Asif Rahman, CEO, Insigne Carpets

Sharing around 40 per cent of worldwide export of handmade carpets, Indian carpet industry is one of the significant entities in foreign trade for the hand knotted carpet from India is much sought after commodity in western markets. As pandemic hit the exports, Asif Rahman, CEO, Insigne Carpets, who is credited with making a legacy in carpet making & design reflects upon the facilities to put up Carpet manufacturing factories to support auxiliaries and the attention industry requires to be perceived as contributor to exports.

Indian Rugs Market is segmented by various kinds of tufted, woven, hand-knotted Carpets and rugs, kindly elaborate about the range of carpets you deal in?
We deal in almost any and every type of carpets that can possibly be made in the industry.

How do you leverage the innovative technology and digitization to explore the potential buyers in such competitive global markets ?
We have been able to explore digitization to a greater scope with various media platforms across the globe, for instance our website is available to view in widely spoken language in almost every continent. We have been able to spread our wings in few small countries with good management of social media platform. Innovation in carpet is all game of mental awareness and deep understanding. Technologically India is far behind from rest of the world.

Almost 90% of the carpets produced in India are exported, who are potential buyers overseas and what factors drive the demand of carpets and rugs globally?
The Americas, Middle East and Europe are already statistically major importers of Indian carpets and we see demand in the Russian continent catching up as well. Demand for Indian carpets currently is driven with the requirement for motifs and colors (woven carpets) which are specialty of Indian labor. Apart from these Indian carpets are cheaper than China & Thailand products and hence are appreciated by the lower to mid value segment projects across the globe.

As Covid 19 has profoundly impacted export import business, how do you perceive its impact on carpet exports?
Carpet Exports have been hit bad as a Export commodity. When world economies will look up our Export Industry will see a rise in demand as well- specially from the USA. This industry needs to have more opportunities to grow and then we can see a major demand for Indian carpets globally.

Carpet manufacturing is highly labour intensive and still comes in the informal sector, suggest some measures to further boost trade and ways to explore the developing markets besides USA and Europe.
1. Companies are unaware/unclear on how trade relations with different countries help the export of carpets. Importer is unable to take advantage since Carpet comes under Textile Industry but is essentially a type of floor covering. Even the HS codes for Export are unclear.
2. Structuring of this sector is important. Carpet Industry needs structuring into mid vale Exporters/ High Value Exporters and SME. Currently, all firms are listed under SME as per Govt declared norms.
3. Illiteracy is very high in this industry due to which it remains labour intensive. We need to educate workers & skill them with on job courses related to certain identified skills such has- Tufting techniques, Latex varieties and chemical composition, weaving techniques etc.
4. Formal courses on technical understanding of global carpet requirement must be undertaken to invite more educated people to take up jobs and uplift this industry to take it to a global platform.

Recently there was a slight upswing, around 5.47 % registered in export. Do you see signs of revival in carpet export in the near future?
Yes, We will definitely see rise in demand of Exports with rise in Travel & Tourism industry. Carpet Export Promotion Council should come up with better Export benefits and easy BRC formalities.

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