I first mentioned Nataraj pencils in 2009 in my blog post about another Indian pencil, the Reynolds. Well, as mentioned recently Hindustan Pencils, the company behind the Nataraj and other pencils, was at the Insights X so I had a chance to look at their stand.
Hindustan Pencils’ International Business Manager told me that they are trying to enter the European market and are currently looking for a distributor. In Europe they are not using Nataraj and Apsara, well established brand names in India. Instead they are using SiVO as their main brand name in Europe.
A lot of the pencils at their stand were colour pencils, but luckily there were some graphite pencils, too. Some had patterns printed on them and looked like they were clearly aimed at teenagers and school children.
Others looked like very affordable pencils (the ‘yelo’, shown on the right in the photo below – open in a new tab for a high res version of the image) or pencils that try to distinguish themselves with their looks (fluorescent or metallic body).
Most interesting to me was the ‘absolute’, available in a hexagonal and a triangular shape. It’s box is labelled ‘premium black lead pencil’, so I assume this is their best pencil. Its plain look makes me think it is supposed to compete with high quality pencils like the Mars Lumograph and the Castell 9000.
If there is any interest I’ll be happily having a closer look at the sample I brought home.
6 thoughts on “SiVO / Hindustan Pencils at Insights X 2016”
An Absolute comprises part of the current Apsara range – from memory, I think it’s somewhere between the Blackwing Pearl and Blackwing MMX in darkness. I quite like it, although I’ve only tried one. It’s a grey pencil with a fetching light blue dipped end, and a white band separating the dip colour from the body colour.
The pencils in your image look similar, although the dip is shorter.
These photos came out great! The Absolute is a great pencil. I’ll be really happy to see them bring their pencils to Europe and the US in greater numbers. You can get a lot of them on Amazon via Indian sellers in the US. Are these available on Amazon UK? There’s a good bit of waiting, but the costs are excellent. 🙂
Thank you for your comments.
John, I wonder whether the SiVO absolute will be different to the Apsara absolute. Since they look a bit different they might be made differently (different lead).
Johnny, I’m not sure whether they are on Amazon UK. I have seen them on eBay UK in the past, but I got my Nataraj etc many years ago from Indian MBA students I taught. They knew I was into pencils – that was long before the Hindustan pencils were available in the West through Amazon or eBay.
Matthias, slowly but surely reading your great blog is becoming expensive 🙂 First I had to order 4 packs of Faber-Castell’s Columbus. And now this blog made me buying some packs of Apsara’s Platinum.
I think I will not regret this buy, as I didn’t regret the Columbus (thanks again for the nice article!)
Pencelish greetings, Michael
Good thing is that unlike fountain pens the Columbus and the Apsara are pretty affordable 8^)
I hope you’ll like the Apsara.
Yes Matthias, that is what I really like: You can have so many beautiful pencils for small money. These 100 Apsaras are coming with 10 erasers and 10 sharpeners for 25 EUR including shipping. I think they will make nice little gifts 🙂