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EPCH eyes a chunk of IKEA's Rs 106bn investment
Oct '12
The Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH), the nodal body for handicraft in India, eyes to be a beneficiary of a chunk of the Rs. 106 billion investment from Swedish furniture retailer IKEA.
EPCH said it was discussing with IKEA about the prospects of developing Next-Gen programme to help Indian sellers comply with global norms.
According to EPCH Director, Rakesh Kumar, foreign retailers, who visit India to buy products, insist on compliance of various standards. 
The ongoing Next-Gen programme would help Indian producers comply with global norms, as presently they lack on this front, Mr. Kumar said. Around 200 exporters have enrolled for the programme, he added.
Informing that IKEA presently imports goods worth around US$ 450 million from Indian exporters, Mr. Kumar said the Council is also exploring the prospects of associating with other global retailers like Walmart and Marks and Spencer (M&S).
An EPCH delegation visited Sweden in April this year to get an idea regarding their requirements, the EPCH Director said, while speaking on the sidelines of a conference held to announce the Indian handicrafts and gift fair.
EPCH is also trying to increase its share in the domestic market, he said, and added that they have launched an initiative to explore large format departmental outlets in India. Several domestic retailers have articulated their interest in sourcing handicraft items produced by EPCH members. Mr. Kumar said this could extend a new source of revenue for them.
Further, he said, viewing ecommerce as a great opportunity, the Council is also focusing on online trade, as several global retailers look at sourcing handicraft items online.
The Council’s exports for April-August 2012 grew by 33.48 percent to Rs. 69.837 billion from exports worth Rs. 52.311 billion made during the corresponding period of last year. Following this, the Council is buoyant of achieving the Rs. 155 billion export target set for the current fiscal. 
Mr. Kumar said they have received good number of orders for Christmas, and the demand is expected to sustain even in future.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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