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21 January, 2018 12:07:14 AM
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Buoyant mood at DITF

SHARIF AHMED
Buoyant mood at DITF

Exhibitors at the ongoing month-long 23rd Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) are doing brisk business as their sales have picked up with companies and stall owners cutting product prices and offering promotional discounts to thousands of visitors thronging the country’s biggest trade expo.

Food stalls, furniture, kitchenware, electronic gadgets, and clothing are surging ahead in the race to draw visitors with attractive discount offers.

Italiano, a popular melamine brand of the RFL Group, is showcasing its attractively designed products.

Talking to The Independent, Italiano’s senior brand manager Fahim Hossain said, “We have brought 110 completely new and exclusive products to this fair. We are offering 15 per cent discount on all general products and up to 50 per cent discount on some of the exclusive products.”

Describing the product categories, Fahim said Italiano was displaying its 2,000 traditional colourful and diversified melamine products in 27 categories including plates, bowls, spoons, mugs, cups, saucer sets, diner sets, soup sets, and gift sets of various designs.

The melamine brand had introduced 110 new products specifically at this fair. In addition, it was offering a maximum of 25 per cent discount to customers, he said.  

Moreover, Winner brand hotpots, flasks, tiffin-carriers, various types of water bottles, and books, pens, exercise books, and drawing books of the Good Luck Brand were also on display at the pavilion, he informed.

Nadia, a local furniture brand, has brought 80–85 new products at this fair to gauge customer response. Talking to The Independent, Nadia sales manager Hedayetullah Mamun said the company was offering three solutions such as furniture for households and businesses, interior design solutions for studio apartments and providing ideas for office decoration.

About discounts being offered, Hedayetullah said, “We are giving 5 to 20 per cent discount, depending on the product category. This special discount is only for the fair.”

Talking about his company’s line of business, he said, “Our main target is to provide small-space solutions. That’s why we have brought here 16 types of sofa sets to decorate and provide solutions to households and businesses.”

When asked about the price, Hedayetullah said, “Prices of ‘Beds’ start from Tk 23,000 and go up to Tk 70,000. On the other hand, we are selling standard tables in the range of Tk 9,000 to 20,000. Sofa set prices are between Tk 62,000 and Tk 110,000.”

Among all the products, bedroom sets were so far the most saleable, Hedayetullah added.

On interior design solutions, he said, “Our solutions tackle common problems of decorating the small living rooms of studio apartments. A small-room layout and design will help turn your troubled living room into one with a divine design in no time.”

“The prime target of Nadia has always been the middle class and upper middle class. This year, we are expecting an upward trend in sales in the end week,” Hedayetullah said.

About the challenges, he said, “We pay 35 to 40 per cent import tax on raw materials of this sector, and this must be reduced.”

SME pavilion

The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) pavilion has showcased various types of products to attract buyers.

The SME pavilion is displaying products associated with Bangladesh’s culture such as handicrafts, leather goods, jute products, plastic products, traditional ‘Shatranji carpets’ of Rangpur, Jamdani and muslin saris, wedding saris, boutique products and attractive hand-made clothing.

The Stall No. 20 is that of Jermatz Limited. The company's managing director Ismat Jerin Khan stared her SME business in 2010.

When asked about the price of her products, she said the prices of Jamdani saris had a range of Tk 3,000 to Tk 50,000. Besides, Muffler was selling at Tk 200–300, baskets from Tk 60 to 800, bags from Tk100 to 400, and shawls between Tk 300 and Tk 1,000.

Jewellery items had a price range of Tk 300 to Tk 600, said Ismat Zerin.

Explaining some of Jermatz jute products, she said, “Our jute products include bags, shopping bags, ladies’ bags, comb bags and 20 other types of bags of various designs.

She added, “We also produce multi-purpose jute products. Our organization produces products such as table mats and baskets made of jute.”

Elaborating on the challenges, Khan said: “We don’t have adequate design labs to produce innovative colours for jute products to suit buyers’ demands.”

When asked whether her company’s products were being exported, she said, “We export products to different countries including Germany and other European countries. After a few days, we will take part in the Frankfurt Fair in Germany.”  

However, she had a complaint about the space allotted to her at the DITF. “Since our pavilion is tucked away at the back, most customers and visitors don’t know that we are sitting here with lots of exclusive products at one corner of the fair.”

She also had a few suggestions. “We have to expand our domestic products in this fair, because one of the main objectives of a trade fair is to make domestic products popular abroad.”

Marketing director of the PRAN-RFL Group, Kamruzzaman Kamal, said, “Italiano has become popular because of its attractive designs and colours. Our goal is to make Italiano’s products more popular as an alternative to ceramic products and make them affordable for all.”

“Italiano has also created its demand beyond the country. Our products are being exported to 30 countries including Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada and USA,” he added.

Walton, a local electronic and home appliance manufacturing brand, has a beautifully decorated pavilion displaying various products.

Shafiqul Alam, in-charge of the Walton pavilion, said the brand was offering some exclusive products like laptops, mobile phones and eco-friendly LED lights at the fair.

Walton has launched a mobile phone named ‘Made in Bangladesh’ which costs Tk 3,999 at the fair, he said.   

Foreign participants

The participating foreign pavilions are mostly from Turkey, Thailand, India and Nepal. Different kinds of items such as jewellery, Kashmiri shawls, Turkish melamine, and gifts sets for kids are attracting visitors.

The Nepalese pavilions are showcasing products such as jeans, Nepali shawls, and hats (Tupi). A sales representative at a Nepalese stall said on condition of anonymity said the price of Nepali shawls started from Tk 950 and topis from Tk 200.  

Indian stalls are selling shawls in large numbers. The sales person of a stall said, “Kashmiri shawls are drawing customers’ attention because of the severe cold this winter.”

He said shawls of various prices were available at his stall. “Most of them are between Tk 2,800 and Tk 3,200.”

When asked about export orders, deputy director of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Mohammad Abdur Rouf told The Independent, “We expect to get export orders of Tk 150 crore in 2018, whereas it was Tk 143 crore in year 2017.”

On December 1, 1995, DITF began its journey to showcase export quality goods that are being produced in Bangladesh. Since then, the number of visitors to the fair has grown exponentially.

Organisers say 17 foreign countries are participating in the show through 44 pavilions and stalls.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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