Virendra Gupta, Deputy Director General of CII during uncovers the secrets of his life, answers tough questions on GES and reveals future plans of the event exclusively with TFT’s, excerpts of the candid interview follows.
Q: Besides the Information about the Exhibition, Can you tell our readers something about yourself?
A: I have been working with CII since 1992. I have worked with deputy general director CII. I’m regional director in South. I have served my masters in business economy Business & finance. I had B.Com(Hon.) from Shri Ram College.
Q: You have had a really long journey with CII. How has your experience been so far?
A: it’s rather good. We’ve been doing well.
Q :How do you feel to be a component of India’s biggest industry organization?
A : Actually I’m not working for any establishment. I play for India, Indian industry and then for CII. Our chore is not like we are working on a company as a member. We are working for the country as well. We are acting for the benefit of the industry. Like this exhibition we are working here for the development of the service sector. So the objective is how to develop India, how to sustain development of Indian economy, with in India what can I do for the Indian industry. And number three is how can the CII become its voice.
Q : Being a component of such a big organization, how big a responsibility do you hold?
A: it’s up to a mortal. You can bring a dynamic decision for the growth of the industry and feel free. And I’m a dynamic decision taker.
Q: It’s salutary to know that many things are going on in the GES, but what is the motive behind this event?
A : Service Industry is a bright industry in Indian economy. It is drastically changing. It’s forming a road for progress for the Indian economy. We feel that good service companies are executing as well as ITs. This outcome is a showcase of Indian companies’ potential export to the world. We deliver over 400 buyers from the different countries which would have a first glimpse of Indian companies. Eventually this is a B-B show. There were twenty-five thousand registered online visitors. They have visited the show and they are very much happy with it.
Q: If you can throw light on the concept of the show and it’s previous editions?
A : This is the third edition of GES which is a organized in collaboration of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The 1st edition was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, 2nd and 3rd both were inaugurated by President of India. GES 2017 was introduced at the president’s house. This time we have 550 exhibitors, Participants from 73 countries and representatives from 24 States Governments. Approximately 3 thousand business meeting happened here. We have China as a focus country. There are 100 overseas companies and around 550 domestic companies. There are some new additions this time. We had a talk with Shilpa Shetty and Shri Shri Ravishankar. In the service sector, we are organizing talk with many reputed personalities. All are crowd puller. This time we also organized film festival. We planned movie show in the exhibition for the 1st time. At that place are four selfie zone where visitors and exhibitors can click picture with celebrities. We covered full India Expo Center for GES. This is really good and encouraging show and the feedback is also very good. Many Union Minister had visited the show. We had Commerce Minister who had a special sitting. Shri Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore and Sports Minister, Shri Vijay Goyal also attended the fair. We own more than 32 focus services.
Q: As you confine this to be a B-B show. How does Shilpa Shetty and Shri Shri Ravishankar and other celebrities add value to the show ?
A : You asked a really relevant question. We kept the session with Shri Shri Ravishanker because spiritualism, medicine, yoga and all this sort of services are growing. Like Ayush is here who performs Yoga. So spiritualism is another service we have and Art of living has not only marked it’s presence in India but globally. End of followers are across the macrocosm. So this is the one of the vibrant services which is picking up really fast. And then we thought that it could be very relevant.
Shilpa Shetty came because of two perspectives; one is a film or entertainment. People know her globally. She likewise has been associated with health services. Thus we thought she was very relevant. Both of them are crowd Puller for GES.
Q : What were the major challenges you confronted when you set out to show?
A: That was the awareness among people. If we talk about manufacturing there is nothing to expose. It was the newfangled thing. If we talk about Auto Expo and Component show there is equipment, but in the service you don’t need any stall to display the things, just one laptop is fine to explain the service. This time stall looks much better compared to the previous exhibition.
Q : Are you still facing these challenges?
A : Yes, definitely, challenges are still there. Like last year we had covered seventeen sectors and this year it was twenty. Next year we should add two, three new sectors.
Q : Can you shed some light on the sectors you would like to add to the GES?
A : This is a joint show with the Government. So first we will discuss within the Government then we will prefix some related skill, like plumbing.Q :Last year I did an interview of Mr. Ranjit Jampi, where he had said “We would change the venue in our next edition because of connectivity” ? But the venue remains same ?
A: Yes , we wanted to, but due to ITPO renovation, we cannot extend the full show in Pragati Maidan so we decided to stay with India Expo Mart. Response of the last show was likewise very good, so we thought that we would stay here. We will discuss with the ministry of commerce for the venue and then will decide where it should occur.
Q: Simply because of the venue, exhibitors and visitors both suffered. This is the reason footfall never reaches till expectation?
A: We don’t run short by the footfall. Its the B-B event . We do not execute an auto expo here so we get one and half lakh visitors per day. The idea of this show is not to start a footfall, we want some genuine visitor which are coming through buyers. We have prefixed three thousand meetings. The B-B lounge is there. We would have 300 overseas buyers here. We don’t want much crowd here as that is not our target. This is not a consumer show. We don’t want children or holiday makers here, We want only relevant people. That is the basic idea.
Q : What kind of visitors are flowing in , what has been the the footfall till now (2nd day of the event).?
A: We will give you soon as we are still calculating. this the 2nd day of the event and two days are still are remaining. After that we will able to contribute data. The show took up yesterday(17 April) and the footfall was zero that day. The show took off. We have visitors from the industry, People from services, from embassy of India, invitees from 24 states, people from Hospitals and Banks.
Q :But the exhibitors are saying that quality visitors are not in that location ?
A: it’s too premature for us. It’s just taken up, how can we come to this conclusion. Actually, we can’t satisfy everyone, if one visitor is relevant for some industry it is quite obvious that it is not useful for the rest of the multitude. We can’t stop anyone to visit the expo. If people from education sector think that most of the student crowd is of their liking, it may be that they are the quality visitors for the skill development sector. So it takes place in a big exhibition. Each mortal is not useful to every service provider.