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– Bhupinder Singh, Deputy CEO & Katharina Schlegel, COO, MMI India Pvt Ltd.

In an exclusive Interview with TradeFairTimes MMI India Active CEO’s throw light an Industry Trends and Growth of MMI India, excerpts follows.

TFT : You both have been now escalated jointly as ‘Acting CEOs’, how will MMI India be driven further?
Bhupinder Singh : The sudden demise of Mr.Dasilva has shocked and saddened us and the industry colleagues. His passing away is a major loss to the organization and the industry, as a whole. The MMI India team has shown strong character and unitedly we will continue to complete Mr. Dasilva’s vision for the company. We are jointly fully in charge and in control of the company. As the joint Acting CEOs we have defined our roadmap for short & midterm vision and will work towards it.

Katharina Schlegel: As Bhupinder said, we are deeply saddened with the sudden demise of Mr. Dasilva. The Indian Exhibition industry has lost a bright and dynamic industry personality. However, with regard to the employees of MMI India and our partners in the Indian exhibition market it is more than necessary to give a guidance in these turbulent times and ensure a continuity of the company´s management in the spirit of the late CEO.

TFT : How has India been to Messe München International’s growth strategy?
Bhupinder Singh : Messe München is making good progress with the strategic expansion of its portfolio of trade fairs and exhibitions held outside Germany. MMI India began operations in 2007 in the commercial capital of India – Mumbai. It started with 8 employees with just a single show to manage. Today, we host eight trade fairs and employ a total workforce of more than 50 employees spread across India.
This month we could successfully set up our regional offices in Delhi and Bengaluru which are very important markets for us.

Katharina Schlegel: With continued implementation of the efficiency and growth program, SPEED, the focus for Messe München is also implementing a new corporate strategy. Targeted growth on the domestic market through strategic acquisitions and the expansion of market positions are the core goals on which we will concentrate in the coming years.

TFT : What are the exhibition programmes for 2014 and 2015?
Bhupinder Singh/Katharina Schlegel : The trade-fair season is fast approaching and we are really excited to host leading shows in key domains. Our trade fairs, electronica India and productronica India, LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA will be held at BIEC, Bengaluru from 23rd to 25th September and will be spread across an area of 20,000 sqm, drink technology India 2014 which grew by almost 33% compare to last edition will be held from 25th to 27th September at BEC, Mumbai. After a very strong start last year, IFAT India’s second edition of will take place from 9th to 11th October at BEC, Mumbai followed by Intersolar India from 18th to 20th November. The first quarter of 2015 will begin with Indian Ceramics in Ahmedabad will be hosted from 21st to 23rd January 2015 followed by IATF.

TFT : How do you both foresee the growth of exhibitions and events as an industry in India?
Bhupinder Singh/Katharina Schlegel : The scale of the opportunity in India is heightened by the fact that it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Indian economy is expected to quadruple in size between now and 2020, according to market outlook. According to a recent report compiled for UFI by the Business Strategies Group, India’s exhibition industry has the potential to grow to US$990 million. With a slowdown faced by Western countries, International exhibition companies are entering India to tap the growing potential. MMI India is very positive on the Indian market outlook. Due to this optimism we are actively exploring M&A prospects on trade-fairs from the organic and inorganic growth perspective.

TFT : What will be the noticeable trends in the coming year?
Bhupinder Singh/Katharina Schlegel : Businesses have already realized the importance of exhibitions and are actively participating in shows pertaining to their domain. In India the exhibition Industry is still fragmented, although there is fierce competition, exhibition organisers are still coming together and are striving hard for the betterment of the industry. In the recent years, we have also seen many big players investing in shows run by small organisers and this trend may continue. We hope that with the support of a very dynamic association like IEIA in place, Government of India would recognise the trade fairs as an ‘Industry’, although this will take some time.

TFT : There has been a spurt of international exhibition organizers entering the Indian market in the last few years. What do you think is the scope for the Trade Fair Industry in India?
Bhupinder Singh/Katharina Schlegel : Everybody is looking up to India especially with the new Government in place. The expectations from the new government are very high and we hope that this translates into a positive business environment that our sector desperately needs. Despite all of this, India’s exhibition industry remains smaller than its Asian counter parts like Hong Kong and Korea. Clearly, there is plenty of growth upside in the Indian industry. With many niche industry verticals unexplored, sellers meet and it will continue to grow.


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