Business Management | Resources

Sourcing In India, China And Vietnam: Challenges And Opportunities

Feb 01, 2022 | Konark Ogra

An introduction on key factors before you decide on sourcing from south east asia.

1. Product Selection 

  • China is the world’s largest export of “anything”, if you are planning to build a brand it's challenging to get registrations and brand protections.
  • India also produces a lot of things mostly medium quality mass-produced products for the domestic market and high-quality Handmade, unique products. Products for Living, giving and Dining, Artisanal wood, and Furniture, Home furnishings, Metalwork, Garment and textiles, Eco-friendly products, stationery, can find high-quality products in India (not just cheap (Mostly Low volume production)
  • Vietnam produces Handbags, clothing, clothing, textiles, purses, bag packs, belts, etc fabrics of all kinds, Wood- High-end furniture, Homeware, Kitchenware, Plastic products- PPE.

2. Quality 

  • China: From cheap to high end.
  • India: High quality and Expensive.
  • Vietnam: High quality and mix of expensive and moderately expensive.

3. Key materials 

  • China: Wide range - textiles (synthetic and natural), metals, electronics, plastics, rubbers, etc.
  • India: Natural materials - Artisanal wood (acacia, mango, teak), leather, metal (brass, copper, stainless steel (low end), wrought iron), organic cotton, jute, Eco-friendly materials
  • Vietnam: Natural solid wood, electronics, steel and iron finished products and clothing and textiles- high end.

4. Labour cost 

  • China: Moderate (Min wage $327/ month) Low skill- focus on mass production.
  • India: Low (Min wage $90/ month), highly skilled maker communities.
  • Vietnam: Moderate-but lower then China. (Min wage $155/ month)- Moderate skill.

5. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) 

  • China: High - expect at least 500pcs/SKU
  • India: Low - as few as 10 or 5K to $10k MIV (Min invoice value)
  • Vietnam: High - expect at least 200-500pcs/ SKU.

6. Factory Production Time and payment terms

  • China: Fast - production usually take a month to 75 days - 3-4 weeks by sea 30%-70% - 30% Down and 70% at time of shipment, people also work on Letter of credit.
  • India: Slow -Takes 10 weeks and another month on the water to get to the port 30%-70% - 30% Down and 70% at time of shipment, people also work on Letter of credit6-12 Weeks. 30% down and 70%
  • Vietnam: Lead times- demand has gone up, wait for capacity opens up, components sourced from china zipper and locks etc. 4-6 weeks, ports in Vietnam are smaller.

7. Ease of source 

  • China: Moderate - Alibaba, trade shows like Canton fair
  • India: Difficult - No simple online platform such as Alibaba; Delhi Fair, Sourcing companies, or CBP searches
  • Vietnam: Prices are closer to real price, 50% are Vietnam owned.

8. Logistics 

  • China: Smooth and easy to monitor
  • India: India's infrastructure (roads, rails, etc) is not as developed - expect delays and keep a cushion in hand.
  • Vietnam: infrastructure (roads, rails, etc) is moderately developed since the country is small - Minor delays and keep a cushion in hand.

9. Tariffs 

  • China: 25%+
  • India: 0-5%
  • Vietnam: 0%, free trade agreement with the EU and Vietnam, also free trade agreement with Vietnam.

10. Language Barrier 

  • China: Low to Moderate - most suppliers have English speaking staff for ease of business. 
  • India: Virtually none - English is widely spoken in India
  • Vietnam:Casual work culture.

11. Risks 

  • China: Risk of the product being copied quickly, risk of the product being sold by Chinese sellers are very skilled, most e-commerce sourcing from china has no Brand identity. Lack of transparency
  • India: Delays and longer lead times, potentially higher costs for higher quality products, need an inhouse member for executing the project. Lack of transparency
  • Vietnam: Few multi-skilled workers, Worker loyalty to factories is low, Lack of transparency.

12. Vacation time

  • China: Chinese new year
  • India: Diwali and Eid and many others
  • Vietnam: Lunar New Year, Tết, The Lunar New Year

13. Packaging facility

  • China: Very superior
  • India: Medium to Low-quality packaging infrastructure
  • Vietnam: Quality is great and have everything from cardboard boxes, soda cans, plastic packaging, and much, much more.

14. Top websites for meeting suppliers


  1. Alibaba. 
  2. DHgate. website:  
  3. Global Sources. 
  4. Made-in-China: 
  5. DHgate: 
  6. GlobalSources: 
  7. Hktdc:
  8. 1688:


  1. Indiamart: 
  2. Tradeindia: 
  3. Alibaba: 
  4. ExportersIndia :
  5. Connec2india:
  6. DHgate: 
  7. eWorldTrade : 
  8. Global Sources:


  1. Alibaba: 
  2. Vietnam Export: 
  3. Vietnam Manufacturers: 
  4. VTown : 
  5. VietnamAZ : 
  6. VietnameseMade 
  7. VCCI News : 
  8. Global Sources :

15. Scalability and Flexibility 

  • China: Very High but not flexible. 
  • India: Low to Moderate, highly flexible
  • High: Very High and moderatly flexible. 

16. Brand recognition

  • China: Very High
  • India: High and oppurtunity for great story telling
  • Vietnam:High

sourcing from india china and vietnam
Sourcing India vietnam and china
sourcing china, India and vietnamFig1: Table of comparison for sourcing from China, India, and Vietnam 
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