The first edition of Kolkata Expo gives shoppers a chance to splurge for three days
The first edition of the Kolkata Expo 2019 was an affair to behold; held at Ice Skating Rink between June 21 and 23. The three-day fair was a fantastic platform for big, moderate and even smaller businesses to connect with each other and push their product line-ups. In its very first edition, the business exhibit has done the unthinkable task of featuring some of excellent, premium merchandise, from brands across Kolkata, and parts of Asia and Istanbul, under one roof.
The inauguration by janab Murtaza bhaisaab Hasani from Kolkata's Saifee Masjid, (the expo being his idea and vision) in the presence of sheik Murtazabhai Zasdan of Tijarat Rabeha (the business wing of the community), also featured business leader and author Sheik Aquil Busrai and entrepreneur Bimal Samal of BNI Kolkata, and some other distinguished names, who presided over the ceremony.
We dropped in on a rainy, late afternoon at the venue and were thrilled to find almost every kind of product placement available at the expo; fashion apparel, office automation, real estate, wedding planners, beauty essentials, linen distributors, exotic chocolates, household stationery, leather accessories, engineering companies, and even live makeup sessions! The expo, organised by the Dawoodi Bohra community featured some well-known and some up and coming vendors and manufacturers from Kolkata, as well as names from Dubai, Vizag and Mumbai. The opening of the business trade expo saw some of the most established business leaders joining hands to welcome the initiative, which is mainly a networking platform for existing and future business leaders.
“The expo is actually, something that’s happening here for the first time; it’s organized by the Dawoodi Bohra community, and it’s set to feature an excellent business trade networking scenario. We have a range of business entrepreneurs majorly from Kolkata, but also from across the Asia showcasing their products. We are also looking to felicitate quite a few female entrepreneurs on the second day of the expo,” says Tasneem Fakhri, who’s part of the core organising committee along with Mannan Arenpurwala and Munira Lakdawala. The expo was inaugurated by Sheik Murtazabhai Zasdan of Tijarat Rabeha (the business wing of the Bohra community), and featured a panel of established business leaders, entrepreneurs and community leaders, known for their business acumen and community building. “This is our mutual leap towards many possibilities which lie ahead of us,” Tasneem started the event on this positive note.
The Kolkata Expo mainly aimed to enable the forging of newer business collaborations, by bringing together vendors, manufacturers and consumers under one roof, and by opening up the trading milieu. Since the expo features exhibitors from across industries, you’ll be taken aback with the variety and amenities in some of the stalls. The expo is obviously a great place to network, especially for trade visitors, start-up owners, small businessmen, or even millennials curious to learn the tricks of a business line-up. Some of the names who participated at the exhibit were Tea Raja, a premium estate tea brand, the familiar dairy company Amul, lifestyle brands like Tree of Life and Rupal’s Gift, Kolkata-based company Essel Aqua Marketing, the famous Esplanade clothier Akberally’s Tailors, eyewear brands like Optical Palace and Serengeti, and so on.
We found an amazing festive wear label and some stationary brands; and also managed to browse through some hardware gears and re-stock our makeup kits, all at one go. One of the quirkiest things we saw at the expo was definitely a dental clinic stall, equipped with amenities to give you a quick check-up on the spot. We also loved the gift stalls, which featured some of the most thoughtful curation of scented candles, colourful marker sets, peppy bottles, coffee mugs, and cheerful décor items. But the assorted chocolate stall was by far, the most helpful to us. We can never really have too much of tropical and bitter chocolate, and will be happy to find them at any expo around the world. The three-day expo was a stunning business and trade environment, and a great option even for those looking to spend on some winsome investments.
While browsing the lifestyle labels, we found a live makeup session in progress at one of the stalls, and also splurged on some lip kits and contour palettes. We also found a couple of ethnic, festive and fusion wear labels, featuring the most colourful array of anarkalis, ruffled kurtas, flared bottoms and sequinned tops. From bejewelled kurta sets to eye shadow sets to on-trend sunglasses, the expo had everything and was a total shopper’s delight. Our personal favourite was the leather apparel selection which was featured at the expo; from wallets, to small carry-ons, we were quite stunned at the stylish line-up. The closing ceremony of the expo also witnessed the felicitation of some successful female entrepreneurs.