The Varanasi Hewa International Home Textile Summit fosters worldwide cooperation and innovation

On September 23, 2023, the International Home Textile Summit was held at the famous HHI Hotel in Varanasi, with the cooperation of the Ministry of MSME, Government of India


Varanasi: The International Home Textile Summit (IHTS) was recently held in Varanasi, the prestigious parliamentary constituency of the Prime Minister. International customers from countries as diverse as Libya, Russia, Iran, Yemen, and Canada gathered in one place for the Summit. In addition to these VIPs, the summit also attracted industry executives, fashion designers, brand experts, manufacturers, and local craftspeople, who all came together to share their perspectives, insights, and advice.

On September 23, 2023, the International Home Textile Summit was held at the famous HHI Hotel in Varanasi, with the cooperation of the Ministry of MSME, Government of India. This summit’s knowledge partner was the Textile Value Chain, and Bharat 24 was the media partner. International purchasers were impressed by the summit’s presentation of India’s cultural richness. This summit was an opportunity for Indian textile producers and local craftspeople to network with customers from across the world and learn about new markets. A powerful statement by HEWA President Anant Srivastava, who eloquently emphasised India’s distinctive cultural variety and democratic principles, set the tone for the rest of the summit.

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 opened the International Home Textile Summit and provided insightful remarks. Former Hon’ble Union Railway and Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, a prominent Guest of Honour, virtually motivated Indian MSMEs and praised the efforts of HEWA President Anant Srivastava and VP Vikas Singh Chauhan to promote textile exports from India and to bridge the gap between manufacturers, small artisans, and international buyers at this extraordinary International Textile Summit. Minister Prabhu emphasised that the summit in the holy city of Varanasi is a major milestone in establishing India as a world leader in the textile sector.

Ms. Olga, a Russian buyer, was among the foreign attendees at the summit’s opening session, where she discussed the advantages and disadvantages of conducting business in Russia. Ms. Olga addressed the special difficulties of doing business in Russia by discussing the country’s large consumer base and its preference for Indian goods.

Adil of Libya highlighted his country’s advantageous location, touting it as a commercial crossroads for the continent of Africa. Over $100 million worth of textiles are imported from China and Turkey into Libya annually, with India’s contribution at less than $4 million. Adil highlighted the importance of summits like this in strengthening commercial ties between India and the United States, praising the high quality and innovative designs of Indian goods.

Zahra from Iran agreed, saying that she saw promise in Indian textiles but that she also understood the dominance of Turkish and Chinese goods in the Iranian market. She advocated Chabahar port as an excellent warehouse site, functioning as a gateway to the whole CIS area, and urged holding more similar events in India and Iran to increase the profile of Indian goods.

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.