Handicraft exporters woo IKEA with vendor compliance programme

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2012 Published on October 10, 2012

The Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) is looking at capturing a slice of the Rs 10,600- crore investment from Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA.

The nodal body for handicraft said it was in talks with IKEA to create Next-Gen programme for its Indian vendors to meet global compliance standards.

“International retailers, coming to India to source products, seek compliances on various parameters. The Next-Gen ongoing programme will equip our vendors to meet global compliance. Currently, our exporters are not prepared. This programme will help them overcome such barriers,” Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH, said on the sidelines of a conference to announce the Indian handicrafts and gift fair.

At least, 200 exporters have signed up for the programme, he said, adding that EPCH was scouting for tie-ups with Walmart and Mark’s and Spencer’s, among others. “We visited Sweden in April to understand their demands.”

IKEA currently sources products worth $450 million from various Indian exporters.

Kumar said EPCH was also laying emphasis on ecommerce trade.

“Many international retailers are looking for handicraft products to be retailed through the ecommerce platform. This is a key opportunity for us,” he added.

EPCH said it was also focusing on the domestic market.

“We have started an initiative to tap large format department stores in the country. Many Indian retailers have evinced interest in sourcing handicraft products from our manufacturers. This will open another revenue channel for us,” he said.

Exports up

Handicraft exports registered an increase of 33.48 per cent at Rs 6,983.78 crore during first five months of current financial year against Rs 5,231.18 crore during the same period last year.

The Council is hopeful of achieving the export target of Rs 15,500 crore during the current financial year. “Our Christmas order books are robust and we are seeing demand revival,” Kumar said.

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Published on October 10, 2012
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