Tag Archives: octroi

Reflections on 2012 – The Negatives!

Thank You Couriers and Octroi Inspectors

So there were a lot of good things to look back on from 2012, but it wasn’t all rosy…

Suppliers

Whilst artisans have been great to work with I have also had my share of disappointments, such as the Moroccan supplier who took my upfront payment and failed to deliver a third of the goods. In India we have found a few gems (like the brass inlay work) but have had to work through many potential suppliers who may produce great stuff but have been unreliable to work with for various reasons, including doubling the cost to me when I tried to repeat order, or complaining that I am being unreasonable when I reject their badly damaged goods through insufficient packaging. We ensure that we select only high-quality products for Arastan, and therefore demand attention to detail and quality work from our suppliers, and many do not fit the grade!

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Banarasi Brocade, Mirzapur Carpets, Fantastic Samosas and some Soul-searching (Part I)

Mirzapur Tufting Centre

Back from Mumbai and off to Varanasi (also known as Banaras and Kashi). I do love my job, well some parts of it. Dealing with octroi, (still waiting for the February refund) breakages and insurance has to be my least favourite part and so I left the mess TCI Express made of my return shipment to Binaifer and off I went. The main reason was the Indian Carpet Expo in Varanasi. There were over 300 Indian carpet vendors showing off their wares and I thought it was time to do a deep dive into the carpet industry in India. To understand the entire supply chain better, I went off to Mirzapur which, along with Bhadohi, is one of the main weaving centres in this part of India. What I found was both enlightening and disturbing.

My understanding of what I see is that Indian and Pakistani handmade carpet manufacturers have …

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Mumbai, you are Incredible!

You came, you saw, you bought and I thank you. I feel elated. There is nothing quite like ‘making it’ in your home town. The gentleman who owns the gallery that hosted us said to me quite emotionally “you have made my gallery look so beautiful” and lots of customers were very appreciative of the exhibition and the carpet collection. We will certainly be back.

Putting the show on was the easy bit. Octroi was not. Only Ethiopia and some cities in the state of Maharashtra still charge Octroi (a local tax collected on various articles brought into a district for consumption). The documentation in our case was tedious as we had to pull out not just invoices but customs duty for every individual item. However they seemed happy with the paperwork and accepted our demand draft for the deposit (although the shipper refused to take the demand draft from …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

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