Flowers have always been an important part of Indian culture but designs traditionally use loose flowers without stems. As floral designs from around the world were shared digitally, there was an increased interest in designing with cut flowers.
Our team in India saw this trend as an opportunity to introduce both floral design and care & handling education.
In 2011, Smithers-Oasis India opened the Institute of Floral Design (IFD), modeled after the school program that was first started by our team in Mexico. Since its opening, IFD has had more than 2,000 graduates in India!
Smithers-Oasis India has also worked hard to elevate the profession of floristry. By partnering with growers, wholesalers and commercial florists, we successfully convinced the government to recognize floristry as a vocational trade. Then, in 2017, Seema Jhaveri, Director of IFD, was nominated to lead the floristry skill training for all of India. In 2019, IFD was selected to be the training partner to teach a floristry competitor who would represent India at the WorldSkills Kazan.
After only four months of floristry training, Jibin Williams was selected to be India’s representative for the global competition, and only had 75 days to prepare. As part of his preparation, our team arranged for Jibin to have intensive training with Neil Whittaker- a world-recognized floral designer from the U.K.- to teach him new design skills and prepare him for the rigors of floral competition.
Jibin performed so well that the government decided to continue the floristry training program and committed to send a competitor to the global competition in Shanghai in 2021. And Jibin is now the Ambassador for Floristry Skills in India.
Smithers-Oasis’ success in expanding floral education in India was done with our spirit of collaboration and mind set to Think Global. Act Local.