SA craft exhibitors score in India

The South African companies who exhibited at the 32nd  India International Trade Fair  in New Delhi last week were said to have got more than what they had bargained.

A statement released by the department of trade and industry (DTI) said the products were  flying out of the shelves just after the opening of the South African pavilion by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe on Wednesday. Most of the thirty-three crafters recorded unexpectedly high volumes of sales.

“The first stock of products I packed before the exhibition began was sold out on the first day and I had to pack more stock. I brought thirty boxes of hand-painted ceramic products weighing 500kg. My dinner sets are more popular with the people who are visiting my stand,” said Ms Julia Kunstler of Randburg, Gauteng.

Mr Cilo Mdagane of Sebokeng, Gauteng said four of his most expensive wire classic cars were sold in the first two days. But he was not apprehensive about the possibility of running out of stock well before the gates of the fair are closed November 27. He works at the stand during the day putting beads to the wire cars and lizards on rare occasions that his stand does not have visitors. He does more of this in the evening to make sure that he has more stock for the duration of the exhibition.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Mr Jabulani Mhlambini doubted if he would have sufficient stock to last him to the end of the show as a businessman came to his stand on the first day and took a sizeable number of his ceramic dishes, bowls and trays.

Ms Grace Ngobeni of Limpopo said her traditional beaded dolls, necklaces and bags caught the imagination of the visitors who cleaned her first batch of stock out of the shelves.

“Fortunately, I brought enough stock and have managed to replenish my stand,” said Ngobeni.

Mr Aaron Ndaba of Riverlea, Gauteng, said more than 75 of his pendants which are made of polyester thread were sold in the first two days of the exhibition.

“I have also been fortunate that instead of worrying about returning home with unsold stock, I have clinched a deal with one of the visitors who will come here on the penultimate day of the fair and buy all of the stock that will be left by then,” said  Ndaba.

The South African exhibitors said they were happy to make good sales at the exhibition even though their major objective was to get big and long-term orders which would see their travel to India impact positively their areas in South Africa by creating jobs for people who will be required to service the orders.

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