Hong Kong kitchenware company to enter India, South America

Hong Kong, March 18 (IANS) Kitchenware company Masterful Ltd has decided to enter the growing Indian and South American markets and also board the e-commerce train, said a senior official.

“We are looking at entering the Indian and South American markets. Barring China and India, markets are stagnating in other countries,” Noordin A. Ebrahim, director of Masterful Ltd, told IANS.

Ebrahim came to Hong Kong in 1950 from India at the age of 19 to join the family business.

“Our family has had a trading business in Hong Kong since 1842, importing yarn, cotton and exporting goods made here and Chinese pulses,” Ebrahim said.

In 1988, he promoted Masterful to deal in houseware and kitchenware. Some years ago, the company started marketing the products under its own brand Master Chef.

The products of the company, which boasts a turnover of $55 million, have a small presence in India through imports from Dubai, Ebrahim said.

Masterful has started the process of getting into the e-commerce platform.

“We get our items from China and India to our design specifications and export to markets like Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other countries,” he said.

“The Indian manufacturers have a good domestic market and hence they are not much bothered about the international market. The Indian companies are not keen on improving their product packaging to the international standards,” Ebrahim said.

According to him, the safe route to Chinese markets for Indian companies would be to set up base in Hong Kong.

“In China, there are two kinds of manufacturers … those who shifted base from here to China and the originally China-based manufacturers,” Ebrahim said.

The Chinese-based manufacturers have improved their quality to much higher levels now as compared to earlier years but have yet to reach the quality standards of manufacturers who shifted base from Hong Kong, he added.

Ebrahim is of the view that China would not do anything to shake the confidence of the Hong Kong business community and would like to see that peace continued to prevail in the former British colony.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan visited Hong Kong at the invitation of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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