From jewellery to clothes, Indian expo a shopper’s delight for Karachi women

Published: December 14, 2013
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Indian traders exhibit brightly coloured fabrics that have been weaved using traditional methods. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

Indian traders exhibit brightly coloured fabrics that have been weaved using traditional methods. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: If you want to get your hands on some Indian jewellery or clothes, head down to the Karachi Expo Centre, where businesses from across the border are exhibiting their products.

The three-day Indian Expo started on Friday but failed to attract a huge crowd. “It is first day of the exhibition but we hope a vast crowd will turn up over the weekend,” hoped fashion and jewellery designer from Ludhiyana Voila Kapoor Aditya. The jewellery at her stall, which includes various kinds of stones, ranges from Rs1,200 to Rs100,000.

The exhibition, which is being supported by the Federation of Indian Exporting Organisation (FIEO) in collaboration with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), was inaugurated by the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, TCA Raghavan. KCCI president Siraj Qasim Teeli and vice-president Amin Motivala were also present.

A Mumbai-based jewellery designer, Asma Maniar, 22, said that Indian jewellery is not only available at reasonable prices but the quality is good as well. “We received great response last year that encouraged us to exhibit again in Karachi,” she added.

What motivates this group of traders to leave their homes? We want to revive ethnic traditional art that existed years ago, for example, fabric weaving and spinning and bring them to Pakistan,” explained Sunil Vaid, 55. Vaid is a fashion designer and artist based in Delhi and is also a committee member of the World Batik Council. His products can be bought for anywhere between Rs700 and Rs3,500.

Around two dozen stalls were set up at the exhibition but jewellery and clothes remained the centre of attraction for women. Apart from these popular ones, some traders were also looking for buyers of Ayurvedic products and herbs, such as ispaghol, flax seed, kalongi, yellow mustard,mukhwas, chooran, pickles, surgical appliances, perfumes, different types of Indian oil and shampoo that the companies claimed will help with quick hair growth.

“Ayurvedic products are very popular in India because they are effective, affordable and made with natural herbs,” said Pardeep Cholayil, adding that the company would like to introduce such products to Pakistan and is looking for distributors. “Our soaps help fix skin problems, blemishes, soften and brighten skin and the result is visible after a person uses three soaps,” he claimed.

Sterimed director Sarabjot Singh, 54, showed a disposable surgical medical device. “I don’t think such products are manufactured in Pakistan so we wish to introduce them here and are looking for channel partners,” he said.

The exhibition will conclude on Sunday, and the companies are hoping to sell all their products by them so they don’t have to take them back to India.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Mirza
    Dec 14, 2013 - 2:38AM

    Trade, cultural exchanges and open contacts are the only way forward. It may be the first step in the right direction.

    Recommend

  • Waz
    Dec 14, 2013 - 7:02AM

    Looks like the Pakistanis are just not interested in Indian goods anymore. Long gone is the fascination with Indian cuisine, bollywood and now Indian made clothes/jewellery etc. I just want to say to all my Indian friends that contrary to popular perception, Pakistanis are not as enamored with India and it’s culture to the same extent as what it was with the previous generation.

    The current Pakistani generation tends to gain its inspiration from Turkey, Middle East, Malaysia and North Africa. This is the hard fact and all this shows is that we (Pakistanis) have moved on from the India centric focus we have had and more closely identify ourselves with our Arab and North African brothers more so than our Indian neighbors due to religious, cultural and other reasons.

    Peace to everyone

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  • MK
    Dec 14, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @Waz: Good for you..although the trick is in being self inspired. identifying with yourself and not with arabs who will never accept you. Market yourself well and you may stand on your feets, maybe.

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  • MK
    Dec 14, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @Waz: Good for you..although the trick is in being self inspired. identifying with yourself and not with arabs who will never accept you. Market yourself well and you may stand on your feets, maybe.

    Recommend

  • Guru
    Dec 14, 2013 - 11:51PM

    @Waz:
    But your african brothers are not considered you peoples like one of them ?Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 16, 2013 - 10:28AM

    Very well said Waz! To MK and Guru, its not about acceptance but inspiration.

    Recommend

  • Dec 16, 2013 - 6:05PM

    @Ali:
    going to turkey saudi and uae for driving and menial jobs. sending money back so that bankrupt country can be run on steroids

    Recommend

  • someone
    Dec 16, 2013 - 6:34PM

    @Waz:
    Indeed you guys are fascinated with your other “Muslim” fellows. What you guys can’t differentiate between is religion and culture. Any way i was wondering with so much inspiration from so many other Islamic countries, now would Pakistani men and women start dressing, eating, listen to music like those countries because as long as your national language is Urdu and you dress like you do, you would always be considered to be inspired by “Indian” culture.

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  • genesis
    Dec 16, 2013 - 9:34PM

    The total population of all those countries mentioned by Mr.Waz will not reach 25% of India’s population or potential as a market.But then if business beckons you you should go and good luck to you!

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  • Indian Reader
    Jan 6, 2014 - 6:29AM

    @Waz:
    Who cares ! Indians are more interested in countries like UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, USA, Russia and Australia.

    Recommend

  • DaNuPak
    Jan 6, 2014 - 11:21AM

    As a mater of fact the source of Old Indian cultural inspiration was adults who had memories of united Sub-Continent from British Raj. As that old generation is passing on and away and the new generation has open world to get the new ideas from, its making its own mind. I don’t think there is stuff in Pak markets from other Muslim or Middle eastern or even African countries that we target or get inspiration from but only from far East, Europe & Americas. We are as Indian as the land under our feet is. Our food maybe inspired from meat loving Muslim or other countries but our inspirations & life style is typical of Indus Valley. Indian producers if study Pak trends closely I doubt they if they can’t cater to new emerging markets here. There is no doubt we are little bit more fond of latest trends than our neighbors. You can just walk in our markets and try to bring that stuff and we are in business. But IyurVedic & Incense stuff is sure a thing of the past here along with many natural dye & fabric styles, history books or old cultural symbols.

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