TFT: This is the 31st exhibition of AAHAR. Every year ITPO does something new. What new is going to happen in this year’s exhibition?
J Guna: Aahar is the flagship event of ITPO. We are doing Aahar on a very grand scale we have increased almost five halls compared to last year. This year we introduced three hangers and some open space. The Show is much bigger than last year. We have expanded the area with more than 10
thousand square meters. Last year, we had about 45 thousand and this year we are having 55 thousands sq. meter area. The growth is not only in hospitality but also in food. Last year the food participants were allotted 2 halls this year we have given them additional halls. Likewise, we
have added three extra halls to the Hospitality industry. This year food equipment section has also been added. The hanger stand is also bigger. I would say that participation is wider as compared to last year. We are expecting more the 50 thousands visitors. Lot of new things has also been introduced in this Aahar. Startup opportunity for new and young entrepreneurs is one of them. We have introduced online media for Aahar, where we have live interviews of exhibitors, product profile/launches, seminars, interview of CEOs and elite visitors. These will be streaming live on You Tube. There will be a Twitter & Facebook Handle also. New Mobile application is especially introduced for this event. We have drawn out service plans for visitors as well as for exhibitors. Single window clearance for everything they require, like power, water etc. We have also drawn a plan for free pickup and drop for senior citizens and women with children. There are two dedicated ambulances. We ensure safety in Aahar.
TFT: Last year 22 countries have participated in Aahar. What would be the number this year?
J Guna: At this junction we have 18 countries and we are expecting more countries. Numbers of exhibitors have also grown. More than 50-60 international companies are coming. And good thing is that, this event is approved by UFI, world’s body of food exhibition.
TFT: What is the motive behind the Aahar?
J Guna: Aahar is the event for the food and hospitality industry. The food sector in India is considered as sunrise sector, because being a developing country we have abundant resources basically in food and agriculture sectors. But more than 60 percent food is wasted because it is not processed properly. Food process helps us to preserve self-life of the product. The product life will automatically increase if we preserve it
in appropriate temperature. That’s why we have identified this sector as a sunrise sector. This is a prime area of India for development. India’s
development started with agriculture and it continues with it. So food and hospitality are a very important segment in India. In hospitality, yes now India has grown. It has opened many doors for many countries. People are joining this industry and there are many hotels coming up every year. So every hospitality needs equipment. This is also one of the fastest growing industry in India. That is the reason the show of Aahar comes out with food, hospitality and equipment. This is the key show of ITPO and this event is the biggest event in India, I would say, even in south Asia, because the area in which we are displaying is bigger than the area generally people see in gulf countries.
TFT: Is Aahar coming with any theme this year?
J Guna: No there is no specific theme but we have widely divided this sector into three parts. Food, hospitality and equipment. These are the
three sectors which we have introduced. This is a commercial fair so our all focus is on Make in India, digital India and startups. This is a purely
B2B event. But ITPO always promotes their events in all government missions lIke Swach Bharat, Make in India, startups and digital India campaign. Whatever the government scheme is, it is very much taken by ITPO’s each event. Like for clean India (swach bharat) we increased the man power.
TFT: How is Aahar successful on business terms?
J Guna: If the area is increasing after each fair it means it is successful. Look at the growth from last year to this year. We increased area
about 10 thousands square feet and included 5-6 new halls too. We have spread almost in the entire Pragati Maidan. Now we are increasing publicity. We are getting key interest from all over the world. Likewise last year, this year also we are getting lot of overseas participants but this year we are displaying strength of India that’s why we are giving preferences to Indian entrepreneurs. We are not giving much priority to overseas participants. Our complete focus is to promote domestic entrepreneurs. We got more than 800 exhibitors. One of the biggest exhibitions.
TFT: What are the challenges in front of this industry?
J Guna: Every day there are challenges. We are focusing towards organic farming. We are avoiding pesticides. These are the new challenges. We will organize seminars every day. Seminars are going to cover every subject.