Retail in Asia

In Shops

Retail sourcing spurs an India supply club

Designco’s sprint from brass mill to mass supplier in high-quality home decor to the likes of Walmart and IKEA showcases the transformational scale of a sourcing shift

Vipul Gupta, 25, leans back in his large, towel-covered chair, inside a predictable wood-panelled office, and begins a story. It’s about how his grandfather, Narayan Kumar Lohia, a purveyor of watches in Haridwar, established a brass rolling mill some time in the 1970s. And, subsequently, brought his four sons together to start a brass handicrafts company in 1982.

It is a fascinating tale about Designco, a family-run start-up that has grown to become one of the largest handicraft exporters in the country, shipping out products worth some USD30 million annually to multinational retailers and speciality stores, primarily in Europe and America.