Delhi Wood 2011: A Quick Look


Delhi Wood 2011
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
17-20 February 2011

A woodworking company sent me a message on my cellphone informing me about the exhibition and I was glad I did not miss it. The woodworking industry in India is still in a fledgling state, albeit growing by leaps and bounds as Indians with more disposable incomes turn to higher end furniture, fixtures and wood products. 
Woodworking as a personal passion or hobby remains miniscule. The media carries very little news about woodworking and related issues. Therefore, a trade fair on woodworking products, machines, accessories and materials is a great opportunity to explore new products, offerings and technologies.

Delhi Wood. Photo: Courtesy Delhi Wood website

I was impressed by the show even though the venue of the exhibition, Pragati Maidan, was clearly run down and dirty by international standards. The toilets stank of urine and there was filth lying around all over the exhibition grounds. 

The show itself was held in two separate halls, one of which was almost exclusively filled with exhibitors from Germany. Interest in major woodworking machinery was clearly evident with Indian visitors thronging to the heavy machinery section. As a DIY person and small time woodworker I was not terribly interested in machines that could edge band particle board or machines that could churn out miles of molding. I was more interested in power tools, lumber, accessories and so on. There was not a lot of that around but there were some stalls that interested me greatly.

The first were the stalls of the major power tools manufacturers who have decided to do serious business in India. These included Bosch, Makita, Hitachi and Festool. The Bosch and Dremel stalls looked a bit washed out but that is perhaps because they are doing such great business in India at the moment that they do not require to promote their products as much as their competitors. Makita had a stall tucked in somewhere and did not seem greatly interested. Hitachi was out there with a small but prominent stall and clearly in a mood to do some hard selling. 

The most crowded and interesting stall was that of Festool. Despite the extremely high prices of its products a lot of people seemed to be interested in the systems and solutions they were offering. Festool was offering special promotional prices on all its products for the limited duration of the fair and this seemed to be attracting prospective customers. This was also the case with its sister products marketed by Hafele. Hitachi too was offering a discount (about 20 per cent) on the MRP of most of its products.

The other interesting trend I noticed was that Indian dealers were beginning to import power tools accessories like good quality router bits, drill bits and so on from better known companies such as Freud, Amana Tools, CMS etc. These better quality accessories are still not visible in retail outlets in Delhi but with all these imports taking place, hopefully they will start showing up.

Another bit of welcome news was that we might soon be able to buy North American woods like maple, cedar, oak and walnut at reasonable prices in India. Several American businessmen were present at the Fair to promote lumber exports from North America. One of them said he planned to set up a warehouse in India to stock and sell lumber directly to the Indian market. I wished him luck.

The disappointing part of the Wood fair was the lack of participation of small and medium Indian manufacturers at the fair. There are hundreds of small players all over India who are making products that desperately need to be promoted. Events like Wood India would be ideal for them but for some reason they were badly under-represented.

Some of the smaller players who caught my eye included RichFill Wood Putty maker from Solapur, Maharashtra, Polyfix Wood Seal maker from Delhi and Woodgard Water Based polyurethane polish makers also from Delhi. These people seem to be making useful finishing products, although it remains to be seen how good these products really are.

In all it was an interesting experience and hopefully Delhi Wood will get better and bigger in the years to come.

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Comments

  1. The DIY market in India is likely to grow as more hobbyists begin to scout around for products and services and also for the kind of information that you have provided in your blog. Great job. Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. I plan to keep blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Diy as hobby has not got into mainstream, mainly due to two reasons: lack of information, secondly unavailablity of quality tools and hobby material, I am delighted that your blog is first step towards removal of ignorance towords this wonderful hobby.

    ReplyDelete

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