‘We hope to double workforce in handmade carpet sector’ – Mr Jain

June 08, 2009 - India

The carpet industry despite the downturn is on a high and is projecting a growth of 8-10 percent in this year. This is hoped to be achieved on a surge in demand from the domestic markets and development of new export markets along with producing cheaper and newer varieties of carpets. Fibre2fashion spoke exclusively to Mr Ashok Jain, Chairman, Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) and Director of Nupur Carpets to understand the positive sentiments carried by the carpet sector of achieving 8-10 percent growth in face of adverse circumstances in the global markets.

We began by asking him his take on the expectations of touching 8-10 percent growth in the current fiscal, to which Mr Jain said, “Our handmade carpet industry is suffering a lot in the present circumstances due to global recession and economic slowdown continuing in the entire world and one can very well understand that a carpet is one of the last items of necessities or priorities of life. Though, it is quite difficult to comment anything on the issue of growth at this stage but I am positive and am of the opinion that our handmade carpet industry should post 8-10% growth in the current financial year. We must be positive towards our goals and must make all out efforts towards achieving growth of 8-10%. Therefore, we have to look for new items of floor coverings, which might be cheaper and within the range of common man and I am sure that this attempt will bring fruitful results for our carpet industry”.

Next we asked him as to how the sector expected to reach this growth figure to which he said, “Our council must make all possible efforts with the help of Government to find out more opportunities in other countries like Latin America, South America, South Africa, Russia, Gulf Countries etc., and to explore and achieve success in new markets, our council is determined to hold buyer-seller meets, arranging exhibitions etc. and apart from this, we do also organize two fairs in India; one in New Delhi in the month of February and the other fair in Varanasi in the month of October. Forthcoming Carpet Fair in Varanasi will be held from 3-6 October, 2009. For these fairs, we do invite customers from all over the world and offer them some attractive packages like free air tickets and free hotel stay in India etc.”

He added by saying, “Now, we are concentrating more on new markets, since, we have limited means, therefore, we try to accommodate first buyers from new markets and later on, from the existing markets and this will also produce fruitful results to increase our business. You may be aware that 80% of world market for carpets & floor coverings has been grabbed by the machine made carpets, which is cheaper than handmade carpets, and thus, we have to think seriously as to how we can increase the demand of handmade carpets by taking a share of machine made carpets, so we have to develop cheap range items and also create awareness amongst consumers that if they buy handmade rugs, they provide livelihood to weavers”.

To conclude the interview, we asked him to foresee the future of the carpet sector, to which he said, “As far as the future is concerned, I am confident that it will be quite good as our council is making best possible efforts, and we will confidently be able to grab a share of machine made carpets. In the Carpet Export Promotion Council, we are conducting massive programmes on brand promotion of Indian handmade carpets in worldwide markets. We are starting from the markets of US and EU and thereafter, to other markets. We have presently 2.5 million people engaged in our industry and we hope to double it to 5 million in the next five years time, as such, there is no second thought about future of our handmade carpet industry”.