Product Sourcing Options in India with Meghla Bhardwaj

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Today, we are further expanding our sourcing options and opening our minds to alternative places to buy products. India. I have had previous experience buying metal for my bar products back in 2009 to 2012 timeframe and am excited to have today’s guest on the show to shed some light on India in 2019 – Meghla, welcome to the show – do you mind introducing yourself to listeners.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • India overview in 2019- for buyers

  • Pros of buying from India

  • Cons of buying from India

  • What are the normal categories / product types sourced in India?

  • Buying from China and India - thoughts / strategies?

    How would a buyer deal with multiple countries when buying? Ship individually to Amazon / their importing country of choice?

  • Where can people start to find factories?

  • IP rights in India? Trademarks?

  • Services in India - FBA prep, Sourcing, Quality Control, etc

    Are there places to go for these services?

  • Amazon in India - opportunity for us to sell to India?

  • So you have a first ever India Sourcing Trip in October

    I know you’re so excited about it want to share with the listeners today?

  • And the Global Sources Summit is after your India trip (Oct 27- 29)

    We also have GFA’s Cross Border Summit in between all of this too  (Oct 22-23) 

  • Glad to have you on the show Meghla, thanks for sharing

    How can people find you and learn more.

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Meghla’s VIP Experts Page
Meghla’s facebook profile
India sourcing Trip
√ Email her at

Episode Length 59:06

Thank you Meghla for coming onto the show and sharing product sourcing options in India. We’ve covered quite a bit, it’s been very insightful and exciting.

Can you believe October trade show season is already coming up so quick and we are talking about on the show. There’s India Sourcing trip, there’s many other trade shows, but I hope you can make some time to come to our Cross Border Summit 4th annual in Guangzhou this time October 22nd and 23rd of 2019.

Download Options

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Show Transcript


Global From Asia episode 261. We’re heading into India. 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. All right. Thank you everybody for choosing to download and stream this podcast.

[00:00:25] It is an honor that you choose to use your precious time. Time is the most valuable asset. We’re slowly dying every second that goes by we are dying. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little bit morbid but it makes you realize life is short. So, you know what there was some some some article I read. Do you remember most people don’t remember past the third generation, past, past your grandparents.

[00:00:48] So once grandparent age is gone. At least in the past but then again with Facebook and social media, I’ll be watching videos of generations of old people. I guess maybe it’ll be different now, but we got to make the most of our moment. We are here living for today. Maybe I’m reading too many self-help books.

[00:01:05] I do read self-help books. Does that mean I’m crazy? Anyways 261 shows here at Global from Asia. We’re grinding away. I’m headed back into the mainland China. As well as Hong Kong or is that the same thing? I don’t know anymore, but I’m heading into Hong Kong First Rise Conference. I will be while this show is going online.

[00:01:25] Also, I hope to wish happy birthday to Brent Deberman listener. I think he still listens to the show. I know he used to listen. I don’t know if maybe you can let me know if you heard me shout out today the listeners come and go I hope and I hope they keep coming. Fills us low. Thanks Bill. This guy was crazy.

[00:01:42] He’s. He’s also an investor at Sisitano and Paraliving and amazing guy comes for any of our events feels so great and supportive of what we’re doing here. He also just had a birthday and he also went into Iraq. I don’t know. Maybe we’ll finally one day maybe get him on the show to share some of his amazing knowledge and experiences guys live in the edge living on the edge for sure Lorenzo.

[00:02:05] I know buddy Lorenzo’s listening to the show. Enjoyed the last one with Tommy and some of my China experiences think today at the blah blah blah what I want India today. It’s a great one with Meghla. She’s been very active in the community over the years in the cross-border and the Amazon and seller communities.

[00:02:24] She’s making some moves in her personal life and also adjusting to this trade War stuff. So that would be good time to get her on the show talking about India sourcing. And actually I did buy from India many many many years ago in my previous lifetime my previous business I can talk about that in a blah blah blah section after this amazing interview.

[00:02:48] If some of you like to stick around I’ll share some funny stories and fun stuff with that India experience to add in after but today we got Meghla on the show. And she’s also helping organize. She’s the person behind the scenes while in front of the scenes too at the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong to happens.

[00:03:08] Every trade show season and will be happening. Of course this October she’s also got a new Venture. She’ll be sharing about with India taking people out to India. She’s asked me about Thailand sourcing here. It’s definitely seems like people she’s getting more people contacting her about. Hedging outside of China, you know, I’m actually doing a Consulting project in China for a factory.

[00:03:34] I think the factors are starting to realize they are you know, they are under threat to this trade War. I know the G20 Summit. Trump and she were chatting. Given some more time to it but business owners can’t keep sitting around and waiting. I think we’re getting more and more people looking for a plan B.

[00:03:54] If you’re on our GFA newsletter, you saw me talk about the Bloomberg article. I was quoted in about Thailand sourcing of got some interesting people with contacting us about that. We’re trying to help help people find other sources and then. We’re talking about India today. I think get your notebook out or if you’re driving or ride, riding.

[00:04:12] We do have a full transcript. We invest a lot of money in this show into production. We have a full transcription usually online as soon as the show goes online. So it’s like thousands of words of text on the show notes Global from Let’s tune in now to Meghla. So people don’t ask me how am I doing these small shipments from Yiwu market and making my payments at affordable rates and I’m happy to say I use one of our sponsors cross-border payment company from Hong Kong banks to other places in Asia course China Philippines Vietnam other places.

[00:04:54] Definitely check them out. They have been supporting the show for many years now, and they will do a free account setup with the KYC fun stuff and then just pay a percentage of the transaction between the Between Borders better rates than most Bank transfers check them out today at

[00:05:17] We also have a review about them with a video I did. Head to our Check it out. All right. Thank you everybody for joining us on our Global from Asia podcast. We have a special guest budding entrepreneur and business developer connector. Like I would say a similar style like what I’m doing Meghla Bardwaj.

[00:05:40] How are you? Hi, Michael. I’m good. Thank you so much for having me here. Sure. Sure. It’s great to have you know, we’ve we’ve been always chatting on Facebook and other. mediums and there’s an exciting time to happening for you personally as well as I think just the global trends of trade is changing too so I think it’s about time we get you on the show.

[00:06:06] Yeah, absolutely, very exciting times and I as you mentioned I’ve also started my own Ventures. So I’m super excited about that too. Yeah, so. You’re doing quite a few things now. So I think it’s best you give people a quick intro of what you’re up to these days. Sure. Absolutely. So just to give a quick background.

[00:06:27] I’ve been in the sourcing industry for about 19 years. I’ve worked for Global Sources. Mostly. I worked in India and the Philippines. I lived in China for about nine years and currently I’m based in Singapore. So, I’ve been organizing this e-commerce conference in Hong Kong for Global Sources called Global Services Summit and I mean doing this for about three years and that’s how I got to know all of these e-commerce Sellers and all of the different experts in the industry and got a good understanding of what kind of challenges e-commerce sellers face and recently.

[00:07:02] I’ve started a couple of my own Ventures one is a sourcing trip to India because there’s there seems to be. A lot of interest among e-commerce sellers to Source from India and I’m also studying a community for sellers in Asia called the Asian seller. And so this will. You know, we’ll have a podcast and I will organize events and masterminds and conferences for sellers who are based in Malaysia Singapore Vietnam Thailand India all of those places. Great great exciting times for sure.

[00:07:39] And so there’s a little touch on a lot of different things you’ve mentioned today and we are. Here are mostly focus on India is sourcing and product sourcing I think like you mentioned in your intro there’s more and more interest buy from India or also just by you know, having a second supplier or some back-up plan because this I think it would say that the trade War I mean is that why you would say you’re getting more inquiries about India or you know what?

[00:08:09] So what’s your Insight so far of you know what you’re hearing in the community. Yeah, absolutely. So the trade War has actually generated a lot of interest among sellers to Source from India and other alternative markets as well. So in a like Vietnam and Thailand, but even other than that India has been, you know a strong exporter of a lot of different products.

[00:08:34] And there are certain products that India is quite competitive in and there are certain advantages of sourcing those products from India such as their Unique Designs and unique styles that are not available in other countries, but I think you’re right, you know e-commerce sellers are realizing that.

[00:08:52] They shouldn’t be putting all of their eggs in one basket. So a lot of them are you know, thinking of maybe a China plus one strategy. I think that’s the approach that some sellers are taking to their diversifying their sourcing markets and maybe moving some of their sourcing to other countries so that they’re not entirely dependent on China.

[00:09:17] So I think you know, that’s what’s kind of happening and that’s why India is getting such a lot of interest nowadays and that’s one of the reasons I decided to just start this trip and even without the tariffs, you know, I was seeing some sellers trying to differentiate their products and because most e-commerce sellers, of course source from China and there’s also you know, the similar kinds of products.

[00:09:44] So there were some people who were going to India and other countries like Nepal or Bangladesh in in doing products that are available from there and there were you know being successful. So that’s what also interested me. And I thought that you know, I worked in India. I understand the sourcing market over there really

[00:10:05] Well, I know where the production hubs are. So I I’m in a good position to offer advice to people who are interested in sourcing those kinds of products. Yeah, that’s totally true. I wanted to mention on the show earlier. But yeah, I have just a couple of my own experiences buying from India. That went pretty well my first e-commerce business and yeah, I mean also sometimes also depends on the materials, you know, like I think China’s

[00:10:33] Definitely the dominant force of injection molded plastic. I think you know, I would mind I was buying stainless steel metal from India, which I think has a more that’s not a lot. I think especially China is not good for would you know, I think it depends also on the materials. I know other friends that

[00:10:52] Import wood from like Brazil. I haven’t talked to factories and try to import wood you know from other countries or so, it’s also also on the different materials people are using is also a factor, but but yeah, I think the trade war’s actually accelerated like I would say, but I think it’s true. I think costs have been steadily increasing in China and it’s also good to just differentiate from other sellers or you know, Hedge your risks from your factory becoming your competitor in China.

[00:11:24] So that is something else I would think about. Yeah, totally agree. I mean you’re right. There are certain materials that India is more competitive and these are more of the natural materials. So like wood or metal, cotton, jute Rattan, those kinds of materials. Whereas China is more competitive in man-made materials Plastics polymers and all of those kinds of things definitely.

[00:11:54] So I think you’ve already been mentioning it but you know, I kind of have on these bullet points. Pros and the cons of India. I think you’ve kind of already been saying it but maybe we can just list out. One of the advantages is you know, the unique products that are found in India. So each state in India has a distinct culture and a distinct history and a distinct type of product that they make so a lot of the products are actually handcrafted and and they’re handmade in these products can have a higher perceived value and they can command higher prices and potentially they can be more profitable.

[00:12:31] Then mass-produced products that you are sourcing from China. So, you know India suppliers also focus a lot on design development. So you’ll find in a lot of the. Products are very unique and you know, they have very attractive and Innovative designs. Another Advantage I see is low MOQs like because a lot of these products are handmade, there’s more flexibility in terms of the quantity that can be produced by the supplier and you know in China of course suppliers are also accepting lower quantities, but.

[00:13:10] In many other countries like we were just talking a bit earlier before we started recording like Thailand you were saying they they want higher quantities, but in India I find that a lot of the handcrafted products, you know, they’re flexible. With the MOQs, you know, maybe certain product categories like apparel.

[00:13:26] They won’t wouldn’t would not be that flexible. But most of the products that e-commerce seller Source. Are you find that you’ll you can source as few as you know, 50 pieces to test the product typically the Minimum orders would range from you know 200 to 500 pieces, but they are flexible and willing to do trial orders.

[00:13:49] Maybe the price would be slightly higher but you know, at least that allows you to test the product. I don’t okay, sure. Yeah, another Advantage I feel is a language because in India most people speak English. So communication is smoother and there is no language barrier. In China, it can be a challenge communicating with the supplier.

[00:14:12] Sometimes there are things that get lost in translation. But India you’ll have less of that issue. Of course, the accents are very different and they vary from you know the north of India. Indian accents are distinct.  But I still like you said it might be the accent, my because specially if you’re buying your you know, you’re buying from them if they don’t add up.

[00:14:37] Most you know American accent English. But yeah, it’s much better than trying to talk to a Chinese Factory where most of the factory owners don’t speak English. Usually they’re hiring, you know sales. I don’t know. My wife. My mom says I’m sexist. But usually it’s a female usually it’s a woman that’s in her 20s.

[00:14:57] That’s got a business English degree. That’s your main contact in a Chinese Factory. And then the factory boss is is you know, usually male does not to be male but you know adults that doesn’t speak much English is I think most people’s experience. So you’re kind of communicating. If you don’t have an English on me a Chinese person on your team you’re usually speaking to that sales representative.

[00:15:20] That’s then translating and relaying that to the factory engineering department. So of course having the experienced owner or manager that can speak English directly to you is much better than having like an interpreter or sales representative that’s in the middle. Yeah, exactly. And in fact English is the second official language of India because there are more than 22 official languages.

[00:15:48] Each state has its own language and even the script is different. So, you know, I’m from North India and I speak a different language. If I go to the south of India. I do not understand their language. I I cannot read their script. So English is a language that unites all of us and enables us to communicate with each other. Interesting.

[00:16:08] I. Similar in the Philippines a lot, you know a lot of a lot of listeners and I myself included work with people in the Philippines too and they have different dialects and they also have a lot of English and it kind of binds them together. I think in China too there’s dialects, but they kind of enforced Mandarin, you know, even but in the South they very much prefer Cantonese if they can at least the people I talked to but yeah, yeah English, you know.

[00:16:38] One good thing for me as an American. I was joking. I not so strong in my languages, but luckily, you know, most people, you know have English skills. So that helps I think it’s a or I’ll go ahead are the cons nothing. You know, I yeah, nobody likes to talk about cons, but I think it’s fair to you.

[00:16:59] No way both sides. Absolutely. I think it’s really important for sellers to be aware of the challenges that they’re going to face. And I think the one biggest challenge that they’re going to face is India has a very limited product range. That is available from there. So China practically manufactures each and every product and you can get whether it’s Electronics or jewelry or fashion.

[00:17:25] You can get every product there, but for India, there are certain product categories that are competitive. So I think that’s one limitation that you might find when you source from India. The other thing is that Logistics and Supply chains are not as advanced as they are in China. So but I feel that things have been improving in the last few years because

[00:17:46] The Prime Minister has this initiative called Make in India and they’ve been pumping a lot of investment into developing the manufacturing sector and improving the efficiency of ports and you know the infrastructure and all this being improved. So I am seeing some changes and you know, their, their shipments for example are processed faster at the port.

[00:18:11] Things like that, but of course it’s not as developed as it is in China. And another thing that I found is that suppliers currently are not very familiar with Amazon FBA requirements. So I was at this fair in Delhi, which is a capital of India. In February this year and I was talking to suppliers and most of them had no idea about Amazon FBA and you know how to ship there so it’s gonna be you know, it’s probably like what China was maybe four or five years ago, like a lot of the suppliers had no clue about Amazon FBA, but as more sellers started sourcing, you know suppliers got educated and there were, you know, like specific companies were established.

[00:18:58] To cater to the needs of Amazon FBA supplier as a prep centers and Logistics, service providers. So I think that industry in China has evolved over a couple of years in the same is probably going to happen in India if more e-commerce sellers start sourcing from there as well. Your calling it a con.

[00:19:18] I call it a maybe a pro.  I think it depends on your perspective. I think sellers, you know, maybe it’s just me, but I. I think where it’s more difficult or you know, not as developed. I think that’s usually where the opportunities would be. You know, if you’re going someplace that has everything already smoothed out, you know, it might be not the best place because you’re you’re like I said earlier the factories or maybe your competitors.

[00:19:48] I think some sellers. I talked to have had that happen to them already. So, you know, I think maybe this might be a good positive more than a negative depending on of course, they’ll be more frustrating because you’ll have to you know. I feel like I’m a teacher I think we’re maybe that’s the units are job, I guess as podcaster even.

[00:20:07] to people you work with are your suppliers you have to kind of really teach but that means there’s more you know, I think more opportunities too and yeah. I think you’re right like the barrier to entry I think is higher in India. You know, so to speak where as in China you can go to you know, Alibaba search for a supplier and instantly place orders and they’re going to be delivered to Amazon FBA without you even knowing you know, what the shipment process was like or you know. Whereas in India you’d have to follow everything very carefully.

[00:20:40] You’d have to make sure that you’ve got a freight forwarder that understands how the shipment is going to be, you know, sends to different Amazon centers, for example. And many of the freight forwarders are also not very familiar with the with the processes, but I think increasingly they are realizing that this is an opportunity for them and you know, they’re getting more e-commerce sellers inquiring about their services.

[00:21:10] So they are developing those, you know services for e-commerce sellers. Agreed and then if I can add one maybe more con or not for just India, but outside of China like, you know, I’m here in Thailand and working with some factories. And also I well from India they’ll like, you know the hardest.

[00:21:32] Harder part is you find good opportunities in all these different places. I guess. I like your idea of the China plus one strategy, but you’re most likely not gonna be able to some people like email me or talk to me or like Mike. I want to buy from India and Thailand and China and can I send it all to Hong Kong or a free trade zone?

[00:21:48] Well, it sounds great, you know and it might be possible that you know, actually adding up the extra shipping costs and all that handling most likely sends, sends it directly to your end Country where you’re selling whether it’s US, Europe Australia, wherever you know, I don’t think you can really it sounds like a great idea, you know, like consolidate all these country shipments.

[00:22:09] Usually if you’re buying from a different country, unless you think differently Meghla. I think you’re probably going to have to just deal everything there and then send it all directly to where you’re going to be selling it or distributing it. I think that makes sense. So, you know, maybe if you’re selling an then send all the shipments to a prep Center in the US where there are Consolidated and then shipped to Amazon, you know, that would make sense.

[00:22:36] Yeah, so this is stuff. We all have to learn it for again. This is one of the challenges of you know, diversifying supplier suppliers. But like we’ve been saying interview that that makes also more opportunity. The next is you know, where I know you have your sourcing trip to India we can talk about. I know people are saying well the mention Alibaba course, I’m breaking.

[00:22:56] There’s also Global Sources, you know, where. Where can people find a suppliers like I mentioned before we started recording? I did find on Global Sources. I think that’s one of the advantages. There’s other non China suppliers, and there’s a trade show in Hong Kong where it makes it easier for non China-based suppliers to get Visa entry and to visit and set up a booth so.

[00:23:21] I also have used that. I’ve met my India supplier in Hong Kong at the local sources show many years ago, and I hadn’t yet still yet to go to India. But of course, I know you have your sourcing trip. I think Global Sources is a good one. If you want to dive into both of those options are other options, how can people find these other suppliers?

[00:23:41] Sure, so I think you’re right. People can start with and Alibaba. So there are non China suppliers. And what what you need to do is search for product and then look for the supplier location filter and then filter suppliers by India. So you’ll see a list of you know, the India suppliers and there are quite a few suppliers on both of these websites, of course for the categories that you know, India is strong in so for example

[00:24:10] home decor or Furnishings or garments apparel those kinds of categories. So that’s one. I would start there Global Sources and Alibaba and then there’s another website called that is a local supplier directory and all of the suppliers on India are actually from India. But the issue with India March is that a lot of the suppliers also cater to the domestic Market they do have exporters but you’ve got to be a little careful when you’re choosing suppliers from there and you’ve got to dig a little deeper to make sure that the suppliers have export experience in their export focused because when you’re starting from India, then you want to make sure that a supplier has export experience because you know, India is a huge country and there are 1 billion people and there are a lot of products consumed in the.

[00:24:59] Country so there are tons of Manufacturers that make products but they’re only selling them to the domestic market. But when you’re importing you have to make sure that the suppliers are export focused so that you know, they understand the quality standard requirements, the certification and the design preferences of your country.

[00:25:22] So that’s really important when you’re buying from India. And then another thing that you can do is in India, there are these export promotion councils for various categories, and these are basically government organizations that are tasked with increasing exports in their specific industries. So there’s a council for leather garments for example, or leather products for handicrafts for metal.

[00:25:49] So what you can do is search for these councils and then reach out to them and ask for supplier list. Most of them have directories of their members and they’re you know, they’re happy to help importers. Although they might be slow to respond because they’re government organizations and they’re not very efficient.

[00:26:10] Yeah the same page there. Yeah, that’s another thing and then trade shows. So as you mentioned, you know, some of the trade shows in Hong Kong even Canton Fair actually has quite a few suppliers from India. And the Global Sources fashion and lifestyle show features a lot of Indian suppliers and then suppliers also exhibit at overseas shows in you know in the US or Europe if there are

[00:26:42] You know exhibitions, trade exhibitions held in these countries. You can always go to you know, local exhibition in the US or Europe for example, and you’ll find suppliers there as well. And then of course there are trade shows within India itself that you can visit and we’ll probably talk about it.

[00:27:02] You know a little later when you’re when we talk about the trip as well, but there are a few export focused shows that you can visit and then there are other smaller shows that also cater to the domestic market and they are more product specific. This is great. Thanks for all these and so it’s a even.

[00:27:23]jot some things down here and the next question. I think we’ve covered some of the questions. I’m kind of skipping around my outline, but the IP rights in India, I think. Like I have a Chinese wife and I am sometimes, I offend her because I sometimes get a little bit emotional about some Chinese business tactics of not really following IP.

[00:27:44] Even as in the trade War dispute is seems like with the presidents of US and China’s IP infringement or or respect International IP. What’s the story? What would be your insights about, you know IP rights within India and internationally and. I don’t know. If you also want to separate that from risks of maybe your product being counterfeited or you know these stories you hear a lot about China, you know you. I don’t know if you have some insights want to maybe I guess it’s two parts part one is just you know, respecting or enforcement of IP in India for international buyers, and then maybe.

[00:28:27] Maybe to any kind of risks, you know, should we be as concerned a lot of times people very concerned in China about you know it risks exposing everything to these factories. I don’t know. I guess that’s risky anywhere, but maybe we can just chat about that. Sure, so I feel that in general, you know supplier have more respect for buyers.

[00:28:49] IP in India. Of course, there are Bad actors everywhere in every country. And you know, you do have some risk whether you’re sourcing from you know, India China Vietnam anywhere, but I feel that you know, just talking to buyers and also having worked with suppliers. They do respect buyers’ IP a lot and in fact, they themselves, you know develop a lot of their own products.

[00:29:13] They’re very protective about their own design. And so they value the investment that has gone into developing a product. I’ll give an example when I was at the fair in February. They wouldn’t allow me to take photographs of their products and they’re very strict about this. I mean I was I had to like ask permission and sometimes what they would do is they would put their name card on the product if I if I took a photo and they wouldn’t let me video.

[00:29:42] Like I was walking down the aisle and you know just shooting a video of the, of the booths just walking past them and this person he came rushing out of the booth and you know, he was almost like he was like, “Madam. What are you doing? You can’t video products, so you can’t video over here.” So I see that they themselves

[00:30:04] Value, you know the investment and the time and effort, so they’re less likely to infringe. Somebody’s somebody else’s IP. They have respect for that. Okay, and then I’ve also found that if they are more export focused they tend to be more, you know professional and they tend to, they value your business more than the opportunity of maybe selling your product directly to directly on Amazon or elsewhere.

[00:30:38] So I feel that if you have a professional export focused company. Your IP rights or your your IP should be safer than it is in China. Okay. Another thing is that the contracts are in English. So whereas in China, the contracts should be bilingual right in contracts, but in India, they’re all in English because the legal proceedings are all in English.

[00:31:04] So, you know, I would still advise people if you if you have a product that you designed yourself and you know you want to protect it. You should sign an agreement before disclosing your design to the supplier, you know, just to be safe. Yeah. Yeah. These are great points. I think one thing I’ll stick up a little bit for the Chinese businesses a little bit.

[00:31:31] But the, the reason sometimes they say they’re just not as educated about IP or branding and you know. There’s a whole like maybe 30 or 40 Years of real business International experience and things like that, but it is I think still a little bit risky for sellers to have one Factory whether it’s in China or India or anywhere, I think usually it’s also may be better to try to have a couple of suppliers.

[00:32:00] At least like I can go into some long stories, but I met somebody here in Chiang Mai that is getting, basically buys all their products from one Factory in China. And now that factory is starting to make their own Amazon store and listings and he says it first it wasn’t a big deal. It’s been a couple of years, but now they’re getting better.

[00:32:20] So he doesn’t know what to do, but he’s basically kind of stuck buying from them because he’s kind of invested all that into one supplier. So another way maybe always whether it’s India, China or anywhere is to try to diversify a little bit if possible. I know it’s harder especially for small sellers.

[00:32:37] But you know some ways even if it could be simple as the pack potentially packaging or other things. Maybe just some ways to try to, try to not let them have all of your insights if possible. So I’m looking at my list. I man, we’ve kind of mentioned it but I have services in India. I think these are all

[00:33:01] Budding opportunities for people, you know, there’s like I have FBA perhaps or sourcing QC. These are still under development think or is there is how would people find these are do they exist, the service provider? So general import related services such as you know, third party inspection service providers, for example, or Freight forwarders, and you know, all of those kinds of services you would find very easily the challenge would be to find somebody who is familiar with the e-commerce process specifically for Freight forwarding.

[00:33:37] I think that’s important. For quality control, there are you know akima, which is one of which was Asia inspection. So they have offices in India and they offer inspection services at about the same rate as they do in India or in China. And there are other you know, in global international inspection companies that have offices in India.

[00:34:02] So that’s one option. If you’re sourcing directly, you know from a factory. And in India, sourcing via an agent then usually the agent will help you to do the QC as well. Of course, you need to work closely with the agent and make sure that they know all of your product requirements and maybe even give a golden sample to them but a lot of times.

[00:34:23] Agents themselves manage quality control. And yes ours Freight forwarding is concerned. So I’ve actually started a Facebook group for people who are interested in India sourcing and what I’ve done is that I’ve talked to a few different types of service providers, you know, Logistics and QC and then I’ve included those.

[00:34:46] Service providers in the Facebook group so that you know in case anyone wants to start sourcing from India. They do have a ready source, you know for these service providers who are familiar with e-commerce requirements great. Great. Actually, I’m thinking of some people I might have to introduce to you too now that I think about it I could maybe after the show but their in our, in our Network to that that have Services which would be great.

[00:35:16] And it’s another we’re getting towards the end here. It’s been great so far, but also just not just up for buying right. I mean India as a domestic Market you kind of hinted towards that with, in the show people, you know are buying there and selling in India. I mean, it’s a massive Market. Is that something also of course, we got to focus, you know as sellers on different markets, but is there also what would you say in general Amazon India or just.

[00:35:44] India Ecommerce in general is any insights? Absolutely. So Amazon. India is growing really fast. And Amazon is investing a lot of money into you know into a into India and they’re focusing on recruiting a lot of Sellers from India to sell locally on Amazon India as well as globally and so that’s one opportunity and the e-commerce Market in India is actually growing really fast, especially in the you know, second-tier cities second and third tier.

[00:36:17] cities because the penetration of mobile phones is increasing at a very fast rate and so mobile commerce is actually growing very fast, you know, most people they don’t have computers or access to Wi-Fi and all but they do have phones and they have, you know, competitively-priced 3G connection. So they’re shopping on their phones.

[00:36:40] So there’s a huge opportunity in India, but India is a difficult market because it’s very price-centered. And there are a lot of you know, the return rate is pretty high and sometimes you’ll get returns because you know, the address couldn’t be found because it was in a far-flung place somewhere where you know for all kinds of reasons.

[00:36:59] However, there’s it is a huge opportunity for certain kinds of products and you know, like Health supplements and health-related products. That’s a very fast growing industry currently. And there are a couple of ways to start selling into India. So. First of all to sell on Amazon India, you need an Indian company and to have an Indian company you need an Indian partner.

[00:37:24] So you need a local to be a director in the company and can be a very minority shareholder. Like even you know, just one percent is fine, but there are services that that will help foreigners set up companies. So it’s everything is done online. All you need to do is just tell them hey, I want to set up a company in India and.

[00:37:45] they will even give you you know, a local director for a fee. Mmm. So they’ll do everything for you there. A lot of you know, there’s some certifications and clearances that need to be done from the, from various Banks. And also they’ll do everything for you for a fee. And they’ll help set you up set the company up.

[00:38:05] So that’s one option if you want to go all-in, and if you know that your product, you know, will do well. Another option is to partner with somebody in India who’s already selling on Amazon. And use them as your distributor, so, you know, if you have a brand for example that you’re selling in another market then try to look for an Amazon Seller in India who has an account and you know is already selling there and then ship some some of your products to them and ask them to you know, sell your products as your distributor and that will allow you to test the market and see what kind of response you get.

[00:38:44] And if you think there is demand for that product and you can go all out and establish your own company. That’s true to our step-by-step. I think there’s always a smarter way. There’s a yeah Chinese saying is. Feel the stones cry as you cross the river don’t like jump in but slowly one foot on the log in the river across the river next Rock.

[00:39:08] So it’s try to put some fun stuff in here would this has been really insightful Meghla Thank you. I’m glad we finally get you on the show if in talking to each other for quite some time and it is let’s get into some of the fun stuff here. Exciting latest developments. The there’s a lot of stuff happening amazing stuff in October.

[00:39:26] We’ll talk about some other things, but let’s first focus on this sourcing trip. You have your first first one and I’m sure listeners if they enjoyed what they heard with they wanted to dive in and you know, the best is to go there right? So, what do you what do you got lined up for us? Absolutely.

[00:39:43] So I am so excited about this trip. I’ve actually been working on it for the last six months and I even traveled to India, to the fair, you know and talked to the fair organizer and exhibitors and service providers and I even wrote a book about sourcing from India because I realized that there wasn’t a lot of information available about sourcing from India. And yet for China

[00:40:03] There’s so many blogs and YouTube channels and everything but there’s nothing for India. So I thought that there was a gap so the India Sourcing trip is a learning plus sourcing plus cultural guided trip that is organized around the Indian handicrafts and Gifts fair in Delhi. So this is one of the major export fairs that are held in India.

[00:40:28] It’s, the main categories at the fair are you know home decor Furnishings leather products wooden products all of the key categories that India specializes in and that would be of interest to e-commerce sellers. There are about three thousand exhibitors at the fair and the best thing that I like about the exhibitors.

[00:40:49] There is that everyone is export focused. So you find that the products are, you know, the designs and the types of products available there are based on the design preferences of us and European customers, so they’re not, you know, like the local kind of designs. And so this is a seven-day trip and apart from visiting

[00:41:12] The fair we’ll also have presentations to teach people about sourcing from India. So it’s basically a crash course that will allow you to Source any product from India at a later stage not only products that are available at the fair. So the way the trip is structured is that attendees will arrive in India arrive in India on October 14th.

[00:41:36] Then on October 15th we will have a full day of conferences or presentations where we talk about things like what are the products that India specializes in, how to negotiate with suppliers how to vet suppliers, you know, all of the different aspects that are related to to sourcing. The next 3 days, we will we will do guided tours of the trade show.

[00:42:02] So we’ll take people there will teach them how to talk to suppliers what kinds of information to ask suppliers and how to document all of that information. And then in the afternoons, we will after attending the show will have more presentations and masterminds and then the evenings we’ll have dinners and networking and will invite various experts to attend the

[00:42:27] dinners with us as well. And then we’re also going to be visiting a factory. So I think it’s really important for people to you know, get a close understanding of how manufacturing happens in India. So, we’ll visit a factory near Delhi and then we’re going to also do a cultural program. So on one of the night,

[00:42:47] We’ve booked this Ballroom in a hotel for our group and we’ve got a stage and lighting and a dance performance exclusively for the group by this Indian troupe. So, you know some cultural immersion and cultural experiences. Well, that’’s very good and then we’re going to go to the Taj Mahal for a day.

[00:43:05] So Taj Mahal is about three hours from Delhi by Road and it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the World. So we’re going to spend a full day traveling to Taj Mahal and then on the last day of the trip, which is October 20th, we’ll have some presentations in the morning talking about brand building and you know what the next steps are and yeah, if you you know, one more Mastermind and then.

[00:43:33] That’s that’s the end of the trip. So I’ve got quite a few coaches, India sourcing experts and e-commerce coaches who are going to be joining the trip. So there are a few people from Australia. There’s just one couple who’ve been sourcing products from India for about one and a half years now and they’re doing $100,000 in profit only for their from their India products and they have stopped sourcing products from China altogether.

[00:43:57] They did about eight products from China, but they found that the products were too competitive. They were not profitable and now they’re really successful with these India products. And I’ve got Chris Thomas from Australia who’s who’s been into e-commerce for a long time and a very successful seller as well.

[00:44:14] CJ Rosenbaum from the US. He’s joining the trip as well. And then I’ve got quite a few sourcing agents who have a lot of experience, you know in sourcing from India, and they’re going to be giving presentations on various aspects related to sourcing and then we’ve also got a logistics service provider.

[00:44:33] that understands e-commerce. There are a couple of Americans who live in India who are going to be joining the trip and they are India sourcing and there’s this one person who actually is an Amazon Seller for himself and he sells products from India, you know on Amazon and he’s quite successful, so he’ll be there too.

[00:44:52] And then I’ve also got a manufacturer who’s going to come and talk about all of the apparel manufacturing in India and you know kind of give an overview of that. So yeah, I mean trying to give people a lot of information and knowledge and connections and you know tips and advice that will allow them to Source any product from India not only the ones that are available at the show. Exciting.

[00:45:17] Yeah. Yeah we can feel. Listeners can feel your energy. I definitely can’t miss this exciting. And yeah, the world is the world is changing and yeah, I really support your entrepreneurial, you know endeavors and a lot of listeners do as well. And then we mentioned at Global Sources Summit is also happening later in October and that’ll be, you’ve been doing that for a few years and it’s been great as well and Hong Kong.

[00:45:49] All right. Yeah, absolutely. So Global Sources Summit will be from 27th to the 29th of October. And I think your Crossborder Summit is right before that 22nd to the 23rd. I think exactly right in between. Yeah, all these somebody could be really super somehow and go to all three like intense.

[00:46:10] Yeah, the old happening. Luckily. It isn’t we always try not to have over overlap. But yeah, yes lots of opportunity for people in these these trade show Seasons, so it’s exactly wow. It’s really amazing. And yeah, we’re getting deep into the show. It’s gone well into our normal recording time and I think it’s been very insightful and exciting.

[00:46:37] I think I think listeners hopefully, you know, I think a lot of people learn but also just taking action, you know, trying some things out and you know October is coming up quick. It’s just a few months away. So people should make their plans and and so how can they find out more information Meghla you know where can people go to find out about this amazing opportunity and so they can reach out to me on Facebook.

[00:46:58] That’s the easiest, you know, just search for me on Facebook. And send me a message or you can also send an e-mail to That’s the email address. Great. Okay. Thanks so much as we cover quite a bit is I think we covered everything is unless you’re something else you’d like to add?

[00:47:21] I think we covered everything. So I just want to thank you Michael this was you know for giving me the opportunity to come on your podcast. So yeah, I really appreciate it. My pleasure. My pleasure. Let’s just this was about as is helping everybody in a building a stronger Community between all these great people.

[00:47:41] So thanks Meghla. Absolutely. Thanks Mike. Can you believe October trade show season is already coming up so quick and we are talking about on the show, there’s India sourcing trip. There’s many other trade shows, but I hope you can make some time to come to our Crossborder Summit fourth annual in Guangzhou this time October 22nd and 23rd of 2019.

[00:48:07] Maybe you’re listening to this show in the future. Which is pretty cool, but if you’re listening to it now at least before October 2019, it would be amazing to meet amazing speakers. And of course I will be there and amazing guests from our show over the years have come out to support and share their amazing knowledge or working harder than ever making it as valuable.

[00:48:33] As possible bringing some big guns and others talking about Import and Export mostly exports. That’s our sweet spot here at Global From Asia. I hope to see you there. If you want to slip into /China as we have more places around the world in the works. Thank you Meghla.

[00:48:55] Let’s great to get you on the show. Finally. Appreciate you sharing and giving us all this knowledge and insights and the India sourcing trip looks amazing. So I am sure those that want to venture out there will get a ton of value. I think that’s you know, well we can sit behind our computers or have our ear buds on with these podcasts think you got to get out there and meet people and see things, you know, I think sourcing on online and chatting and chats is only going to get you so far until you actually meet these people and shake hands and speaking.

[00:49:29] Indian English or American English or the real English English American British English. It’s whatever you want to call it, whatever language I think making that physical eyeball-to-eyeball contact will always be the main way to build a relationship. But I hope you and I have been getting to know each other if you’ve been listening for a while and you’re

[00:49:54] In your car or in your bicycle walking your dog or sitting in your office bored out of your mind another crazy one. It’s a weird feeling but I mean it’s been over 10 years since I quit my job in Wall Street’s but seems like that office is maybe going to close. I worked at 60 walls joint Deutsche Bank building and bring these articles I talked about on Mike’s site.

[00:50:20] But they might be, Well, they are restructuring and laying off a lot of their us operations. So each Bank means Bank of Germany or German Bank, they’re going through a huge issue. I don’t even follow the news too much, but I did see the headline Deutsche Bank laying off in the US. That Could Have Been Me Maybe if I didn’t meet you and your earbuds and become some podcaster Traveler.

[00:50:44] Whatever, dude I’ll be sitting behind my desk on Wall Street. Maybe I’d be getting a pink slip but I pray they’re gonna get a decent severance package. I don’t feel too bad for my colleagues at the Deutsche bank. I’m sure to get in a few months or years of severance. Who knows how much anyway. But that’s why you guys are awesome.

[00:51:02] You’re listening and you’re learning and you’re taking action. I hope you’re taking action. Of course, you can listen and learn and accumulate all kinds of knowledge about India sourcing China sourcing Thailand sourcing blah blah blah blah blah, but if you’re not actually doing anything with it might as well just sit back and relax and tune out of this show, but I want to share about some of my crazy experiences buying from India.

[00:51:23] My last bar products business, and I came out to China and I thought everything was in China. I think a lot of us, but I led myself to India for many of my stainless steel bar supplies, and I found a supplier. I’ve still never been to India. It’s on my list. I have Indian friends American, Native Americans Indian Indians in India, that would go to study abroad in America or

[00:51:53] They’re probably actually am extreme here. They’re more American-born Indian non Native American Indian Indians, but basically they, hope I’m not offending anybody with that, but it is pretty confusing. But they, they helped me out a little bit. I also has some my college friends and Hong Kong help me out.

[00:52:14] When I first moved over to China and Hong Kong. I stayed at their house in Hong Kong when I first landed and they helped me out a lot from college. So, you know using your college network. I had a college network from Indians that helped me go to the factory for me and they took photos of the products before they were shipped because I had no idea what I was doing.

[00:52:36] I was talking to them on email. I found their website. Think about being Global Sources are others I have found and I you know, you just wire money to a company in another country, especially when you’re in the US, they think you’re crazy. I don’t they still think you’re crazy. But I want I’ll go down to the bank my local bank and make a payment or like, you know, this money can’t come back and it’s going to another country.

[00:52:58] Do you know these people you’re sending this money to Mike? Yeah. I mean Chats, a little bit in email and Skype call or Skype. So did that a couple of times but didn’t get these photos. Yeah, it looks good. It’s like a picture of cardboard boxes. And well the physical products are in there and the products were good.

[00:53:20] And but that’s the hardest part. I think we you know, we can’t set up offices everywhere and have people everywhere by like seems like there’s more and more services coming out in India. We also have a member when give a shout out to soon on we should get him on the show. He’s really strong in Pakistan.

[00:53:38] I think he also has operations in India and China for a QC and he’s helped me out with some payments to Pakistan. And also we have some people on our team in Pakistan, which is a pretty amazing Global world we live in now. Back to India, you know just I probably wasted some logistics company’s time.

[00:53:59] I feel bad. This is a hard part about B2B or sourcing. I went to these logistics companies in Hong Kong thinking, hey, I’m buying from India and buying from China buying from Thailand. Literally I bought from Thailand even before before and I said, Can I send all the stuff to this Hong Kong warehouse?

[00:54:17] And then you guys like bundle it a check it assemble it and they’re like, yeah, we can do that. Like I said in the interview, that take as a lot of time and more importantly money to your supply chain. I don’t even think the big boys do it. But definitely if you’re a small fry like I was or maybe I still am, you know, I don’t think it’s worth it to send all of your stuff to Hong Kong is kind of a free trade zone or an SAR.

[00:54:41] We’ve had shows Chris more sharing about that. Or few weeks ago who knows how long it’ll be a SAR. But you know, it is a free trade zone with lower know mostly no import taxes to that region of the world, but there’s also free trade zones in China. So the idea is maybe hey I can send stuff in India, can send some stuff from Thailand, some stuff from here putting his free trade zone bundle it all up and ship it all around the world.

[00:55:08] I mean that actually is even like the show named Global from Asia, you know. Keep your stock here. We’re talking to some people some people on our newsletter one. Actually Warehouse some in Southeast Asia by from China send over here send over there. It is true. I mean if you send it to the Western World, the costs add up very quickly whenever anybody needs to touch that package touch that pallet that price gets a little more expensive so.

[00:55:33] But I never did it. I never I never really have still yet to buy from say India and send it to Hong Kong and take some China stuff mix it together and ship it down to different parts of the world. But maybe you have maybe maybe you should be on the show. If you’ve done that. It would be pretty awesome.

[00:55:49] But most of the time you’re probably going to be sending it directly to your receiving country. Like I did. And use a third-party Warehouse to receive all these places and then bundle it so I you know bar supplies. We make some gift sets and other different kind of combinations of products and put them all together make them look all nice.

[00:56:12] But yeah, it was it was always a headache supply chain if we all are saying so cool to buy from outside of China. I think it like she said like Meghla said. Some people go into a trip from Australia have bought all from India now, I think that would be the smarter thing is try to Source or resource from all in one country.

[00:56:37] That is the biggest challenge even if the cost might be higher on certain products. Your life will be so much simpler. Your Logistics will be so much simpler it burned me out. Honestly. I have to say my first e-commerce business, I got burnt out. I sold Into a couple of pieces. I wish I could get the Chinese side of the person that bought my business on this show, but he’s a shadow like I am it doesn’t want to come on might meet them in China soon again, but when I split up all my different stuff on my first business and sold it for pieces to different people in my network.

[00:57:13] I was also burned out with a supply chain. It is really hard to buy from India Thailand and China and also have US suppliers and Canadians, I bought from Canada to think there’s one thing we bought from Italy but I don’t think I was I was not importer. I would buy it wholesale from a guy in the US so many different SKUs with that last bar supplies business back in the day some stuff in the works.

[00:57:37] We can talk about that in the future the blah blah blah is almost up. I hope you guys enjoy. Also, we work really hard on making the membership more valuable for those that are really hardcore amazing fans and supporters. I want even more value. We’re doing calls with private members. We have some amazing Hot Seat Mastermind calls and I’m rebuilding the membership site.

[00:58:03] It got actually the site got hacked. I don’t know if I told anybody on it. Some think it’s Russians got in and put credit card offer spam. All throughout the site and had to rebuild everything actually knows his nightmares happened before. Luckily. I have an amazing team but the membership site is getting fixed and it’s gonna be better and better we put on a separate server try to put everything on one site. It’s Tricky for anybody that wants to do that is pretty hard to keep everything in one server.

[00:58:33] So we’re splitting up And we are up. Thank you so much. My kids are swimming in a pool. I don’t know if you can hear them, but I’m going to go join them. Take care everybody. Have a great. day. Get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at, that’s

[00:59:01] Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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Tags: amazon, asia, business, career, e-commerce, ecommerce, entrepreneur, FBA, guide, importing, tips, warehousing

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