Even as Delhi witnessed unexpected rains this June, it was raining orders inside Pragati Maidan as Heimtextil India and Ambiente India marked the start of the pre-festive retail season in India. Highly regarded for its trade potential, India’s leading home fashion trade fair duo closed its doors welcoming 198 exhibitors and attracting 7,457 visitors.
Business comes first – be it for new brands or well-established industry players both of whom managed to acquire new leads. Ajay Arora, Managing Director, D’decor shared: “Increased customer walk-ins and over 130 new inquires – for D’decor, this edition has been even better. We truly believe in the business effectiveness of the platform and will continue to support it.”
R Surenthar Kumar, Dy General Manager-Sales & Marketing, Shri Laxmi Cotsyn Ltd, said: “This show strongly caters to the domestic market but also provides an international connect. We have received a great response from international buyers from countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Japan. The enquiries and the communication between us and the buyers have been very clear, which is important for us.” Ambiente India Exhibitor, Ahmad Arsalan, Director, Ahmad Gift Exports, who was also very happy with the quality and internationality of the visitors shared: “This has been our first time at Ambiente India and we are overwhelmed with the kind of visitor response we have received. We have got a lot of enquiries from different industries such as hotels, designers as well as international buyers from Thailand, Germany among others.”
One-on-one buyer-seller meetings set the tone of business networking at Heimtextil India and Ambiente India 2017 right from day one. A dedicated day for Hospitality and Retail procurement brought together purchase managers and retailers from across the country and together with the business match-making programme, many exhibitors confirmed to have closed orders through the pre-arranged buyer-seller meet format.
As part of the match-making programme, Dinesh Keshwani, Purchase Manager at Krishna Décor said: “As a platform Heimtextil India and Ambiente India 2017 proved to be beneficial to me for having meetings and discussing my requirements directly with manufacturers. We will be placing orders for the season with two of the exhibitors I met, KC Fabrics and Styler. I also visited the ‘Exploration Zone’ where designers have displayed their innovative concepts and the experience was quite different, nothing of which I have ever come across. I am definitely looking forward to the next edition.”
Buyers, mainly from the hospitality and retail segments were satisfied that some of their immediate requirements got catered to through the direct interactions with exhibitors. Among the delegation was also Ms Dipti Pandey, Deputy Merchandiser-Home Stop, Shoppers Stop who shared: “We managed to meet new vendors which we were trying to search and couldn’t get connected and we finally found them here. It is a great platform for networking and building contacts. Overall it was a good experience and we look forward to visit the fair next year.”
Not limited to product sourcing, Heimtextil India and Ambiente India also hosted several features inspiring new design visions.
India’s designs and thread work reflect a piece of its history - be it the fabric, or the crafts used. CushionKari captured this story of the Fabrics and Embroideries of India. Unveiled at the hands of Hon’ble Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani, it was a one-time opportunity for visitors in the history of home décor and textiles industry. The record-breaking installation was designed by Kanika Bawa and curated with fabrics from D’decor with a rare combination of fabrics, textiles and embroideries used.
Sharing her thoughts on the the conceptualisation and making of this record-breaking installation, Limca record holder Kanika Bawa said: “CushionKari was conceptualised taking inspiration from the rich wealth of Indian mythology, heritage and finesse in craft as well as Indian stories passed on from the Vedic period woven into fabrics. Handcrafted using natural and renewable materials, it is completely eco-friendly in nature. We came across many hurdles in the process of assembling the Cushion Kari due to its massive size and uniqueness in design, however we finally managed to tailor it to perfection and achieved the impossible of creating a magnificent art piece which weighing approximately one tonne.”
One could not pass the halls without making a halt at the Interior Lifestyle Award (ILA) Experience Zone – where India’s design talent laid out their creative visions based on themes in the 2017 International Trendbook - Exploration with Nature, Heritage, Planet and Illusion. Representing the best of Indian talent, designers from Mandi to Coimbatore and from Himachal to Ratnagiri acquired the centre stage from over 500 entries to present their concepts at the ILA Experience Zone.
The awards ceremony on the same night was a glitzy affair with the who’s who of the home fashion world present to announce the winners. Ms Anshul Malhotra from Mandi and Mr Himanshu Dogra also from Himachal who combined their strengths best as a team were declared as the face to represent India at the Ambiente and Heimtextil fairs in Frankfurt in 2018.
Winner of the Home Decor Category Mr Himanshu Dogra shared: “I have already learned and gained so much from this platform, but there is still a long way to go. The unique part about ILA as a platform is its innovative format of getting textile and product designers together to explore new ideas and brainstorming possibilities for combining different styles of designs to launch one collaborate masterpiece. For a designer, Ambiente India is a fantastic platform where one gets a chance to interact with industry stalwarts and get their perspective on design. I am looking forward to my participation at the Ambiente show in Germany which will be a big game changer for introducing my brand Play Clan to the global audiences.”
Continuing the special skills zone again this year, Messe Frankfurt provided a platform to a group of specially-abled students to display their strengths in various art forms for three days at the fair. Not only did the creative collection displayed at the zone attract orders, but some of the big industry players are currently in talks for long-term projects.
As consumer goods and textile traders raced against time to align themselves with the new Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime, an exclusive seminar was organised during the fair to address concerns in the industry with the presence of notable tax guru and experts.
b “While the GST implementation is expected to positively impact the Indian economy in the coming years, India’s textile industry in particular is poised to grow from the long-term benefits that the new legislation offers. The government projects two percent growth in GDP by 2020.” shared CA Bimal Jain while addressing delegates at the GST seminar organised during the fair. Inventory clearance, documentation and an impact on margins were among the major concerns which were discussed in detail and addressed with case studies at the seminar.
Exceeding expectations with an unparalleled spectrum of innovations and more importantly with the right profile of influencers and decision makers, Heimtextil India and Ambiente India once again closed doors but not without confirming bookings for the next edition. The co-located fairs will be back in 2018 from June 27-29 in New Delhi.