Hidesign factory plan for Guwahati


The Hidesign store in Guwahati.
India’s premier leather brand, Hidesign, has set its sights on the Northeast and is looking to open a factory in Guwahati.
“Though we are yet to identify the place, looking at the business prospects I am indeed very keen on opening a factory in Guwahati,” Hidesign founder and president Dilip Kapur said in Guwahati recently.
The company currently has three factories — one in Pondicherry and two in Himachal Pradesh — from which the products are distributed worldwide.
The retail partner of Hidesign in the region, Design Wale, a local business firm, is ready to go the extra mile to promote quality leather bags here.
The entrepreneurs behind Design Wale, Kangkan Chakravarty and Mehtaj Zaman Ahmed, are optimistic about the custom factory. “It will take some time, as these things do not happen overnight. Moreover, since we are based in Guwahati, the factory will be opened here. But, it will happen for sure,” Chakravarty said.
The factory is, however, not the only deal struck by Design Wale with Hidesign. Three standalone stores in Dimapur, Gangtok and Shillong are also in the pipeline.
“It has been only 13 months, and the Guwahati store is performing better than our expectations. This has encouraged us to further explore the Northeast market and open independent stores. The three chosen cities are heading towards urbanisation, yet retain their past glory and heritage — the same concept that drives Hidesign,” Kapur said.
The company will open its doors for the Dimapur crowd in January next year, followed by stores in Sikkim and Shillong in a phased manner.
Barring these three, Hidesign will also have a section for themselves at the Sohum Emporio in Guwahati. “I have already visited Sohum Emporio and checked the space. It will take us two months to develop the store,” Kapur said.
With an annual domestic turnover of Rs 110 crore, Hidesign has 63 boutiques across the country, with additional outlets in departmental and specialty stores.
Despite prices being on the high side, Hidesign never fell short of what it did best — lure people.
“When we decided to open a boutique in Guwahati, we did not conduct any market survey like our contemporaries do. We worked on our instincts. The Northeast is full of impulsive buyers, which gave us the confidence to open more stores here,” Ahmed said.

Govt explores cultivation in Karbi Anglong district

GUWAHATI: Taking a cue from Tripura, Assam government is exploring ways of involving members of United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) in rubber cultivation in Karbi Anglong district.

The Karbi outfit had signed a peace accord with the Centre last month. Over 300 cadres, including leaders of UPDS, are to lay down their arms at the Karbi Anglong Sports Association ( KASA) stadium at Diphu on December 14.

State soil conservation minister, Ardhendu Kumar Dey told TOI on Sunday that he has already discussed rubber cultivation plans in the district with UPDS leaders. Dey said with UPDS joining the mainstream, rubber plantation could be the best option for economic rehabilitation for members of the outfit.

"In Tripura insurgency was successfully contained by ushering in rubber cultivation. The economic benefits from rubber cultivation can also be replicated for members of insurgent outfits in Assam. In fact, I had talks with leaders of UPDS for taking up rubber cultivation in Karbi Anglong," Dey said.

Rubber cultivation in Karbi Anglong was prevalent many years ago, but the spell of insurgency affected its promotion for over a decade in the district.

Rubber Board member, Siby Monipally said, "Rubber plantation has proved to be the most dependable source of income. This sector is going to uplifting economic activity in Karbi Anglong in a big way."

Mrinal Chowdhury, Rubber Board's field office in-charge at Diphu (Karbi Anglong district headquarters) said, "The situation has changed in Karbi Anglong now. Former militants who have joined the mainstream are showing interest in taking up rubber cultivation. More than 50 members of militant groups in Karbi Anglong have already started rubber plantation for economic benefits." At present, about 2,500 hectares in Karbi Anglong district is under rubber plantation.

"With the improvement of law and order situations now, we are all set to usher in plantation economy through rubber in Karbi Anglong," Chowdhury added.

The state soil conservation department has targeted to cover 50,000 hectares in the state under rubber plantation in the next five years.

"Assam's potential area for rubber cultivation is two lakh hectares. Right now we have set the target of bringing 10,000 hectares under rubber plantation each year and in five years we are going to cover altogether 50,000 hectares," Dey said.

The potential yield from 50,000 hectares is estimated to be 375,000 metric tons of rubber latex in five years, expected to generate an income of over Rs 10,350 crore.

Assam govt will help state's film industry: Gogoi

Guwahati, Dec 12 : Assam government will assist in bailing out the state's ailing film industry, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said today. "Films being a powerful and effective means of communication can be gainfully utilised in a number of ways as an instrument of creating public awakening and to promote oneness by enlisting public cooperation in the task of nation building," Gogoi said here at the mahurat of an Assamese feature film 'Baandhaon' being directed by celebrated film maker of international repute Jahnu Barua. The film is being produced by Assam State Film (finance and development) Coporation, which was lauded by Gogoi. Barua, thanking the corporation for its help, demanded that it should help in promoting at least three Assamese feature films a year. The shooting of the feature film is scheduled to begin next month, he added. State Cultural Affairs Minister Pranati Phukan also spoke on the occasion.

Monkey menace hits Guwahati zoo, authorities mull sterilization

Monkey menace has reached alarming proportions in a zoo in Guwahati, Assam, as they harass the visitors and leave them injured.

Despite the fact that the zoo has a dense forest within its fold, the monkeys seldom stay there. Instead, they cross over to the visitors' zone.

The monkeys have destroyed zoo property and attacked people in the past. An environment of fright and chaos has gripped the zoo.

Pinku Borkuch, a visitor to the zoo, said that this had become a perennial problem in the zoo premises.

He added that many a time the monkeys have shown aggression towards children and have harmed them, leaving them injured.

"The monkeys here as you can see are roaming freely. They come here because during winters they don't get much to eat up in the hills. Here they snatch fruits or chips etc from the hands of the visitors. So, if they steal from the hands of a child then the child can get hurt or get an infection from it. If you try to chase them away they counter-attack," added Borkuch.

The primate problem had become such a big headache that the zoo authorities and Dr. M.L. Smith, a vet at the zoo, were considering sterilizing them to prevent rapid multiplication of the population.

Smith also said that capturing the monkeys was a herculean task and was far from easy.

"Our steps to control this menace are in the initial stage. We want to surgically sterilize the monkeys so that their breeding rate comes down. Also, catching these monkeys is not easy, especially catching them for a second time. So, this is in a trial and error stage as of now," added Smith.

The zoo authorities have already started the sterilization process and they are bringing the monkeys one by one, under the scalpel to perform vasectomy and tubectomy on them. So far, five monkeys have been operated upon.

The monkeys operated upon will be marked to identify them from the rest. Apart from this, the authorities have also decided that all the enclosures in the future would be built in such a way, that the monkeys cannot breach them.

The monkey population in the zoo was estimated to be over 500.