Industry Mission to India Creates Positive Vibes
From Jan 28th to Feb 1st, an industry mission representing the BC Interior/Alberta, Eastern Canadian hardwood and BC Coast lumber; plywood/OSB; and the BC wholesale sectors journeyed to New Delhi to participate in a program of merchant and site visits and attend the DelhiWood show.
Central to facilitating and hosting the visit were staff at the recently established Forestry Innovation Consulting India (FII) office based out of Mumbai. Country Director Kant Singh, marketing director Zoish Bengali and technical specialist Brian Leslie did an excellent job at pulling together an interesting program for the Canadian visitors. Viney Gupta trade commissioner at the Canadian High Commission organized an excellent evening reception for the delegation and members of the Indian trade.
Tours of sawmills and remanufacturing facilities were eye opening and emerging pressures on the Indian trade such as diminishing supplies of tropical hardwoods better understood. Product knowledge and education on Canadian species, their properties and Canada’s environmental reputation will be critical to positioning our products in the nascent Indian market for softwoods. Canadian mill sales reps who had previously done business with India from a distance had a chance to meet major customers face-to-face for the first time. The well-rounded industry contingent fielded enquiries from a wide array of merchants and users at the DelhiWood show. Indian traders were receptive to commercial overtures and Canada established its credentials as new supplier going forward.
Although early days for Canadian softwoods in India, the competitive landscape is now better appreciated and opportunities more evident than before. February 21-25, 2014 sees the next major wood show being held in Bangalore, southern India. Any mill sale representatives wanting to acquire knowledge of the Indian market would be advised to consider attending this show. In the meantime FII India is well placed to support industry enquiries and market research is being generated on a regular basis. Recent reports can be found here – http://www.bcfii.ca/tools-resources/market-research/research-by-market/india/ and requests to FII Vancouver by eligible recipients will enable downloading authorization to be issued.
Here are some photos from the misison: