– Igor Palka, CEO, BC India Expo.
TFT : The 3rd edition of bC Expo India is approaching fast , hows been the preparations going?
Igor Palka : We are now in the core time of preparing the event and still get many inquiries every single day. As that the construction equipment market has slightly improved after the elections we are looking forward to a great event which will be the first in that sector and that scale in the north of India. I am more than happy that we have already numerous stakeholders on board and many new companies will be present this year, too. Of course there is still a lot of things to be organized but we are totally on track and count the days until we open the gates on 15th December!
TFT : What made the bC india board consider shifting the event to India Exposition Mart?
Igor Palka : We had several reasons why we relocated the bC India show to Greater Noida and shifted in dates. One is the region of North India: Many companies welcome the move of our show to North India near Delhi, where so far there was no large construction equipment exhibition. Secondly, the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida, as a modern trade-fair centre, offers us the right ground to improve in terms of size or quality. This is a big improvement, when you compare it to the temporary hall structures we had to build up at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, which by the way was not available for a third edition of bC India in Mumbai. I believe that relocating to Greater Noida/Delhi will help to develop this event further.
Igor Palka, the young and energetic CEO at bC Expo India is super busy awaiting December 2014 to organize one of the world’s largest Expo on Construction Industry at a new location; India Exposition Mart , Greater Noida, bC India, a joint venture between two internationally successful trade show organizers: Messe Muenchen International, organizer of BAUMA, and AEM, organizer of CONEXPO-CON/AGG have combined their expertise to create the biggest construction machinery show. Igor took over as CEO of bC Expo India in July 2013 after Thomas Loeffler, the outgoing CEO left to China to serve as additional deputy CEO at MMI Shanghai. Igor Spoke to M Q Syed at length and answered at ease; many tough questions by TFT.
TFT : The poor footfall at India Exposition Mart in past has been a cause of concern for many exhibitions. How are you going to address this?
Igor Palka : First of all, there is still a certain mindset about the India Expo Mart being far away that needs to be corrected. From many central points as well as the airport you can easily reach the exhibition ground between 60 and 90 minutes, I experienced it many times by myself. We as an organizer of course have to provide several options how to reach the venue, that’s why there will be different shuttle routes to the venue with pick up points at the airports, numerous different hotels, metro stations and other central points in Delhi NCR. We recommend to use the metro to those points and then avail our free shuttle to bC India. Moreover we are currently working on cooperation’s with the DND Flyway and some other corporations in order to make the commute to Greater Noida as convenient as possible.
TFT : There is confusion among the minds of new visitors on ‘Expo Centre’,( Greater NOIDA) as another venue being called as ‘NOIDA Expo Centre,’ do you think the duplicity will affect the footfall?
Igor Palka : No, I don’t think that this will affect our show. We are highlighting and promoting the location of bC India 2014 in all possible ways and signs will guide all visitors to the right place. Additionally, due to the height of some huge exhibits from our participants and the size of bC India in general, you will be able to see the event from quite some distance.
TFT : You must be missing Thomas , the former CEO at bC India, is it a bigger task for you to manage the show at a new location without a fellow senior colleague around?
Igor Palka : The success of the past two shows was amazing. After just two editions, bC India has developed into one of the most important trade fairs for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles in the Middle East and India. Thomas and the team did a fantastic job to establish bC India as a well recognized platform for the industry that exhibitors and visitors should not miss out. However, having managed bauma in Munich, I personally have faced already big tasks in the past. bC India is of course a complete new challenge for me but luckily I have the same team around me that Thomas had and together we can bring this show to another level.
TFT : India’s infrastructure sector in last fiscal has been slow on growth. Many construction conglomerates are even struggling to survive, How do you think bC India 2014 will cope with this trend?
Igor Palka : We feel the market sentiment are right, the government is talking the right language of growth, development and what is absolute positive is their interest in Infrastructure development. We also feel that in due course of time, like everything else, the sector will see some good turn around, which will definitely have positive impact by the time we are having the show. One has to understand, that a stronger India will enable stronger neighborhood. Already their talks of infrastructure developments across India and its neighbors like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. We think this region will see some immense transformation in near future and of course for Infrastructure sector is one of them and bCIndia will be there to help the industry by bringing in the right technology into the fray.
TFT : How’s been the bC India growth pattern in the last 2 editions in terms of space sold, business generated and visitor footfall?
Igor Palka : We were very happy with the outcome of our first two editions. Having a first edition in 2011 with 508 exhibitors on 88,000 sqm with almost 25,000 visitors and increasing this to 710 companies from 33 countries on 150,000sqm with more than 28,000 visitors is extremely impressive. I am very much looking forward to continuing the success story of this event.
TFT : Bauma, bC India, CONEXPO-CON/AGG, BAI, AEM, MMI. Can you define the interlinks and partnership?
Igor Palka : bC India – A BAUMA CONEXPO SHOW is a Joint Venture between the German exhibition organizer MMI (Messe München International) and the American association AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers). Both organizations hold Construction Equipment shows in Munich, Germany and Las Vegas, USA, called bauma and CON EXPO-CON / AGG. Those shows are by far the biggest construction machinery related exhibitions in the world. BAI – Builder’s Association of India is or Joint organiser and big supporter since the first event in 2011.
TFT : Which Indian Show in the same segment is nearest comepetor to bC India?
Igor Palka : There are few shows in the same segment, all spread across India. A comparable show to ours is being held every alternate year to bC India in Bangalore. We consider this as a good balance, having one major show each year, one in South and our exhibition in the north of India.
TFT : You were on the panel discussion of “Standards and Codes for Tradefair Organisation in India” at IEIA Open Seminar, held in august , what is the status on the task?
Igor Palka : Many thoughts have already been put into the Standards and Codes, meaning health and safety guidelines for the Indian Exhibition Industry. They have been brought on paper and presented to IEIA and now recently openly discussed at the Open Seminar. Now it is coming to the time of streamlining the process of implementation, which is a very important task. I believe this should not take too much time, otherwise we will just keep on talking about it.
TFT : Are you a regular reader of TradeFairTimes, what is your take on this publication?
Igor Palka : I am absolutely a regular reader of TradeFarTimes. In fact, TFT was one of the very first publications that I’ve hold in hands once I arrived in India. It gave me, especially in my first weeks here in India, a constant good overview of what is happening in the Indian Exhibition Industry and now I am happy and proud to be more involved and a part of it. 12-Best of luck for bC India 2014, we look forward to have a great debut at NCR.
Thank you very much, I also look forward welcoming you and all the readers to bC India from 15th to 18th December.