The Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) has launched its 29th edition of India Carpet Expo on March 27, 2015, in New Delhi which was inaugurated by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Textile in the presence of Dr. Sanjay Kumar Panda, Secretary Textile and Mr. Samir Kumar Biswas, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts). The event is launched to showcase the weaving skills of Indian hand-knotted carpet artisans amongst the overseas carpet buyers.
A record number of 450 overseas carpet buyers from around 57 countries mainly USA, Germany, France, UK, Turkey, Brazil, China, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Korea and European Union Countries shall be visiting the expo to generate business for this rural based cottage sector.
The Chairman of CEPC Shri Kuldeep R Wattal, said that Indian carpet expo is an ideal platform for international carpet buyers, buying houses, buying Agents, architects and Indian Carpet Manufacturers & Exporters to meet and establish long term business relationship.
According to Md Aslam Khan, Partner, and Mak Enterprises, the carpet industry is doing good business since last 20 plus years. Indian Carpet Expo gives a lot exposure to them. Moreover in every expo they have new products to show cast.
Fereydoun N. Nahai, a business man who is a prominent carpet importer and a Principal of an US-based firm called Marcella Fine Rugs, said that the Indian carpet manufacturers listen to the importers and react to the market with regards to colour and design. They understand that they need carpet in a program basis. This is not possible to make in country like Iran but it was possible in China. But labour in China is too expensive. So basically, India is where they can make the program items.
When you think of Indian manufactured carpet, you think about great quality and good craftsmen ship. But for Ayush Choudhary, the Managing partner of Chaudhary Exports there is more to this. According to him, Indian manufactures/exporters are generally transparent and clean. Choudhary is not just an exporter but also has entered into retail carpet industry know as Cocoon Fine Rugs with stores in Mumbai, Bangalore,
Kolkata and e-commerce website.
But even this blooming industry has issues to deal with. For Nahai as an importer, infrastructure is a huge bottleneck. Consignments get delayed because of poor roadways, followed by delay at the port. But these issues are being addressed.
Besides infrastructure, lack of skilled weavers is one the major problem faced by the industry. Labourers are vanishing. Government should take this
up seriously and do something for the industry, complained Khan.
Choudhary thinks availability of better option allowed the weavers to explore into other industry. People are not very keen on working on labour intensive jobs. There is a lot of hard work that goes into weaving a carpet. Their wages have been increased but they still cannot find enough people to weave their carpets.
The CEPC Chairman agreeing with the industry said that the only challenge faced by the carpet industry is the shortage of skilled labour. Over the years, people of this industry have left these jobs for greener pastures. They have ventured into other industries to get better remunerations.
The shortage of weavers is truly addressed by the Government and they are effectively dealing with this problem. They have also accepted request on giving them financial assistance on opening new training institutes. In September, the Textile Minister launched a scheme where they received
additional funds to train 5000 weavers.
The Chairman further added that clusters are to be opening at the Badhoi- Mirzapur belt, followed by Agra, Rajasthan, Kashmir and other carpet belts. Each cluster has 12 weavers. They are trained to weave hand tufted and hand crafted carpets, for 3 months and 4 months respectively. They receive Rs 2500 as stipend to learn the trade. Apart from the stipend, they get free raw material and skilled trainer is also assigned to train them.
The government has set up a target of Rs.7, 600 crore carpets and floor covering export for the fiscal year 2014- 2015.
The Indian Carpet Expo going on at Pragait Maidan, New Delhi in Hall Numbers 8 to 11 will continue till 30th March.
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