Narendra Patil, Soex Flora:

Russia: Increasing demand for Indian medium head roses

Russia is known as a large flower loving country. However, lately, the demand for medium to smaller size flowers is increasing. This trend is also recognized by Narendra Patil of Soex Flora who grows medium head sweetheart roses in India. He attended the FlowersExpo 2015 in Russia for the first time and his flowers received a lot of attention. According to him, the drop in value of the rouble and the changing trend of Russians loving to order more rose bouquets, like 51 roses or 101 roses or more, might contribute to this increasing demand for this type of roses.

Narendra Patil at the FlowersExpo in Russia.

First Indian company at FlowersExpo
At first, Patil was not sure if his roses would be a accepted by the Russian market. "I always thought that Russians like only large flowers." However, after receiving a lot of appreciation and inquiries from Russia at the International Floricultural Trade Fair in the Netherlands, last year, he decided to exhibit at the FlowersExpo in Moscow, Russia to show his premium quality to the Russian market. So, this year, the FlowersExpo welcomed their first Indian exhibitor. It was their first time at the show and they were the only Indian company exhibiting. Exhibiting at this show seemed to be a good move. "We received many positive reactions and a lot of inquiries. The Russians seems to really love our flowers," says Patil.

Drop value rouble probable cause demand
According to Patil, the drop in value of the rouble might contribute to this increase in demand for middle head roses. "Most Russian companies are dealing in euros or dollars. As the value of the rouble decreased by approximately 50% against these other currencies, the prices of flowers also increased by 50%." Therefore, according to Patil, the Russians are looking for flowers at better prices. "Russia is a flower loving country, they will not stop buying flowers. Instead, they will look for flowers at better prices." According to Patil, the middle head roses are more economic than the large head roses, about 50% cheaper. "Interestingly, the customers buy more middle head flowers because these are often used in bouquets or arrangements. This in contrast to the large head roses. Russians often buy only a couple of these type of roses," explains Patil.

Kenya and Ethiopia biggest competitors
The biggest competitors of Seox Flora are Kenya and Ethiopia. "We are in the same segment," says Patil. However, there are some factors that give them a definite advantage compared with these two countries. "We can supply the same quality of roses, but cheaper. This is mainly due to the fact that we have direct flights between India and Russia," explains Patil.

Farm Soex Flora.

Expanding greenhouse
Soex Flora is growing 20 varieties of roses in a 30 ha sized greenhouse. Currently, they are expanding their greenhouse "By march, the greenhouse will be 25 ha larger, so the total greenhouse will have a size of 55ha," says Patil. This expansion will enable him to keep supplying their current export markets, which is mainly Europe, Australia, U.K. and increasing their volumes to Russia.

International Floricultural Trade Fair 2015
Also this year, Soex Flora will be present at the International Floricultural Trade Fair in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands, which will be held from 4-6 November, 2015. "It is a platform where the worldwide floriculture sector meets. We are looking forward to meeting our existing and new customers." The company can be visited at Hall C stand number 4.03.

For more information
Soex Flora
Narendra Patil

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