with dances, art and culture of India.
More than 1,600 types of products including House ware, tableware, kitchenware, hotel ware, Home furnishing, home textiles, linens and made-ups, Festive décor, chriastmas, Halloween, valentines, birthdays, anniversaries celebrations, Fashion jewellery, bags, scarves, ties, fashion compliments, Luggage, leather bags, and cases, Furniture, hardware and accessories, carpets, rugs and floorings, bathroom accessories, spa and wellness, candles, incense, made ups, burners, potpourri and aromatics, stationery, handmade paper items and greeting cards, lamps and lighting, chandeliers, lampshades, lanterns, Decorative articles & giftware, Garden ornaments, lawn accessories, Sustainable products, jute, cane, bamboos, natural fibres, hand woven mats, Educational games, trophies, games, toys were on display.
Various knowledge seminars were held on topics such as importance of social media to maximise presence and sales, opportunities and export strategies for Handicrafts products in CIS market, safeguarding one’s business from international frauds, export opportunities in Latin America through warehousing facility at Uruguay, increase in export through effective digital medium and skill development in handicrafts and carpet sector, to name a few. Participants in the fair attended these seminars in large numbers. Along with seminars, various cultural programmes and fashion shows were held, which many attracted participants.
The prestigious Ajay Shankar Memorial Awards for best display and design were presented in 10 product categories by Bhagwat Saran Gangwar, Hon’ble Minister of State for SSI & EP, Governmment of Uttar Pradesh.
Handicrafts exports have been growing steadily during the last decade. During 2014-15 they grew by 7.96 percent in rupee terms and 6.82 percent in dollar terms and touched Rs 18,639.14 crore. Rakesh Kumar, Chairman – IEML and ED – EPCH further elaborated that "despite the overall slump in exports in various commodities, the exports of handicrafts in the first six months of 2015-16 stood at Rs 9108.41 crore, registering a growth of 9.92 percent in rupee terms”.