India's Pioneer Media on TradeFairs

You are not allowed to hold Exhibitions: BMC to NESCO

M Q Syed, Editor-in-Chief, TradeFairTimes presents his honest and straight-forward take on the BMC-NESCO fiasco in this exclusive.

Dr. Arokia Swami: How are you Mr. BMC? You are invited to have dinner at our home. Here is the Invite.

BMC : How dare you. You are ordered not to cook any food. Your pressure cooker creates pressure for your neighbours. Mr. Sharma has even whined that the scent of your food exasperates his pets. Additionally, the MLA is extremely unhappy with you. You should quit cooking food, as this has created trouble for the environment. The Notice is likewise served to your land lord, not to lease the flat any longer. Here are even orders of the court against your property owner.

Dr. Arokia Swami: But sir, I am inviting you on a dinner and maybe you don’t have permissions to close my kitchen.

BMC : Come on, we are ‘Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’. Ask our leaders. They know better than you. Something like this was done by BMC when Automation Expo (booked for 29thAug-1st Sept. at NESCO) organisers applied for permission of a temporary roof for ‘Automation Expo’ visitors to stroll between two Halls of BCEC, as there were chances of downpours amidst the show. They would have done as such even without informing the BMC and later paying a couple of thousand to the office Babu’s who wander around NESCO amid exhibitions for a tip. However, being a private sector organizer it was the moral obligation of Automation Expo organisers to seek permission for such rooftop covers to guarantee that visitors don’t get wet.

Likewise, economic development by organizing exhibitions is a piece of the torment that private organisers must take. It’s their ethical duty to take care of business for state, create job opportunities, invite tourists to the city and make a stage where business can happen to generate good amount of taxes for the administration. Only then, Dr. Arokia Swami would have battled the next elections.

The letter issued by BMC dated 24th August had gone viral throughout nation even before the Automation Expo organisers could receive it officially. NESCO came in action to secure business and name that it has earned ever since Mr. Sumant Patel thought of creating an exhibition space for organisers in 1992.

NESCO would have easily earned four times of rental if a commercial venture was set up at BCEC. Although they settled on an annual revenue between 100-115 Crore, why not-NESCO had a moral responsibility to be a facilitator for exhibitions in Mumbai. Being the biggest private sector

exhibition venue of the country and hosts of multiple exhibitions together to directly or indirectly create business worth thousands of crores, NESCO would have been given a national award in Germany, Hong Kong or China and Mr. Patel would have been inducted as a city mayor in a German Messe city. However, here he has to fight local government and so called representatives of the people to ensure organisers are able to organize event at BCEC.

IEIA, The National Exhibition Industry Association on 26th August, told its members on a WhattsApp group that their national executive is in contact with NESCO to give all conceivable help. The whole exhibition world rallied behind the organizer and NESCO while a big fiasco has already erupted among the exhibitors of the show.

Many of them having invested huge sum in creating special stalls, flying in their teams from India and aboard, got up to the media news again on 26th August that the event has been not permitted by BMC.

NESCO did a commendable job by assuring the permission the very next day, furthermore, got reprimand of the concerned BMC officer.

Numerous questions have popped up in the Mumbai exhibition sector post this incident hence,TFT took up the issue with the fraternity and the concerned government department.

We got in action and started to explore why is this happening to a sector which has created immense growth for the nation. We took up the task of asking organisers and industry professionals about this entire episode and the answers gave enough reasons to be worried and alert.

We needed to skirt few answers from four important respondents as the same would have been taken as negative substance, and may even have pulled in a show-cause for EXHICON. (Regardless of the respondent requesting that we publish their names with answers).

We also had to omit few answers on the suggestion from IEIA President, Hon. Secretary and the Vice President. Sincere apologies from the four very important respondents as your answers were deleted being a responsible IEIA member and keeping with our commitment of playing a positive and important role in development of the sector.

Thank you to all of the concerned for giving great inputs and suggestions on similar formatted questions asked. Special thanks to the most substantial answers, inputs and recommendations from:

Ashish Gupta, Director – Winmark Exhibitions; Krishna Patel, MD – Nesco Ltd.; Sukhjinder Singh, Founder & CEO – Infinity Expo; Yogesh Mudras, MD – UBM India and Jyothi Joseph, MD – IED Communications.