The city may have got its many malls and shopping centres but the annual industrial exhibition - Numaish continues to draw large crowds. The exhibition, which is on the run down to its 75th year next, was inaugurated by information technology minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Wednesday.
Given the frayed tempers over the Telangana issue, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was not present.
About 2,500 stalls have been allotted this year, most of whom are regulars to the annual fare. Though a good number of stalls are yet to open and many are still in the process of setting up theirs, the exhibition society this year has paid special attention in improving the look of the stalls. Special care has been put in the design layout. Roads have been re-laid with more walking space.
The 45-day expo will also have a ladies day scheduled for Jan 7 and children below the age of 12 will have free entry on January 31. ‘’Last year was bumper sale for us. We hope it is going to get only better this year,” said Dilip Kaul, a dry fruit trader from Srinagar. Kaul, along with his team has been a regular at the Numaish for the last 15 years. ‘’We do not go to any other exhibition across the country. One reason is that Numaish is the best and it also coincides with the snow-fall season in Kashmir, which is usually a no-business time for us,” explains Kaul. Like most of the traders at Numaish, he also pointed out that the real business will pick up after January 10.
Rayees Maqdoomi, another dry fruit trader from Kashmir, added, “our business at Numaish is pretty constant every year. We have our regular customer base in Hyderabad who buy in bulk for the entire year. Before the exhibition only, they contact us and tell us what they want.” He has been selling dry fruits, Kashmir honey etc at Numaish for the last 45 years.
Ask them, what is the difference in goods every year, a Kashmiri garments trader, Surender Kaul, who has been a regular at Numaish since 1965 says, “we have only authentic Kashmiri hand made and embroidered silk sarees, stoles etc. We have to change the designs and patterns every year to attract our customers.” Similarly, MD Sarwar, a bedsheet trader from Jaipur, adds, “every year, we come here with new designs and patterns. People here have a very sharp memory and we love our Hyderabadi customers.”