Hewa’s International Home Textile Summit in Varanasi sparks global collaboration and innovation

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Varanasi (India), September 30: Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s esteemed parliamentary constituency, recently hosted the International Home Textile Summit (IHTS). The Summit witnessed the convergence of international buyers hailing from Libya, Russia, Iran, Yemen, Canada, and various other nations. In addition to these esteemed guests, the summit saw the active participation of industry professionals, fashion designers, brand experts, manufacturers, and local artisans, all of whom came together to exchange unique ideas, experiences, and invaluable suggestions.

HEWA (Home Textile Exporter’s Welfare Association) with the support of the Ministry of MSME, Government of India Organized the International Home Textile Summit at the prestigious HHI Hotel, Varanasi on 23rd September 2023. Bharat 24 news channel was the media partner and Textile Value Chain was the knowledge partner for this Summit. The summit showcased India’s rich cultural tapestry and diversity, earning praise from international buyers. Beyond cultural appreciation, this summit served as a platform for Indian textile manufacturers and local artisans to explore international business opportunities and directly engage with overseas buyers. The summit commenced on a high note with an inspiring speech by HEWA President Anant Srivastava, who eloquently highlighted India’s unique cultural diversity and democratic values.

The Summit was inaugurated by Chief Guest Hon’ble Cabinet Minister Shri Anil Rajbhar Government of Uttar Pradesh and Hon’ble Minister of State Dr. Daya Shankar Mishra Government of Uttar Pradesh, who shared their valuable insights during this International Home Textile summit. Adding to the prestige of the Summit, Former Hon’ble Union Railway and Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, a prominent Guest of Honor, virtually motivated Indian MSMEs.

Prabhu lauded HEWA President Anant Srivastava and VP Vikas Singh Chauhan for their tireless efforts in promoting textile exports from India and for bridging the gap between manufacturers, small artisans, and international buyers through this extraordinary International Textile Summit. Minister Prabhu underscored that this summit, held in the sacred city of Varanasi, represents a significant step toward positioning India as a global leader in the textile industry.

The inaugural session of the summit featured international buyers such as Ms. Olga from Russia, who shed light on the opportunities and challenges of doing business with the Russian market. Ms. Olga highlighted Russia’s substantial market potential and its affinity for Indian products while also addressing unique challenges related to banking and currency exchange.

Adil from Libya emphasized Libya’s strategic geographical location, positioning it as a business gateway to Africa. Libya currently imports over $100 million worth of textiles from China and Turkey, with Indian contributions totaling less than $4 million. Adil emphasized the superior quality and unique designs of Indian products, emphasizing the role of summits like these in enhancing trade relations between the two nations.

Zahra from Iran echoed similar sentiments, recognizing the potential of Indian textile products while acknowledging Turkey and China’s dominant presence in the Iranian market. She suggested organizing more such events in India and Iran to elevate the visibility of Indian products and proposed Chabahar port as an ideal warehousing location, serving as a gateway to the entire CIS region.

The primary focus of this International summit was to foster collaboration between international buyers and manufacturers, enabling them to collectively address challenges and devise innovative solutions. The sessions not only delved into the issues and unique challenges faced by MSMEs but also featured insights from industry experts, brand specialists, fashion designers, bloggers, and storytelling experts.

Brand and marketing expert Pawan Thukral emphasized the potential for MSMEs to achieve tenfold growth through effective branding and marketing strategies. He stressed the importance of industry-wide education on branding, the creation of suitable infrastructure, and establishing a global presence through collaborative efforts to enhance India’s market contribution and profitability.

Namrata Soni, a woman entrepreneur and textile producer from Ahmedabad, showcased her unique products crafted from waste agricultural materials. She shared the marketing challenges she encounters and commended the International Textile Summit organized by HEWA and supported by the Ministry of MSME, Govt of India. Such platforms empower MSME manufacturers to directly present their products to international buyers.

Renowned fashion designer Amandeep Kaur emphasized that the fusion of fashion with comfort, sustainability, and relatability holds the key to success. She celebrated India’s diverse textile and craft traditions, highlighting the need for sustainable practices to address pollution and climate crises.

One of the summit’s distinctive features was the extensive participation of women entrepreneurs, both from India and overseas. Anshika Gupta, representing the shipping and logistics sector, shared insights into overcoming logistical and shipping challenges, especially in the season-driven textile industry, where timely shipments are crucial.

Supply chain and textile expert Pratap Chauhan drew attention to issues such as delivery delays and emphasized the importance of sustainability across the entire value chain, from fiber to fashion. He also advocated for greater involvement of women entrepreneurs and underscored the significance of infrastructure improvements.

Nilesh Phofaliya from Solapur recommended the establishment of training centers for women, aimed at increasing their participation in the textile sector, particularly in skilled workmanship and entrepreneurship.

Senior Journalist Rajneesh Dixit highlighted the significance of social media marketing, also referred to as digital marketing and e-marketing, during the summit. He emphasized how this platform allows businesses to establish robust social networks, strengthen product brands, and drive sales growth effectively.

The summit celebrated the cultural richness and uniqueness of Varanasi, a city renowned for its handmade products such as carpets and silk sarees.

Mr. Mohammed Tanveer, Director of a prestigious textile magazine, emphasized the importance of forming small clusters within the industry. He highlighted that collaborative efforts among industry players, rather than isolated endeavors, create unique opportunities to target larger overseas buyers. Such collaboration fosters synergy and enables smaller entities to access global markets more effectively.

Dr. Amit Nagpal, a distinguished storytelling expert and blogger, stressed the significance of digital and social marketing in the textile industry. Dr. Nagpal commended organizations like the Home Textile Exporters’ Welfare Association (HEWA) for their commendable support of entrepreneurs and exporters. HEWA’s initiatives, including market trend education, facilitating networking with buyers, and providing platforms for product showcases in international exhibitions, contribute to the growth of home textile exports and serve as an exemplary model for other export sectors.

Vikas Singh Chauhan, Vice President of HEWA, shared insights on how India can compete with China in the textile industry. He underscored the importance of exporting value-added products rather than raw materials, leading to increased monetary returns and branding opportunities. He also highlighted the various steps taken by the Government of India to promote exports.

The International Home Textile Summit stands as a testament to the potential and dedication of the Indian textile community. The summit was a remarkable platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and solutions, promising a brighter future for the textile sector. The insights gained during this summit will be instrumental in shaping the industry’s path ahead.

More than 200 MSMEs participants took part in the summit including foreign delegates and speakers.

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