bC India: new venue, new leadership, new future
“I am very much looking forward to continuing the success story of this event,” describes Igor Palka, CEO, bC Expo India Pvt. Ltd.
Shareholders Messe München (MMG) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) have appointed Igor Palka as the new CEO at bC Expo India Pvt. Ltd. Mr Palka, who takes over from Thomas Löffler, worked for Messe München before, when he was still a student, and he has remained close to the company ever since. In a tête-à-tête conversation with Subhajit Roy, Mr Palka shares how bC India will be different from now on.
Mr Palka, congrats on being appointed as the new CEO at bC Expo India. What is your perception on the status of construction equipment industry in India?Thank you very much. Over the last couple of years, the global construction equipment industry has witnessed a structural change. Especially India, as an emerging market, the industry has demonstrated robust growth rates and increased global shares in units. However, in the past 2 years, the economic climate in the country was not conducive to the healthy growth of the infrastructure sector. In my opinion, several reasons lead to a decline in demand for construction equipment. Nevertheless, I am very optimistic about the future development of the construction equipment industry in India.
Are there any sign of revival as far as Indian market is concerned? Looking at the current Five-Year Plan and the huge planned infrastructure investments, I am convinced that the situation will improve by the 2nd half of next year. I think generally, the elections next year will change the overall picture and contribute positively to a revival of the industry.
How do you look at the success of last two editions of bC India?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. Having a 1st edition in 2011 with 508 exhibitors on 88,000 sq. metres and increasing this to 710 companies from 33 countries on 150,000 sq. metres is extremely impressive. I am very much looking forward to continuing the success story of this event.
The next edition of bC India will be held in Greater Noida. Why did you shift the venue from Mumbai though it was claimed to be successful there?We had several reasons why we relocated the bC India show to Greater Noida. One is the region of Delhi, the Indian capital, where gigantic infrastructure projects are born, the government makes decisions about new large-scale projects and where leading domestic and international corporations have their headquarters. This will result in a win-win situation for all our exhibitors and visitors.
In addition to its favourable climate, Delhi is easily accessible from abroad as well as from within India. Moreover, the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida is considered India’s most modern trade-fair centre. This is another big improvement, when you compare it to the temporary hall structures we had to build up at the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai. I believe that relocating to Greater Noida/Delhi will make this event more attractive than ever.
What are your expectations from the forthcoming edition? How big it’s going to be?Looking at the success of the last two editions, I am very proud to take over this project and continue improving it. My expectations are very ambitious as we have the total India Expo Centre with 17,000 sq. metres to occupy. But in the end, it is always the satisfaction of our exhibitors and visitors which raises the bar. We will definitely do our best to meet everybody’s expectations.
What kind of responses you are getting from the Indian exhibitors?Despite the current economic situation, we are getting very positive responses from our exhibitors. We just recently started with the application period and the promotion of our show and already received very positive feedback. Many companies welcome the move of our show to North India, where so far there was no large construction equipment exhibition.
How many exhibitors are expected to participate? What about overseas participation?We expect for bC India in December 2014 over 900 companies to participate. Looking at the ratio of our past events, we have welcomed 40 per cent Indian companies and 60 per cent foreign companies. I am positive that we again will reach similar figures and welcome exhibitors from more than 33 countries.
Are you getting enough support from the local authorities and industry bodies?We are in steady contact with the local authorities and industry bodies and very satisfied with the support so far. The show already has attracted a highly regarded supporter for the coming event – the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC). Amitabh Kant, CEO and Managing Director, DMICDC, welcomed the move of our event to Greater Noida near Delhi as the North of India has the best business potential for the construction and construction equipment industry and the most favourable conditions for an important construction equipment exhibition like bC India.
Apart from the changes in venue and dates, how different is the forthcoming edition going to be?The next edition, which will be held from December 15-18, 2014, will continue to be a successful show. The majority of our visitors in Mumbai expressed their intension to visit the next bC India, even if will take place in the Delhi region instead of Mumbai. The main difference will be the new target group of North India, as added value to all our exhibitors. Moreover, we plan to increase the quality of the show by adding a high-quality supporting programme with different kind of presentations, panel discussions and training sessions.