A Webinar was held by the Ministry of Industry & Trade and Embassy of Vietnam (Trade Office), New Delhi, India on Wednesday, 19th January 2022 from 09.00 hrs (IST).
There were 3 sessions: Session 1 from 09.00 to 10.30 IST was exclusive for Vietnamese participants; the session was jointly organized with Indian Promotion Agencies like the Indian Importers Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a representative from the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The webinar was aimed to promote the export of Dragon Fruit from Vietnam to India. The webinar was attended by more than 70 participants which include eminent personalities from Indian Export and Import sector.
Elaborative discussions were held during the session. The experts from the industry made their valuable inputs and recommendations for a prospective business opportunity for the Vietnamese Dragon Fruit in India.
The following was discussed during the seminar:
At the outset, Mr. BuiTrungThuong, Trade Counsellor, Embassy of Vietnam in India made a brief about the project and visualized a film on the Dragon Fruit Industry of Vietnam. The film was very informative and have given an outlook of Dragon fruit farming and industry. He welcomed the participants to the seminar.
Firstly Mr. Atul Kumar Saxena, President, Chamber of commerce & industry interacted with the participants. During his session, he explained that India is one of the largest importers of fresh fruits in the world and fresh fruits are imported across continents.
There is a great potential for importation of Vietnam Dragon fruit in India and there exists a ready market for the same. The fruit is acceptable and affordable but there is a deficiency in availability. This deficiency can be renewed by having multi-locational cold storage where the fruit can be stored for immediate delivery to fruit distribution, institutions, and large consumers.
Big exporters can open warehouses in India for the availability of material on a need basis. The shipping time at present is too long and urged to take adequate steps to curtail the transit time. He said to target South India as well which has a huge scope. He advised to set up cold storage in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad for fast and speedy delivery at all locations of India.
Besides this, there should be a market entry plan for giving first-hand experience to the potential customers. This market entry plan can be breakdown into 02 major parts viz. Experience centers can be established in niche locations in New Delhi (to start) where the complete range of dragon fruit products can be displayed and also sold and a systematic plan for having roadshows both in consumer-centric areas as well as is fruit wholesale markets. This will raise awareness of the fruit to the common consumers.
He recommended that there is a potential for growth of dragon fruit sales in India and should have been a plan for increasing awareness. The Sales can only be increased by easy and quick delivery to the end-users
Secondly, Mr.Hitin Suri, Managing Director, Suri Agro Fresh, one of the biggest Fresh Fruit importers and suppliers based in Delhi has a detailed discussion. He said the present size of dragon fruit is 18-20-22 whereas the preferred size is 20 & 22 and available in 9 kg packing. He said there are certain Black and white spots present on the skin of the fruit and the market has a certain resistance to the spots. He urged to take adequate steps to take care of the spot disease. He said to avoid the spoilage of packets during shipping, it is preferred to undertake the packing in India which also reduces repacking costs. He wished to increase the business 5 folds within the next 2 years time or earlier with the cooperation of both the Indian and Vietnamese sides. He urged for brand promotion and marketing to attain the right partners.
Then Mr. Tarun Arora, Director from IG International Group interacted about the prospects. He informed that the specialty of Vietnamese Dragon Fruit is its availability throughout the year and the South Indian market is the largest consumer of Dragon Fruits. The supply chain to become stronger and the most important aspect is to give promotion, explain to consumers about the goodness and health benefits of the Vietnamese Dragon Fruit. The challenges are the cost variation involved in between middlemen to last men, Promotion, Improvement in Packaging and transit time, delivery time. He informed that the maximum delivery time should be a maximum of 15 days because long shelf life can cause the appearance of white spots on the fruit. He recommended giving attention to the challenges for a prospective business in this industry.
Mr. Hiren Gandhi, Chairman of Food & FSSAI committee, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, briefed about the health benefits of the Dragon Fruit. He informed us to create a good supply chain to tap the demand cycle of the consumers. Branding and promotion are important aspects. At present Ahmedabad, Gujarat imports Dragon Fruit from Vietnam in large quantities. He asked to open warehouses across India, give marketing platforms to Indian Supermarkets, e-commerce platforms such as Big Basket, Jio Fresh, etc. as the domestic market is getting stronger these days. He gave an example of the US Blueberry market and its success story. He recommended the value addition of the Dragon Fruit in India.
Mr. Do Thanh Hai, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Chief of Embassy of Vietnam in India, conveyed his gratitude to the eminent personalities for their valuable inputs. He explained that Vietnam has the best quality dragon Fruit in the world and it undergoes many qualities check before it is made available to the consumers. He ensured to do promotional programs. He said will improve logistics issues and consider cargo services by air on regular basis. He said Dragon Fruit is a value-added product and will definitely increase the economy of the Vietnamese Dragon Fruit sector with the cooperation of the Indian Fresh Fruit industry.
Mr. Ngo Minh Duc, Chairman, HG Group indicated his concern about the logistics issues. He said at present they have a cargo service from Ho Chi Minh City to Chennai. He requested to conduct promotional events in India by way of webinars, B2B meetings, exhibitions, etc.
Mr. Srinivasa Murthy, Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Karnataka state expressed his desire to make pickles from Dragon Fruit as in South India, pickle is an important part of dining. The shelf life of pickles is 6-9 months so have a great potential for dragon fruit in the pickle industry.
Mr. Bui Trung Thuonginvited suggestions from other participants. As there were no other recommendations and suggestions, he expressed sincere thanks to the speakers for their valuable inputs and recommendations and sparing their time for the discussions during the 3-hour long webinar.
The webinar ended with thanks to all the participants.