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Chikan fabric to get new makeover
Apr '09
Several branding exercises are being done for the famous chikan fabric of Lucknow to make it more appealing and to promote it in the national & international market. A special chikan website, ramp shows, online chikan trade fairs, buyer-seller meet, use of information technology to create virtual sample and shop-in-shop at leading retail chains are the tools that would be included in this branding exercise.

The seminar began with the introduction of Mr Prabhat Kumar, Joint Commissioner, Export Promotion Bureau, Uttar Pradesh, Mr B L Chandak, Deputy General Manager - SIDBI, Mr Jaiswal, Asst Director, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Institute of Kanpur who remained present on the dias and who also spoke about the role played by their representative organisations in their respective fields.

During the seminar on 'E-marketplace: Branding & Promotion of Lucknow Chikan and Zari handcrafted products in the national and international market', UP Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Joint Commissioner Prabhat Kumar said that, “to popularize this craft a chikan-centric ramp show of India's top designers and models would be organized. And there would not be any limitation of funding towards popularization of chikan”.

Regarding this, a chikan trade fair would be organized in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts. This trade fair could prove to be the finest buyer-seller meet & one of the best retail marketing platforms for chikan fabric.

Meanwhile, in this branding exercise fibre2fashion has offered to help Lucknow chikan industry, subject to these chikan fabric manufacturers coming together to form an association and producing in bulk.

According to statistics, direct export of chikan apparel is estimated at Rs. 60 crore. However, bulk of the material is exported through indirect export which could be as much as Rs. 200 crore per annum. The indirect export is the export that is done through the buying agents and trading houses.

Co-organiser and chikan manufacturer Mansoor Lari said that Chikankari is suffering from imbalanced branding & marketing. Chikan fabric needs improved product development & design for attaining a better position in the market. Machine-made imitation of chikankari from China is giving competition to the Chikan industry in India. Due to low prices, this machine-made imitation has flooded the international market considerably.

He also talked about the facility of creating a virtual chikan sample for offshore buyers, in which an online fashion show can be created where models wear the designs. This facility can save a lot of cost and time and the buyers can easily see the products worn by models and will also help to create a better impact.

The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Institute of Kanpur has urged the state government of Uttar Pradesh to facilitate talks with leading retailers such as Pantaloons, Shoppers Shop and Reliance Retail to showcase Chikan products.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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