Surat: Making a move that could help textile exporters exhibit their products for a global audience, a Surat-based startup has developed a virtual platform for the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).
The AEPC is a statutory body under the Union ministry of textiles and works to promote the garment export industry in India, and helps international buyers, who source garments from India.
With the Covid-19 induced lockdown and social distancing norms hampering promotional activities, the council thought of coming up with a platform that was safe and provided ample ways to connect exhibitors with their prospects.
For this, the AEPC roped in Surat-based virtual reality company ShilpMIS Technologies Pvt Limited and created a virtual exhibition platform, which was recently inaugurated by vice-president of India Venkaiah Naidu in presence of Union minister of textiles Smriti Irani.
Talking with TOI, Hardik Desai, founder and CEO of ShilpMIS said, “This was a big opportunity for us to create the virtual platform for AEPC. The platform gives a 360-degree view of the products and allows free communication between buyers and sellers through video calls and messaging applications.”
Registered in 2017, the Surat headquartered startup serves clients in the real estate, automobile and gems and jewellery segment. It has presence in multiple cities and a foreign office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
According to Desai, exhibitors have the option of setting up passwords for their stalls, to restrict entry for only trusted buyers. Moreover, buyers have the option to sort products into a personal wish list and filter stalls based on their preferences.
Recent data shows that over 300 exhibitors have registered on the platform and created their stalls, informed Desai, a civil engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Guwahati.
“The idea behind building such a technology was to enable people to easily access content in Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality (AR/ VR) formats. We always thought that a platform for holding virtual exhibitions will not just be cost-effective for event managers, but will also have the obvious advantage of dissolving geographical barriers,” said Desai, adding, “It was in 2018 when we conducted our first virtual exhibition. However, the demand grew manifold post pandemic. In 2020 alone, we held 12 virtual exhibitions.”
This propelled the startup’s growth, which surged by 100% month-on-month for five months since the pandemic. Since then, the company has been clocking a healthy double-digit growth in its revenues.