Global brands brought together
  • IR
  • IR
  • IR
Global brands brought together

The world renowned footwear Expo Riva Schuh is in India for the first time. Mr. Roney Simon, MD, Italian Exposition Pvt. Ltd & Overseas Director, FICCI for Italy, the chief engineer, who has brought about this initiative gives a lowdown of what can be expected out of the event.

Aadeetya Sriram (AS): How did the concept of Expo Riva Schuh come into being? How did an Italian initiative make its way into India?

Roney Simon (RS):  The Expo Riva Schuh is one of the largest shoe fairs in Italy in what we consider street-smart shoes. The fair is spread across 31,000sq. mt of area, where we have 41 countries participating in the fair, exhibiting at the fair, and 101 countries visit the fair. It’s by far the most successful fair in footwear. The volume of companies participating at the Expo Riva Schuh is the highest compared to any other fair happening across the world or India. The Garda Fair, as it is popularly known, is like a permanent destination because more than 150-200 companies from India participate twice a year, where they book their orders for the whole year.  So the idea borne out of the fact that India does not have any credible fair in the finished goods area. With China forging its mark in the market, one of the ways to promote India is to bring world-class events & happenings to our own country, bringing in international brands and seeking attention of the global market.  The Expo Riva Schuh is here by invitation, which means that the entire industry who exhibit at the Riva Del Garda in Italy, have approached us with the possibilities of organising the fair.

AS: How does your trade show function?

RS: The basic purpose of organising the event in India is to showcase the global market the sort of potential the country has, as well as to make them interested in venturing out and building up their base in the country in the near future. The Expo Riva Schuh is definite to guarantee world-class expertise. We are lending our know-how, and we are convinced that India is a great partnership country; we want to make our presence felt all around the globe and portray India as a lucrative destination for top international brands. We just don’t want to be a trade fair, instead we want to be a trade catalyst, helping brining in quality, knowledge of trends etc.

AS: How do you view the current Indian footwear industry? Which direction is it moving?

RS: The Indian footwear industry has nothing to fear with regards to the international market, we have some of highly capable people and companies in the industry, who have doing a fine job, we are just lacking in terms of experience, the connectivity, where we believe Expo Riva Schuh will come into its own. We are just a couple of steps behind from being a developing market to developed market. It has definitely taken us some time in coming to India, but we believe now that we are here, the Indian shoes industry and manufacturer s will make sure that within 5-10 yrs they will be among the renowned markets in the world.

AS: How does the trend of fashion in the foreign countries differ with the Indian market?

RS: It’s difficult to talk about trends in a market where we are just settling in. Brands need to provide footwear at a competitive price, which will be separating you from the other players in the market. We have the low-cost country advantage, but we also need to inculcate productivity, which actually is a sub-product of design. The footwear industry is going to transform into leather and footwear fashion industry, and we will make sure that we dictate the trends to the brands in the country. In order to reach the levels of Italian footwear industry, we have to struggle a lot, but the most important aspect is the urge and enthusiasm that is amongst the brands to fulfill such an aspiration.

AS: How do manufacturers benefit from participating in this event?

RS:  This is a platform to meet people and thus save on cost of travelling abroad. Also the domestic players can identify the particular domestic customer as the Indian market is expanding by leaps and bounds; the dealers get the chance to interact and undertake bulk orders, which in totality will help the Indian economy as footwear industry prosper. Also the international brands will be coming in with a view to establish themselves in the country in the form of joint-partnerships with Indian players, which in turn will open up avenues for brands from everywhere, offering the consumer a whole new varied choice of footwear in India.







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