• Cecile Corral

Hellenic Rug expands to India

Based on positive feedback from various winter markets and the success of its newly formed Canadian division, Hellenic Rug Imports Inc. has decided to go forward with its plans of opening Hellenic Rug Imports India.

Steve Mazarakis, president of Hellenic Rug Imports, has joined forces again with Hellenic Rug Imports Canada co-owner and manager Ankush Gupta to open and operate the India company, Mazarakis told Home Textiles Today.

Established as a separate but related company to Hellenic Rug Imports, the Indian operation has been designated to produce and warehouse all goods manufactured either for contract vendors or for the company's own inventory, which are being made entirely for the North American markets. Hellenic Rugs India will be managed by Anirudh Gupta (no relation), who has been appointed controller to the Indian operation and will be based in New Delhi, the Indian headquarters and one of the five sites the company has opened throughout the country.

"Anirudh coordinates all activities in India for Hellenic," Mazarakis said. "He is in contact with our plant in Panipat, and with our contractors in Bhadohi, Agra and Varnassi. He coordinates quality control and ordering. He is online with our U.S. and Canadian offices and monitors inventories and purchase orders. He also procures what's needed on new developments."

Different product will be produced and warehoused at the following four sites:

  • Panipat: Contemporary and transitional rugs constructed from hand-tufted and hand-woven wool, shag leather, shag cotton, wool textured shag, jute cotton bound and artificial fur as well as cotton and chenille throws;

  • Agra: A new product line for Hellenic of 15 programmed, hand-knotted, antique washed wool rugs, which also represents a new price point for the company—$999 for a 6' x 9';

  • Varnassi: Hand-knotted rugs featuring Persian antique designs directly adapted from books of antique rugs, as well a product line representing a new construction for Hellenic—high-quality hand-knotted wool rugs in 15 designs and assorted sizes, set at $699 for a 5' 6" x 8';

  • Bhadohi: Hand-tufted traditional Persian-designed rugs that are herbal washed and made of 100 percent wool and are available in 40 designs, set to retail between $199 and $299 for a 5' x 8'. These rugs are part of Hellenic's existing Wonders of the World collection.

After having worked with and from India for more than four years, Hellenic decided to establish a more permanent presence there based on many business advantages, Mazarakis explained.

"Our Canadian partner is from there and has many contacts; we can produce hand-knotted rugs for less than machine-made wools from Belgium and Egypt; we don't have to commit to a million rugs to introduce new lines and programs; and, finally, it took forever but seeing is believing — I feel confident now that we have it down to an art and things will run smoother than ever," he explained. "India offers Hellenic the group of products that cover its program needs at the right price and the right quality, and they finally figured out American tastes."

Hellenic is currently building a 10,000-square-foot facility in New Delhi where it will conduct loading of all goods manufactured at the four sites.

Due to the company's "extensive investment in production" in India and a new focus for its 2002-2003 product lines, Hellenic recently decided to restrict this year's wares to include only product from India and Greece and not any machine-made programs from Belgium, Egypt and Brazil.

"Hellenic will continue to keep good relationships with our suppliers [in Belgium, Egypt and Brazil] but will only sell samples at direct manufactures' prices for these products," Mazarakis said.

Hellenic's 2002-2003 product lines from Greece will include flokatis, 100 percent New Zealand wool berbers, merino wool blankets and throws, and wool sisal programs that are both surged or cotton bound.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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