India Sourcing Masterclass: Best Practices when Sourcing from India with Meghla Bhardwaj and Margaret Jolly

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Culture, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

In this episode, we’ll uncover the compelling reasons why you should consider India as your next sourcing destination, from its rich tradition of handcrafted goods to its eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Join us as we explore the incredible variety of products, materials, and opportunities available in this thriving marketplace. Whether you’re a seasoned seller or just starting your e-commerce journey, you won’t want to miss this deep dive into India’s sourcing potential. Let’s jump right in!

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduction

    Introducing soeakers: Meghla Bhardwaj & Margaret Jolly

  • Why Consider Sourcing from India

    India offers unique handcrafted products, low MOQs, English-speaking suppliers, and no additional tariffs. Eco-friendly materials and lower labor costs make it an attractive sourcing option.

  • Differences Between India and China

    While both India and China are significant players in the global manufacturing landscape, there are distinct differences that make India a unique and increasingly attractive sourcing destination. Here, we delve deeper into these distinctions.

  • Unique Indian Products

    India offers diverse fabric techniques, eco-friendly materials like cork and cactus leather, recycled products, distinctive metal and wooden items, creative pet products, and trendy macrame and furnishings.

  • Explore Sourcing in India Through Our Guided Trips

    Join our India sourcing trips for an immersive experience in discovering unique products, visiting artisan workshops, and building valuable supplier relationships.

  • Conclusion

    Recap of key points discussed in the episode and an invitation for listeners to join our India sourcing trips or reach out for further assistance and questions.

  • Question & Answer

    Open the floor for questions from the audience.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Meghla Bhardwaj and Margaret Jolly for sharing their invaluable insights and expertise, paving the way for successful sourcing adventures in India

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Meghla’s VIP Page
Margaret’s VIP Page
India Sourcing
India Sourcing Trip
√ Cross Border Summit November 16-17, 2023
√ Visit our GFA partner –  Mercury  – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss
√ Visit our GFA partner –  Casia Cross Better Logistics  – for your logistics needs

Episode Length 57:10

A big thank you to Meghla Bhardwaj and Margaret Jolly for their expertise, and to our listeners for tuning in to explore the world of sourcing in India!

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Episode 410 of Global From Asia. We’re talking about India. I’m walking around in KL. Let’s do this. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice. And now, your host, Michael Michelini. Austin, how’s it going, buddy?

Hey, what’s going on? Welcome to Malaysia. Yeah, we’re at the Nomad [00:00:30] Capitalist Live. No video inside, so… Beautiful view today. Amazing, right? Yeah, amazing. I’ve been to KL like one time before. I think, with my wife. We’re considering moving here, but we picked Thailand over KL, uh, Malaysia. But, yeah. Today’s show, we’re going into India.

We had a great webinar, masterclass with Meghla. And Mark from indiasourcing. net and they give [00:01:00] us some great value about buying from factories in India and sourcing and logistics and of course they have an amazing trip they’re doing in October which would be great if you can make it, support them and get some experience on the ground in India.

So let’s tune into the show. Alright we have Tommy, the sales manager at CrossBetter Logistics. How are you Tommy? Hi. And I’m Mark. We just got to meet here in Shenzhen, China. It’s great. Uh, they support the show at Global from Asia and that we also use them ourself for [00:01:30] many of our brands and e-commerce businesses.

And Tommy really caress. They always are, uh, trying to help us save money. You know, not, you have some products you keep for us in China. You have some products you keep for us in the US warehouse. And, uh, I really appreciate that. And you’ll, you can talk to this seller, right? You can give them your advice.

You work with many Chinese sellers a lot, right? And, uh, you can help, um, help the sellers understand more. Yeah, we are [00:02:00] very professional for the shipment to USA and Canada. Also, we have warehouse in USA and Canada. We can help our factories, suppliers, sellers for the shipment. Yeah. Yeah, for the e commerce business.

Yep, and you even keep stuff in China too. So, sometimes if you have the limitations about sending too much to Amazon, you can keep it here in China. Crossbetter, or you can send it, of course, to the U. S. warehouse. They have many different [00:02:30] options, and they’re always trying their best to find, uh, find out what’s the best solution for you.

So definitely talk to Tommy, talk to Crossbetter, and thank you for your, uh, support of the community. Yes, we have good pricing and better service. Thank you. Thank you so much. This is a… Very international webinar people, you know, are, are, are stages full of people from around the world or Asia. And thank you all for tuning in to a Global Formation [00:03:00] Webinar.

We’re going into India sourcing today with my friend Meghla and also Margaret from India Sourcing Network. Thank you so much for making it today. Thank you so much for inviting us, Mike. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, India is a hot topic. I, you know, Meghala, we, I was actually just chatting to someone yesterday or, you know, last week and I think maybe they’re hopefully getting in contact with you.

I mean, more and more people are looking for India, looking for also, you know, other alternatives to, uh, To talk to [00:03:30] mainland China, and I’m really excited for your, your sharing today. We’ll also have time for some Q and a after, but I know you’ve prepared some slides, but maybe before we get into it, do you want to introduce yourselves a little bit more and then start?

Yes, absolutely. So my name is Meghla Parthwaj and I’ve been in the Asia sourcing industry for over 20 years. I started my career in India, then went to the Philippines. I was in China for 10 years. That’s where I met Mike. [00:04:00] And then I was in Singapore for seven years. And then I moved back to India just last year because there’s just so much opportunity and there’s so much potential in terms of, you know, sourcing from India.

So we, you know, Mark, Kevin, uh, a third partner, Kevin and Mark and I, we run India Sourcing Network, and we also run India Sourcing Trip where we help people source products from India. So that business was growing and so I thought, okay, let me move back to India to manage the business and to grow it because this seems like really [00:04:30] a once in a lifetime, you know, opportunity to do something that’s, that’s very different.

So here we are now, which, which part of India are you in? I’m in Delhi, Delhi. Okay, nice. Yeah. Okay. So it’s Marge. I, I, I, or Marge. Marge. Oh, Marge. I usually get that. Marge, Marge. When I was naughty as a child, I got Margaret. So I always… Oh, that’s a naughty… [00:05:00] I mean, I can’t… Yes. No, look, I’ve actually been selling on Amazon since 2017.

I originally started off in China and sort of my world changed because on the way to Canton Fair, I stumbled across an Indian supplier. At the, one of the fairs in Hong Kong and from then on the rest is history. I met Meghla, well she called us and said do I want to come and join her on an India sourcing trip and you know Kevin and I have joined with her [00:05:30] and spent lots of time going back and forth to India and working on India sourcing network and everything else that goes with it.

Amazing, amazing. So happy to have you here. And so I think you’ve prepared some great content for us. I don’t know if you want to get into that. I I’ll hang out here too and help if I can. Absolutely. Let’s get started. So we’ve got some slides. We’ll go over these slides for about 30 minutes, and then we’ve got plenty of time for Q and A as well.[00:06:00]

So let’s get right into it. So the topics that we’re going to be covering today is first of all, why should you consider sourcing from India? Some of the differences between China and India, what types of products you can source, and then we’ll also talk about our upcoming sourcing trip to India, which happens in October.

So introductions, we’ve already done this. Let’s get straight into the first topic, which is why you should consider sourcing from India. So the number one reason why Amazon e commerce sellers should [00:06:30] consider buying products from India is because there are so many different unique products that are available in India that are not available in other countries.

So there are, for example, a ton of handcrafted products that are made in different production hubs. And these handcrafted products are very unique to India because these are skills that have been passed down from one generation to another. And there are skilled artisans that produce these kinds of products.

So they’re, they mostly use natural materials like [00:07:00] wood. Glass, metal, marble, you know, those types of products. And what has happened is that there are a lot of these artisans that are based in these cities, but of course these artisans are not that well educated. They’re good at their craft, but they don’t really understand how to export and what the trends are in export markets.

So there are manufacturers that have set up factories and they understand, you know, they go to the U S and Europe and they exhibit at trade shows and they. They talk to buyers and they understand what types [00:07:30] of products are required in overseas markets. And then they leverage the skills of these artisans to produce those kinds of products that are in demand in the US.

So it’s sort of, you know, also scalable in that way. Because if you just, you know, buy products from say artisans, maybe that’s not scalable. And you need some sort of, you know, professionalism and quality control as well. So these manufacturers, you know, have set up factories. And they leverage the skills of these artisans.

Another advantage is low MOQs. Now, when you’re mostly sourcing from [00:08:00] China, the MOQs can be high, but in India, because a lot of these products are handmade. The MOQs are much lower. So typically for these kinds of products, the MOQ ranges from, you know, 200 to 500 pieces and suppliers also have something that is known as MOV, which is minimum order value.

So they can say that, okay, place an order worth let’s say 5, 000. And you can mix and match SKUs and you can have maybe, you know, four or five different SKUs. And that allows you to test different [00:08:30] SKUs without really investing a ton of money in one specific SKU. The third advantage is English speaking. So most suppliers that you deal with will speak English.

And that is a big advantage because communication becomes so much easier. You can just pick up the phone, have a conversation with them, get on a WhatsApp call, get on a Zoom call. It just becomes much easier and there’s less, there’s less lost in translation. We also have, there are no tariffs, so if you are importing from the U.

S., importing from China into [00:09:00] the U. S., there are of course additional tariffs that are imposed on a lot of different categories, but there are no additional tariffs from India. The normal import duties are about 2 to 8 percent, and for some garments, they may be higher. But generally the types of products that Amazon e commerce sellers are sourcing, the duties range from two to, you know, four to 8 percent maximum.

Eco friendly products. So if you are in this category, then India is a really good. Place to source eco friendly products because there is so much [00:09:30] focus on natural materials Sustainability and producing eco friendly products. There are a lot of companies that are experimenting with new materials For example, there are some companies that produce plant based materials for example Um, you know cactus material or banana fabrics made out of banana fibers Um, and so these types of innovative materials are of course still not mass produced And so the pricing may be slightly higher than regular products, but there is [00:10:00] a niche market for these kinds of you know eco friendly materials and increasingly Adoption of these kinds of materials is going to increase You know in in overseas markets for sure and then there’s other materials like jute cotton india is really really Uh, very competitive in cotton, especially organic cotton and we’ll show you some of the other eco friendly materials in subsequent slides as well lower labor costs now, this is a big advantage, especially if your product is a labor intensive [00:10:30] because currently Labor costs in India are much lower than they are in China.

And I’m just gonna, um, move a couple of slides here so that you can see this, the comparison. So if you see this is 2010 to 2020 20 in China, labor costs in 2020 were 360 US dollars per month. Whereas in India it’s 175 US dollars per month. So that’s a significant difference over there. So if your products.

does require labor labor, you know, work, then it is definitely [00:11:00] more advantageous. You could get better prices in India. Of course, that also depends on material availability and, you know, supply chain, and there are a lot of different factors. But in general, you can get better. prices. And I’ll also show you this one comparison that was done.

So this is a labor cost comparison that was done on bags. And so if in China, the production cost was zero in Vietnam, it was minus 11%. And in India, it was minus 37%. Now this is done for bags, which [00:11:30] is of course, Very labor intensive. It requires cutting and stitching and sewing and, you know, putting on the accessories and all.

So these kinds of products are very competitively priced in India. There are a lot of emerging industries as well. For example, electronics and toys. So one of the advantages of China is that you can. Practically buy anything and everything, you know, in China, they say it’s not a matter of if a product is available, it’s a matter of how much is it available for because they manufacture [00:12:00] everything.

And China is going to remain the main production hub for the world for quite a few years. But, you know, there are other production hubs and gradually China is going to. You know, other countries are going to take market share from China for specific categories. So currently for electronics, China is the only production hub.

Vietnam is coming up where a lot of the big companies are setting up factories and India is coming up as well. There are a lot of, again, bigger MNCs like Samsung, Apple who [00:12:30] have set up factories in India and gradually the supply chain will grow and once the supply chain grows and matures, then there are going to be other OEM type manufacturers that produce products like, you know, power banks and headphones and things like that, consumer electronics.

So that is an industry that will definitely grow in the next couple of years. Mark, is there anything you want to add over here before we move to the next slide? No, I think we’ll cover the rest of the products and things as we go through. I think you’ve done fairly well, Meghla, [00:13:00] if you know this. Cool. So let’s just talk about some of the differences between India and China.

So as I said, India mostly does a lot of unique handmade products. Of course, there are other types of products too. There’s, you know, apparel. India is huge with apparel. Uh, there’s leather products. And there’s a lot of, uh, cosmetics and natural products, natural, you know, herbs, food items, a lot of different products, but handmade products.

We’ve seen Amazon and e commerce sellers have a lot [00:13:30] of success with these types of products. China specializes in mass produced products. Low MOQ in India, higher MOQ in China, mostly more respect for IP. So if you’re sourcing from China, you know that it’s very hard to protect your designs, right? You can have your NNN agreements and you can do whatever you want to, but if a supplier really likes your products and if there is demand for your product in the market, then sooner or later.

Your product will be [00:14:00] copied by either your supplier or somebody else. Um, and you know, they will start selling it directly on Amazon. And that’s mainly because a lot of suppliers in China are selling directly on Amazon. Um, but. In India, currently most factories that you work with, they would still prefer to do B2B.

They would not like to do B2C. And so they’re not selling directly on Amazon. So that is one big advantage. And generally we find that suppliers in India have more respect [00:14:30] for buyers IP. For example, you know, we do a lot of interviews with suppliers in our Facebook group and they, when, when they walk around their showrooms, for example.

They would not show us products from their buyers. They would say that, okay, you know, we have removed products from our, from our, from our buyers, from the showroom, et cetera. So generally more respect for IP. There were labor and production costs. That’s something that we talked about in China. Production costs have been increasing over the last couple of years.

And that’s one of the reasons [00:15:00] why a lot of companies, especially companies that make products that are labor intensive, for example, garments, shoes, those types of companies have been moving out from China to other low cost production hubs, such as, you know, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India. And in fact. The Chinese government themselves, they want China to move up the value chain and produce more high value products, and they want to let go of the low end production to other countries.

No tariffs on importing [00:15:30] from the U. S., but high tariffs from the U. S. in China. Fewer product categories. Now this is a con when sourcing from India. Um, whereas in China you can source anything and everything in India, there are specific categories and we’ll cover those in a bit over here. Now it’s not very easy to find factories online in India, and that’s a challenge.

And that’s why, you know, we have launched all of these services and sourcing trips and our own platform to help people find, identify suppliers. Whereas in [00:16:00] China, most factories are online, especially on Alibaba. And you can just, you know, go online, find them. There’s Canton fair that a lot of people visit as well, but there are lots of suppliers that exhibit, but India does have a fair and we’ll talk about that later.

But in general, Indian suppliers are. Not very good at maintaining their online presence. Now we have a B2B sourcing directory, indiasourcing. net, where you can find vetted suppliers. In fact, Alibaba and Global [00:16:30] Sources, which are the other two main export focused directories, they also have suppliers from India on their platforms.

But of course, there are very few 90 percent of the suppliers of their platforms are Chinese. So if you do want to search for Indian suppliers on those platforms, you can do a search and then use the country location filter to find suppliers from there. There’s not much information available online about how to source from India.

So, you know, we’re really the only group out there talking [00:17:00] about sourcing from India, because it’s just so You know, new and people have not ventured into India yet. So it’s, it’s, there’s not a lot of information available, whereas, you know, for China, there’s so many blogs and tutorials and experts that really talk about sourcing from China.

So that is an advantage I feel for the, for the more bolder people out there, bolder entrepreneurs who would, you know, want to go travel to India or try to source products from India. You know, [00:17:30] the, not everybody knows how to source products from India. So the people in this room are the ones who have an advantage over everybody else who’s not in this room.

Martin, do you want to add anything over here? Look, I just think until we show people the products, there’s just, the products are just so different and so unique. Like I remember being at Canton and you walking down an aisle and there’s just, you know, the same, same product. For the whole row, whereas when you get to the Delhi Fair, which we [00:18:00] do on our trip, virtually every stall is different.

It might be a plant pot, but it’s made out of different material, different spins on it. And I think that’s probably the biggest thing is that. It doesn’t matter what you go to make, nearly every factory has a different look, but just the way they produce it, and that is, I think, so good to have something that you don’t get copied.

And I can say, even I’ve been selling the same products on Amazon for seven years, and I virtually have got nobody selling identically what I sell. They sell the same types of products, but it [00:18:30] doesn’t look the same. So I think that’s, you know, a great advantage that you stand out as unique.

Okay. Let’s go to the next section. Okay. We’re going to be talking about products. Right. Mark, this is over to you. Okay. Yep. No problem. So yeah, like we actually decided at the Jolly Fair to call, um, a lot of products Amazonable because we find a lot of products are probably not ideal for Amazon that we see at the fair, the bigger furniture and things like that.

So the [00:19:00] main products, the main things I think that help Amazon sellers would be the home decor and gift section. And there are some fantastic products they’re made out of metal, wood. ceramic, jute, cotton and glass. And what they also do really well in all these is a lot of mixed materials in the product.

So you might get a wooden tray that’s got perhaps a resin section down the middle. It might have, you know, the timber on each side and then it’s got some really beautifully handcrafted wooden metal handles or something like that. So you get a lot of really good mixed [00:19:30] materials because it’s not so mass produced.

You get Um, a bigger variety in the products, there’s a lot of kitchen and tableware as well, furniture. Now there is some really beautiful large, if you want to do furniture for, you know, not off Amazon type products onto, you know, into a retail or something like that. There are some fantastic. Beautiful handcrafted furniture pieces.

There’s a lot of soft furnishings, like cushion covers, rugs, things like that. Pet products are really big and they made like bowls, bedding toys, [00:20:00] and you know, you get things made out of wood, you add a resin out of metal. So there’s quite a variety of pet products. Fashion jewellery, they’re. The amount of jewelry accessories are beautiful.

A lot of precious stones and a lot of once again, very unique and different products and footwear. You get a lot of like sports shoes as well as just normal leather type shoes coming out of India. That’s a really big area. Textiles and apparel, as Meghla said, Um, They’re [00:20:30] very big on cotton and organic cotton is, is huge in India and you also get things that are made out of denim, wool and silk.

We’ve got all the organic cotton there and there’s a lot of eco friendly products now. The, as well as the products themselves being eco friendly, you find a lot of the factories actually have solar panels or, you know, produce different ways of producing the products to make them more sustainable. It’s really nice leather.

I think the leather you can get there, you [00:21:00] can get either leather for things like equestrian type products, or which is a harder leather, or you can get some beautiful soft leather that would make, you know, lovely wallets and bags and things like that. And they’re very big on superfoods. There’s tea, coffee and spices.

And there’s a lot of big plantations. If you’re really adventurous, you can go off out of Delhi and go and see a coffee or a tea plantation, which we’ve had on our bucket list, but we haven’t got there yet. We need a few more trips to India to get through everything we want [00:21:30] to do. Next slide.

Okay, as you can see here, these are some of the beautiful fabrics that you can have made that there are things like block printing, you get hand loom products, some jacquard, and my favorite one is there is the one in the middle at the bottom. I think that is just so stunning. It’s just so different.

They’re not products that you’re going to see anywhere else. I don’t think in the world. So I think Wow. Um, if you want something unique in the, in the material, but [00:22:00] of course, something you’ve got to bear in mind, if you start producing these types of prints, quite often there is a large MOQ because of the, you know, uniqueness of them, depending on which, you know, choose.

If it’s block printing, it’s not so bad, but if it’s something that is a little bit more intensive, it may take a little bit more of an MOQ with those. Next. Slide please, Meghla. I’ll hand this one over to you, Meghla, because she knows her district much better and can say the words [00:22:30] better than I can. Right, so this is a map that shows all of the different types of fabrics that are available in India.

And as you can see, each state really specializes in a different technique, a different type of fabric. And this is very unique to India. And if you’re creative, you can use these fabrics on different types of products. And of course the prints, you know, over here, you’ll see there are more Asian Indian kind of prints, but you can use, you can customize the fabrics, you can customize the prints to whatever [00:23:00] is popular in your specific market.

So just to give you some examples here in West India, there’s a lot of tie and dye, there’s a mirror work that’s done on certain fabrics over here. In the north, there’s embroidery. So this is called chicken curry. And it’s mostly done on very light colored cotton fabrics and the embroidery is done in white thread So this is a very unique thing in in india and you can Usually, you know, this is [00:23:30] used for apparel and indian wear But you can also use this for, you know, shirts or dresses.

It looks really beautiful as well. In the North over here at the top in Kashmir, there’s mostly a woolen items. There’s shawls. Kashmina of course is very popular from here. And there are other types of, you know, shawls and woolen items. In the South, it’s mostly silk. So typically most of the products made in the South are saris or other types of silk materials, but you can [00:24:00] also do, you know, silk bedsheets.

Silk fabrics for dresses or other types of apparel and then in the northeast. There’s also different types of very unique Fabrics that have, you know, different, unique designs. So, there’s a lot of variety available in terms of the fabrics, and many of these fabrics are hand woven. So, that is also a uniqueness, that is, you know, a neat, unique aspect of these textiles.

Because, I mean, of course, there are machine made and they’re [00:24:30] digitally printed as well. but some of the more handloom kind of materials, you know, they are very unique and they, they’re also lower MOQs if you source these handloom products as compared to machine made or machine or mill textiles. Marg, over to you.

Yeah, this is probably one of our favourite, uh, Product lines, I think is the eco friendly products and you’ll see these are like sustainable materials and they’re made of cork with the one on the left with the hand on it. [00:25:00] That’s actually a wallet made out of cork with some printing on it and Meg can attend to that.

She has actually got a bag and a wallet made of that. She’s in love with it and it’s absolutely beautiful and is wearing really well. And there’s also like pineapple fibers. It’s cactus leather and like it’s the hand, the one on the top with the marble finish. That’s actually cork as well without any printing on it.

So you can see these are something that’s completely different that you won’t find in a lot of places. And obviously these are a little bit more [00:25:30] high end cost. They’re not what you’re going to pick up really cheaply, but they are beautiful and something if you want to start a completely different line and in the eco friendly, it’s.

the way to go instead of using like faux leather or something like that. Next slide please Meghla. Now these are some more eco friendly products which are obviously with the way the world’s moving becoming more and more popular. So there’s areca leaves or sugarcane waste disposable dinner plates and obviously [00:26:00] now people are moving into with the cutlery and things like that it’s becoming more popular with restaurants banning plastic cutlery and things.

So there’s a lot of opportunity if you’re looking for eco. friendly products to get those from India. Next slide. Okay, these are rugs. Now what it is, if you see on the left hand slide, you’ll see all the actual plastic bottles with their lids still on them and they are actually made into rugs or they’re made into a fiber first [00:26:30] and then the rugs or the bags are actually woven.

So that aquary mat you see in the middle, it’s When you think of it being made out of plastic, you expect it to be really hard and tough, but they are actually very soft and you really wouldn’t know that they’re made out of plastic. And they also do lots of bags and other products from the PET bottles.

There’s also some beautiful jute bags there. And there’s, you’ll see there also, there’s a factory with all the solar panels on the roof. And that’s where they’re [00:27:00] producing organic cotton in those factories. Next slide, please. Metal products. Now, there’s just so many amazing and different styles of metal products that I think I’ve seen anywhere.

You’ll see there’s some wall decor there on the left. There’s vases. serving plates. There’s a lot of urns. They’re a very popular item from India, is in both wood and in the metal. You’ll find a lot of great urns with some beautiful designs on them. [00:27:30] There’s a lot of flatware and tableware, all made out of metal.

And I think there’s a lot of hand beaten copper and sort of things like that made out of the metal as well. So there’s just… There’s so many different products in metal that, you know, you could, I could go on forever how many beautiful products there are to see. So I think it’s until you get there and go around the fair, you can’t really even imagine and you’d never see what’s available online.

So next slide, please. Now, wooden products, [00:28:00] wooden in India, you get mainly the two most popular are acacia wood. Or mango wood and mango wood is something that is, um, traditionally from India made from mango tree. So that’s once again, and a very sustainable product because, um, instead of, you know, killing trees that have been growing for 100 years, mango trees only have a lifespan of about 15 years.

Once I stopped producing the fruit, then the trees are used to actually make the mango wood. And that’s the photo virtually in the middle. And you’ll see it’s slightly [00:28:30] different. More, I suppose, lighter with some different colour grains in the, yeah, Megha’s pointing to it there now. Whereas the one on the right is the acacia wood, and that’s actually a mixed material there, that’s um, a tray done with resin as well, or the, and the handle on the knife.

And then as well, you just can get so many things made out of wood, once again, because a lot of it’s handmade, it’s all very different and very unique. And I think you’ll find There’s so many products made [00:29:00] out of wood that you won’t see in China. The only thing you don’t get is a bamboo like you do from China, the engineered bamboo.

Um, that’s not very prevalent in India at all. Next slide. Uh, pet products. Now there’s some Amazing little toys and things there in the photo. You can get a lot of pet beds, carry bags for dogs and different things. And you said at the top there, that’s actually, they’re resin bowls along on the top that are [00:29:30] very different product once again, as well as there’s a lot of wooden bowls, a lot of bowls done on stands in that type of thing, or all in all different materials, all their products.

Next slide please Meghla. So macrame, now this is, I think, it was having a resurgence, I can’t believe how popular the macrame is when we were at the fair back in March. There was new stalls just doing lots and lots of macrame in all different designs, in wall hangings, [00:30:00] all types of products, bags, a lot of macrame bags.

A lot of hanging baskets and, uh, all different things. So I think macrame I thought was on its way out, but it’s obviously still very popular and in demand. So, uh, all the suppliers wouldn’t be having complete showrooms of just macrame products. Next stall. I also want to add over here that, you know, for macrame products, a lot of these products are made by women in house in their houses, in smaller villages.[00:30:30]

So if you are producing these kinds of products, there’s also a story that you can add to your brand. You can take pictures of these women working, and it’s also, you know, empowering and giving livelihood to these women. So that adds more value to your brand and that’s a nice story that you can. You know, weave around your brand to differentiate from all of the others.

Yeah. And I think too, as well as the macrame, there’s a, the women do a lot of weaving and with rattan and things like that, they make a lot of baskets and planters and [00:31:00] things like that. So yeah, the products that are produced in those industrial sort of home type situations, there is quite a lot of different products come out.

Now, furnishings, you can see there on the right, we’ve got some. Magnificent cushions. And look, there are so many different looks. You get things with beading on them, all different satins. There’s a lot of crochet, a lot of even macrame made into cushions. So the amount of cushion covers are amazing. Down on the bottom right hand side, that’s an area made out of the [00:31:30] PHE bottles, which is really different.

Some fantastic looking cushions. Bathmats of all different shapes and sizes and materials, and on the left we have Koya mats, which are made actually down south of in India, and they’re made by, there’s a company called Cocoa Tuft, and they’re actually The one of the biggest suppliers of Polyamax for Ikea.

So, yeah, so I think you’ll find that that’s something that’s different and they actually [00:32:00] do like drop ship them. If you wanted to set yourself up and have them shipped from India, they have a service where you can actually do that as well and they can be customized and sent out within a day or so. So that’s something different if people want to get into, you know, not ordering a big stop supply.

Go for it. Next one. So that’s the end of our presentation. And we just wanted to quickly talk a little bit about what we do in the sourcing network. And then we’ll take on [00:32:30] questions. So there are three ways that we can help you source products from India. One is DIY sourcing. So I can go to our website, India sourcing dot net search for any suppliers or any products and then contact any of the suppliers directly.

There’s no fee for using this service. Thank you. All of the suppliers are manufacturers and exporters, and we have vetted them to make sure that they are legitimate companies and they’re their own factories and they, they are exporters, they’re export experienced. It’s very important when you’re sourcing from [00:33:00] India to source from export experienced companies.

Then we also have a done for you service in case you want us to source the product, uh, source any product for you, we can manage the entire sourcing process from beginning to end. And, um, we charge 10 percent of order value for this service. We’ve also tied up with a company called Expo Bazaar. And this, this is for buying in smaller quantities, you know, ready, ready products, ready to sell products that are stocked in the U.

  1. [00:33:30] So if you are based in the U. S. and you want to sell on Amazon, you can check out this. ExpoBazaar. com use the code EBISN5 for lifetime 5 percent off on all of the products. And you can buy very small quantities, like, you know, two pieces, four pieces, 10 pieces of different products and sell them either on your own website or send to Amazon.

There’s of course no customization possible. I mean, you can. Send the products to a 3PL or maybe to your own home and then stick stickers on them if you [00:34:00] want to. But there’s no customization in terms of branding, you know, for these products. If you want customization, then use either the DIY sourcing option or the Done For You sourcing option.

And then lastly, we want to talk about India Sourcing Trip that we are so excited about. And I see that Christine is here as well. And Christine joined us for the October 2022 trip. And she’s coming back on the next trip, which is happening 10 to the 17. And Christine, thank you so much for putting the [00:34:30] dates in the chat over here.

Great questions. That’s great. So real quick, Mike, we’ll, we’ll get to Q and A about India sourcing trip. This is an eight day sourcing trip where we focus on three aspects. One is learning. So we help you learn all about sourcing from India. And we do that in a few ways. We have a full day conference where we invite various experts that specialize in, you know, sourcing.

Logistics, quality control, and this time you’ve got some very interesting, [00:35:00] uh, sessions. And Christine, you’ll be happy to know that we’re not repeating any of the content that we did last year. So we, for example, we’ve got, um, a live workshop, a QC workshop that we’re going to be doing and where we’ve invited a QC expert and they’re going to actually show you how to inspect different products.

You know, they’re going to go step by step and say that, okay, this is a product. This is the first thing that you have to check. And you know, how do we actually inspect products? So that’s going to be very helpful in terms of, you know, managing quality control for you. [00:35:30] There’ll be a lot of panel discussions where you’re going to be able to ask experts questions.

And there will also be case studies of people who are already sourcing products from India that you can learn from. So there’s this one day conference that is held. And then we also have invited a lot of different experts. Um, there are sourcing experts, e commerce experts that are going to be traveling with the group.

And they’re going to be help, helping you, you know, identify products in case that is something that you need help with or anything else that you need help with. So if you go to the website, [00:36:00] indiasourcingtrip. com, you can see the list of all of the different experts that are traveling with the group. I think they’re about like.

15 or so of them now, but we’ve got Mike Jackness, Dave Bryant from e com crew. We’ve got Sean Hart. Uh, we’ve got David Cohen from Israel. Who’s been into e commerce for the last 20 years. He’s been sourcing from India for five years and he will share his own learnings. And then we’ve got Ritu Java. Who does PPC and a lot of different sourcing and logistics experts.

That’s the learning part. And [00:36:30] the second part is of course, Oh, I should also mention we have mastermind sessions in the evening. So we go to the trade show in the mornings and then the evenings we come back and then we do some mastermind sessions too. You know, how you process all of the information that you gathered at the fair, and then of course the sourcing aspect of it.

So we visit a trade show for three days. It’s called the Delhi fair. It’s got about three and a half thousand exhibitors and all of these exhibitors are export focused because the exhibition is organized by export promotion council [00:37:00] of handicrafts and. You know beautiful products really good variety And oh my god, daisy is here, too.

Daisy. Yes, we’re gonna miss you Daisy was with us on the previous trip in 2022 and she was gonna come this time But unfortunately, she had to cancel because of some issues Okay, and then so that’s the sourcing bit of it and then we also have you know sourcing We also showcase some products at the conference.

So in case you want to You know start sourcing even before you go to the fair you [00:37:30] can do that too And then the third aspect is cultural experience. So india is of course a very You know, it has a lot of history and culture So we want you to experience that we do a one day trip to taj mahal and we do bollywood night.

That is One of our very fun nights where we get to dress up in Indian attire and there’s live music and a live dance troupe and, you know, everybody just dances and, and you can sort of let your hair down. So that’s a very fun night and a very [00:38:00] unique experience as well. And then, you know, we manage everything from the time you set, you set your foot out of the airport.

So all you need to do is arrive at Delhi airport. And from there on everything is taken care of for you, including effort, transfers, transportation, food, SIM cards, all meals. We also have cocktails and some nights. We stay in a five star hotel, which is near the venue and, you know, very comfortable five star hotel.

Of course they have a lovely breakfast buffet as well. [00:38:30] So that’s, you know, that’s quite amazing. We put a lot of effort into selecting the food menu as well, because we want you to experience. All of the different types of cuisines that are available in India, but at the same time, we don’t want to overdo it.

So, you know, too much curry won’t be too good for you as well. So we make sure that there’s some different options available for everyone at all meals. So that’s something that I really focus on. And then we also sponsor one underprivileged child for each person that joins the trip. [00:39:00] So we pay for their, you know, education for a year and I mean, not their entire education, but we, we donate a hundred dollars towards the education of one underprivileged child.

And you can also visit the school that, you know, where we sponsored these kids. Margaret, is there anything you want to add over here? We didn’t do the additional factory add. Oh, yeah, I didn’t do that. So we also have additional factory visits. So from October 17 to 19, we can [00:39:30] either go to Jaipur, which is a city about four and a half, five hours from Delhi.

By road where we’re going to be visiting some factories that do block printing jewelry Small wooden items and a couple of other things and we can customize these factory visits for you So if you say that hey, I don’t want to visit these factories, but I want to go somewhere else We can arrange that for you as well So you don’t have to go with the entire group to the factories that we’re going to And then the other group is going to [00:40:00] muradabad.

That’s where all of the metal and wooden products are manufactured So you can choose between the two cities that you’re that you want to go to. I should also quickly mention that right before India sourcing trip, we are doing an e commerce conference called Ecom India Summit. So if you just come in two days.

Earlier, you can attend that conference for free. And it is basically we’re invited a lot of experts from overseas and India as well, to talk about how to sell globally online, [00:40:30] specifically focused on Amazon and Shopify. And we also have Shopify and Amazon and eBay and PayPal. We’re going to be at the conference.

So that’s just a value addition that, um, you know, that is available to you if you join India sourcing trip. So in terms of pricing, this is the pricing 4, 500 for room sharing, 5, 000 for a single room in the hotel. And as I said, it includes everything. So you don’t have to take out your wallet. When you come to [00:41:00] India, except for of course, you know if you wanna buy gifts or room service, et cetera.

And if you use the code G F A, there’s a $300 discount. So you can get more information about the trip at India sourcing uh And we look forward to seeing you in India. This is our group in October, 2022 in Daisy and Christine are somewhere over here,

Okay. So if you have any questions, you can reach out to us at info at India sourcing [00:41:30] net as well. Great, exciting. Let me stop sharing. Cool. And Mike, we have to bring you to India now. I, I have bought from India a long time ago, honestly, metal stainless steel for other brand I did really long time and it was, yeah, it was an amazing experience, but yeah, I have still to go.

It’s on my. My list for sure. Yes, let’s make it happen next year for sure. [00:42:00] Yeah, we have two questions in the in the Q and a tab. Actually, Christine asked, hi, everyone put on stage is shipping generally cheaper or more expensive than China. Mark, do you want to answer that? We just got some calls. Yeah, no, look, it’s not really any more expensive than China.

You’ll find at the moment. I actually just got some updated rates today and a full container 40 foot container is about 1, 850 from Mumbai to New York [00:42:30] and LCL works out through. It depends if you’ve got, say, 10 cubic meters. It’s going to be, it’s about, I think, 70 a cubic metre, plus there’s about 700 in fees that go on top of that.

So, I think you’ll find that it’s very competitive with China, and the time frame, for those who are wondering, it takes about 22 days from port to port. So, and you usually don’t ship into California at all if you’re shipping from India, because we actually go up through the Panama Canal [00:43:00] to New York, so it makes it.

You know, much quicker. And then the other bonus is that, especially around Q4, when everyone from China is shipping into California, New York doesn’t have quite as much congestion at the port. Um, you know, when people were waiting, you know, 8 weeks to get containers unloaded, um, ours was still going through very quickly.

So I think you find that it’s not much different than Sort of shipping from China and we do also have now a small shipment service. So if you’ve just got 1 or 2 [00:43:30] cubic meters, we have a sort of consolidated shipment services. We’re starting up that will go direct from sort of Mumbai to New York and you can just send 1 cubic meter and it’s not going to have the cost of doing LCL attached to it because it’s all consolidated.

So that works out very cheap. If you’re doing under about 4. Give it me. Does that is the way to go instead of doing LCL. Okay. Wow. A lot of, a lot of exciting info with that. It’s already a service. [00:44:00] Sounds great too. Okay. Second and final question is India. I think you answered at Maglev, but this came in before, but I, I think you actually said you can get like a hundred piece MOQ on certain products, right?

Um, which is usually less in China. Yes, definitely. And this is, of course, for certain categories. So, for example, handcrafted, handmade products, metal, wooden, leather. I mean, most products that Amazon eCommerce sellers would source, the [00:44:30] MOQs are pretty low. Higher MOQs would be on things like, you know, customized textiles, for example.

If you wanted to customize prints on specific textiles, then that would be, you know, 3, 000 meters or something like that. Yeah. Yeah, if you want to do, for example, some plastic injection, um, parts, I mean, there are some plastic injection, you know, factories in India as well, although China is generally considered better and more competitive for plastic [00:45:00] injection, but for those, you know, the MOQ might be higher if you’re doing certain types of toys, for example, that again require customized fabrics, you know, that’s, that’s going to be more expensive.

If you’re using general fabrics that are available in the market, general prints, Then the MQs are typically lower, but things like metal, wood, leather, glass, ceramic, the MQs are pretty low. And they’re very, very small business friendly. And a lot of the suppliers in India [00:45:30] are actually family owned. So that’s another thing that, you know, we like.

And in China we find that a lot of the suppliers are very transactional and they’re like, okay, here’s my money, you know, here’s gimme the money. And that’s the end of it. Of course, guanxi and all of that is very important. But in India, relationships are even more important. And I think Mark will tell you that her supplier, they’re a family owned business as well.

And Mark, tell them about how you went to their house for dinner. Yes. Look, I think, well, I actually met [00:46:00] them in Hong Kong and we, we’ve just sort of got started talking and like, you just know, you can trust them and they were just lovely people. And then I said, Oh, you’ve got to come over to the factory and.

visit us and so we actually went over to India and went to Moradabad and they sort of took us to their home for dinner every night and picked us up for lunch and treated us like royalty and then took us up to the third floor of their magnificent home and said next time you come back you’re not ever staying in a hotel here’s your apartment when you come back [00:46:30] you’ve got to stay with us so I think you know that’s really good but something I’ll add you On to this um, small MOQ is I find the MOV works well and that’s how I started because when I met the supplier, I looked like a kid in a candy store.

I walked past this stall and I went, Oh, never seen products like this in my life. And I was just amazed. And I’m sort of going, Oh, I don’t know which to have this, this or this. And I said, look, if you spend 8, 000 with us, you can take, you know, eight different products. So I actually To Started off doing like, I [00:47:00] suppose, a test of all the different products that I liked.

I picked out eight and I could just get, you know, a few like hundred of each of those with that to test the market. And funnily enough, I’ve still got those same products and I’ve added a couple to my range. So I didn’t end up doing a test because I found, because I was using the. Same material and the same look, even though they’re all different products.

I’ve been able to some sell better than others, obviously, but then people will buy two or three of the, of that range. So I [00:47:30] quite often sell. And I think even today I had two sales and one person bought three and one person bought two of my products. So that way you can. Sort of sell yourself without having to pay for so much PPC because people will buy, you know, an extra couple of products.

So I think that that is something really good. And I mean, you’d never do that in China. I know, you know, when we were working with China, it had to be, you know, 1000 pieces and 2000 boxes and I’ve still got boxes in China eight years later that I never used because they made me produce all these boxes where I mean, I can [00:48:00] just produce a small, even my packaging now that I’ve got once you get the relationship with the supplier, they will do, you know, just 200 of each different size packaging and it’s all customized and I have my brand on it and everything.

So I think they’re the advantages of using India is that they’re a lot more accommodating and they want.

It’s not like it’s just a transaction. I think in China, you hit the button, you know, if they get your business, they get it, you know, too bad. The next man’s knocking on the door. Whereas I think India want [00:48:30] to really work with you and develop with you. And I think that’s something that you’ve got to impress on them that, you know, you want to scale and grow and work.

With them. And then at that point, you can go back and get better pricing once you’ve sort of done your first order and you know where you’re going is the time to negotiate with the Indian suppliers. And it’s because I speak English and you can jump on a zoom call. Um, you know, they use WhatsApp. It’s a lot easier to deal with them than trying to deal with Chinese suppliers.[00:49:00]

Thank you for all that. Uh, Diane snuck in a little question, um, in the chat, but I’ll pop it up here. How about shipping logistics management and QC from India? Seems maybe she’s heard or had a bad experience. So in terms of logistics and logistics, shipping and logistics management, it’s always best to work with, you know, a freight provider.

Like in China, a lot of times the supplier themselves would manage the shipping for you. But in India, we don’t recommend that. I [00:49:30] mean, find a reliable, you know, freight forwarder, and we do have one in our network that we recommend, and we’ve been working with them for, what, four years now, and we haven’t had, you know, any issues as such.

They’re very responsive. They’re very efficient. And they’re also very, they’re also customs brokers in the U. S. So that’s an advantage. They, you know, ship the product from India. They manage all of the logistics and everything, and they can also clear customs in the U. S. So you’ve got to find the right freight forwarder and they [00:50:00] also understand FBA.

That’s important. So if you are shipping to FBA directly, not all freight forwarders would always will understand that. So, you know, it’s important to vet your freight forwarder as well, just as you vet your suppliers. Now, in terms of quality and QC, so there are good suppliers and there are bad suppliers everywhere.

And I feel that you just need to find the supplier that’s right for you. You need to understand their capabilities and their, um, you know, what they [00:50:30] are able to achieve. And sometimes what happens in India and China as well in Asia, suppliers would generally say that, yes, we can do it. Yes, we can do it.

Not a problem. We can do it. Because they do want to try to do it. They want to please you and they want to get your business. But to some extent, you know, that’s, that’s a cultural thing. We can’t change that. It happens in China too. And, and in India as well. So you’ve got to try and determine if the supplier is actually capable of producing the product that you’re really looking for, [00:51:00] ask them questions about what types of products they have done.

Have they done anything similar in the past? What types of buyers do they have? What types of machinery do they have? Where do they source their raw materials or, you know. Their components from and all of that will give you an idea of whether or not they’ll be able to produce the product that you have And again, I said there as I said, there are suppliers that focus on the domestic market because the domestic market is huge There are 1.

4 billion people in india So there’s a lot of demand for products here And so there are [00:51:30] hundreds and thousands of suppliers that produce for the domestic market, but they have no idea about exports They don’t even even have export licenses. They don’t know what types of You know, quality requirements there are for export markets.

So you’ve got to find the right supplier and source from export experienced companies. Usually when you do a search in Google, one of the websites that will come up is India Mart. And so we always tell people to avoid India Mart because most of the suppliers on that website. Our domestic focus, even the prices are in [00:52:00] Indian rupees.

So go to a website like, you know, ours, indiasourcing. net or Alibaba or global sources, those are export focused websites, even on Alibaba and global sources. There may be trading companies or middlemen that are, you know, listed on those websites We avoid middlemen where we have only manufacturers So diane, i’m not sure what your experience has been and i’d be happy to talk about this You know in person after the webinar if you want to reach out and you know If you have sourced in the past we [00:52:30] can maybe help you, you know source again If that’s something that you’re interested in and we can manage the sourcing process for you and hopefully you You’ll be able to change your mind.

Yeah, Diane’s great. She’s been in her… Sorry, I’m a bit dark here. I’m turning on the light. I think, uh, you know, I think we’re at the hour mark. I think we’re, you know, I think we’ve covered most of the questions. And this is, this is really great. I do got some, another person in chat. Uh, no, he couldn’t make it.

He’s asking about lint rollers. I [00:53:00] don’t know. He has to go to the fair, but… Take it off hair off your, uh, yeah, no, I think that’s the China product. Yeah, that’s more China. You’ll get better prices and better because it’s all plastic injection and everything. Yeah, that’s China. Or maybe Vietnam. Like we also source in Vietnam, but then Vietnam’s, and the MLQs are higher in Vietnam, such products.

Okay. [00:53:30] Sure. I’ll talk to you after. Okay. So in India, indiasourcingtrip. com. Yeah, definitely take advantage of that. And there’s a little coupon for everybody here, GFA and it’s, I’m glad we had made this happen. Thank you, Meghala and, uh, Mark. Mark, thanks. Really great to connect with you. It’s a pleasure. And, uh, October will be really exciting.

Looking forward to it. We’re counting down. The countdown has begun. Yeah. Thank you so much, Mike. And I look forward to, you know, hopefully having [00:54:00] you in India next year. I’m looking forward to it. And thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor, mercury. com online bank. Well, it’s a real bank, but you can totally online for us.

Our blimp program participants are going through this as well. Thank you, mercury. Travis is great. There’s been on our shows, been in our events. We’re going to have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you want to get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to globalformation.

com slash [00:54:30] mercury. Also have a video tutorial that we use even for the blimp people. Same exact video to learn how to use it. I hope you can check it out totally free. Why not see you there? Thank you Megla for sharing Mark. It was great to meet you. Yeah, we had a nice little live webinar and I thought as always, why not make this some content for the podcast?

410 shows and I’m walking in downtown KL. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There’s [00:55:00] actually a lot of Indians here. It’s a very Indian influence. I had so much hot, spicy curry for lunch the other day. So definitely take up offer from Begla. There’s also a GFA coupon code. We’ll get a little commission, of course, but you also save some money.

If you make it out to India sourcing trip, I mean, I’ve heard great things over the years. She’s been doing this for a long. It’s great to see Meghala and that community grow. India still seems [00:55:30] like a very viable option as an alternative to mainland China. Um, and also Meghala will be a speaker at Cross Border Summit.

She’ll be coming to Thailand in November. She’s also sharing a bit there about India and sourcing. We got really a global lineup. At cross border summit, we have her, we have people from Japan, from, of course, Southeast Asia, China, all over the US, Europe, Danny from [00:56:00] the UK, Mike Hartman, others from Europe, so it’s going to be an epic time.

So much stuff! You know, I feel like COVID’s finally, finally gone. We can finally plan events and meetings and gatherings. So, here’s a great view if you’re watching this. And yeah, I’m gonna head into the last day. I’ll be at the Nomad Capital. It’s live. Andrew Henderson. He was on the podcast recently, had a live webinar with him too, just like [00:56:30] Meghla, but this is what it’s about building communities, helping other communities, connecting, networking, sharing.

And I think I’m about to get some breakfast. So episode 410, Global from Asia, India sourcing with Meghla. I hope you enjoyed. Thanks as always for listening or watching and let’s just keep pushing our limits and making things happen. See you later To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at www.

[00:57:00] globalfromasia. com That’s www. globalfromasia. com. Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in

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