- Igor Palka, CEO, bC Expo India
bauma CONEXPO INDIA - the international trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles - provides a platform for networking, investment and the exchange of ideas and information. Launched in 2011, the show has successfully put quality standards to test. Igor Palka, CEO, bC Expo India, shares more on the Indian construction equipment market and the expo..
With three successful trade shows held under the name of bC India, what prompted the change in name to bauma CONEXPO INDIA?
For the last few years, the global market scenario has been tough. In India too, the economic slowdown has impacted the construction and construction equipment industry as well. But with new economic reforms and changes in economic policies by the Indian Government, there is an upbeat sentiment in the market. It is imperative that India will soon have to focus more on its infrastructure development projects. This will have a domino effect on the construction sector soon. The proof of this is that, despite the slump in the industry, we have managed to successfully organise three editions of bC India. Over the last three editions, not only did the size of our show grow to accommodate more visitors, but we also witnessed participation from a diverge range of industry players. The interest generated by its success has further helped us understand the scope of growth in this sector in the Indian market. While the Indian Government is currently working in full throttle on developing the Indian infrastructure, we are seeing a lot of movement in key areas such as railways, road construction sector and smart cities. Keeping these developments in mind, the two partners to bC India - Messe Munchen and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) - felt that there was a need to introduce the bauma CONEXPO experience to the Indian market.
The new show is more in line with what we do internationally. With this, the two partners are establishing a joint brand with consolidated brand management for their venture bauma CONEXPO INDIA and bauma CONEXPO AFRICA.
What kind of business prospects can exhibitors and visitors expect at the expo this year?
The opportunities from a show of this nature is not quantifiable. One must realise that even if there are sales that take place during these shows, it is not the main reason for exhibitors or visitors to be there. A show of this nature is meant to understand the prevalent market scenario, meet people from the domain and interact with them - these may be business queries, or request for quotations for the goods, or business enquires. Also, the venue provides for people to interact with various stakeholders of the sector from India and abroad.
Apart from this, one can see live demos of the product, a preview into new technology and equipment. This entices clients and vendors to take it forward post the event. Exhibitors and visitors connect with each other in shows such as these for exactly the same reason.
How do you view the current growth in the construction equipment industry in India and how do you see it impacting the expo´s growth this year?
India is one of the fastest growing economy globally.
The Indian Government is not only taking landmark decisions for improving the economic climate, but also creating an environment conducive for ease of doing business. Adding to it is the Indian talent pool of well-educated and motivated young professionals. It makes India a compelling story to take notice and be a part of. But, the route to economic growth passes through the lacuna of infrastructure growth. This, sadly, has been a big bottleneck towards India´s growth story.
But now, things are seemingly moving in the right direction. The government has committed to increase spending on total infrastructure investment by 22 per cent over the next two years. Also, the plan for 100 smart cities will further push the infrastructure sector.
Hence, as a domino effect, the construction equipment sector too, has the potential to grow at an exponential rate. In the coming years, these factors can make India a lucrative market for those operating in this sector. The nature of our business is highly volatile. So, if we are seeing a negative sentiment currently, we remain certain that things will definitely pick up. Also, in the recent past, we have been witnessing a definite upward trend on positive sentiments. This is backed by an increase in demand in sectors such as road equipment. Further, industry forecast suggests that there could be an increase in demand for earthmoving equipment, concrete equipment and material handling equipment. It also predicts that equipment sales will see a modest growth of around 6 per cent. In terms of revenue, the industry will see a growth of up to 10 per cent. And, our show will certainly grow with the respective sectors; so, we are welcoming more manufacturers this edition. We expect that this will lead to an increase in the number of component manufacturers and suppliers, eventually resulting in participation from potential buyers or contractors.
How has bauma CONEXPO India grown in terms of success over the years and what are your expectations this year?
When we started our journey in 2011 at BKC in Mumbai, we had 88,000 sq ft space but with zero infrastructure. That year, we attracted 508 exhibitors from 36 countries. Then, the last edition of bC India in 2013 held at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida, saw 635 exhibitors from 25 countries participating at the new venue, using 120,000 sq ft exhibition space. So, there has definitely been an increase from all ends - number of visitors, exhibitors, big industry players, venue size, etc.
For our first edition of bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2016, we are expecting around 750 exhibitors and over 30,000 business visitors. So, keeping in mind these numbers, we will be occupying the full 150,000 sq m space that we have taken up at Sector 29, Gurgaon. We are looking at some of the biggest names in the industry to participate as well as a large global participation; so, we have increased the size of the international pavilion.
At our new venue, HUDA Grounds at Gurgaon, we have four main sectors being featured: 1) All around construction sites; 2) Mining, extraction and processing of raw materials; 3) Production of building materials; and 4) Component and service suppliers. The main theme will be to showcase the completeness of the CE spectrum with industry leaders and participants on board. The general outlook is to showcase the stabilisation of growth within the industry. In addition to the programmes, conferences and awards on the sidelines of the exhibition, this year, we are planning to take up issues such as power-efficiency, ecologically-beneficial technology and the financing aspect and its requirement within the construction industry. Also, as a first, we are planning to create a huge demonstration area, where the exhibitors will be able to showcase and give a live demo of their new machines and technology.
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