Bhupinder Singh, CEO, bauma CONEXPO INDIA
Exhibitors have welcomed the new dates for bauma CONEXPO INDIA as it will allow companies time to recover from the ongoing crisis and stabilise operations. We are working with several partners to ensure a safe exhibiting experience for everyone at the fairground and will strictly follow government directives and take additional safety measures to facilitate a lucrative business environment.

How do you see the overall scenario of the exhibition industry in 2020 which has been washed out by Covid-19?
With multiple events being either postponed or cancelled, the impact of Covid-19 on the trade fair industry has been tremendous. As exhibition organizers, we like to plan things way in advance, and hence it is not just uncertainty that’s impacting us but also our response to the uncertainty.

My learning is that we are clearly living in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. Most businesses know how to handle the normal, but it’s times like this that make assumptions of the business clear to you, some of our business assumptions are getting challenged now!

bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2020 is now scheduled to be held during Feb 23-26, 2021. What were the deliberations behind the change in date?
As a trade fair organizer, our prime concern is the health and safety of everyone involved in our trade shows and at times of economic difficulties such as these, we wish to stay aligned with what the industry needs. If the CE industry needs a trade fair, we will do our best to provide an even better RoI to the participants. But if our exhibitors, stakeholders, and partners do not share the enthusiasm, or are not in the right mindset to accept a trade fair; I think we need to respect that.

Keeping this in mind, we had multiple discussions internally with our international teams and with our advisory board members, partner associations like iCEMA, BAI etc, exhibitors, and also with our buyer and visitor community. The new dates are an outcome of these discussions with the stakeholders.

Having said that, we are working with several partners to ensure and design trade fairs that enable a safe exhibiting experience for everyone at the fairground. bauma CONEXPO INDIA will strictly follow government directives and take additional safety measures as well to facilitate a safe and lucrative environment to conduct business in.

What has been the exhibitors’ response to the postponement?
This decision was taken after several discussions with stakeholders, associations, and exhibitors, so this is more an industry decision. The exhibitors have welcomed this decision and see it as a wise move. The postponement will allow companies time to recover from the ongoing crisis and help stabilise operations. We intend to make the event a meaningful business platform, a comeback for our exhibitors where the entire ecosystem will converge after a long gap, and make real business happen.

In view of the current situation, what do you think of making bauma CONEXPO INDIA a hybrid event, that is, both a physical and a digital event?
There is immense uncertainty over the commencement of the trade fair industry as well as the expected negative economic impact on onsite exhibitions. In the last two quarters, the Indian market has seen various plug-and-play solution providers for virtual expos, and many organizers have opted for these solutions for various reasons - to generate some additional revenue, to stay connected with the business community, to keep their staff occupied, and so on.

While there is nothing wrong with the above approach; what must be kept in mind is the exhibitor fatigue caused due to substandard experience on many of these virtual exhibition platforms, and, more importantly, the lack of value creation for the participants. If these platforms only create a scenario where the organizer “takes it all” and leaves exhibitors and visitors dissatisfied; the outcome can hurt the brand equity of such exhibitions; and despite the short-term gain, may dampen their long-term relationship with their customers.

bauma CONEXPO INDIA is open to tread unexplored territories to enhance the exhibiting experience for our stakeholders, exhibitors, and visitors. We are exploring various new avenues that are safe and beneficial for all the parties involved.

How is bauma CONEPO INDIA organiser engaging during these times? How would you measure the event’s potential success in these trying times and what feedback have you received from the CE industry?
I have no doubt in my mind that the need of the hour demands companies to be even more considerate to their customer’s demand and needs; I believe the ones who will think about their customers will survive and thrive. Companies who only think about themselves with a myopic view will struggle in the long run!

First, the safety of everyone is paramount. We can only make positive contributions to the business if we stay healthy and avoid spreading the virus. Business continuity is key. We focus our efforts on staying in touch with our customers every step of the way. Our telecon pipelines are full and we are constantly in touch with our exhibitors and other partners to understand their business challenges and their plan of action hereon.

Through our webinar series we have connected with over 20,000 industry colleagues, which is special in many ways. We also had the pleasure to host several central ministers at our webinars. The webinars also provided an excellent platform to engage the audience, connect the stakeholders and bring forth competencies from across sectors.

bauma CONEXPO INDIA - Industry Lauds New Feb’21 Dates
bauma CONEXPO INDIA - north India’s leading International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines and Construction Vehicles - has been rescheduled from 3-6 November 2020 to February 23-26, 2021.

According to the organizers, the decision was made in view of the escalating pandemic and the resultant restrictions imposed by the government. A thorough market assessment and consultation was done with key stakeholders, keeping in mind the interests of the buyers and the exhibitors. It was felt that the buyers would be more certain of their equipment requirements for the upcoming projects in 2021, and the exhibitors would also be ready to showcase their new products, technologies, and services. The extended dates would also allow companies time to recover from the ongoing crisis and stabilize their operations.

The unanimous appreciation by all stakeholders in the Construction Industry is reflected in the following comments:

Arvind K. Garg, Chairman, bauma CONEXPO INDIA: bauma CONEXPO INDIA has enjoyed a very good response in the past few editions after we moved to the NCR region and has gained tremendous prominence. As the purpose of the event is to showcase the capability of the Indian CE industry to customers and provide an excellent platform for CE manufacturers and suppliers to exhibit their products, new technologies, and capabilities, it is necessary that the event is held when our customers can travel freely and participate in the event without too many health and safety concerns. Rescheduling the event to February 2021 would act as a catalyst in the revival of market demand and a change agent for improving sentiment.

Sandeep Singh, President, iCEMA & MD of Tata Hitachi: The CE Industry is fighting battles on many fronts, including very low levels of plant capacity utilization and sales, and consequent impact on company finances. So, it is in the best interest of all concerned to defer bauma CONEXPO INDIA from Nov ’20 to Feb ’21. The decision has been reviewed and discussed with the organizers of the event over several months and a consensus was arrived at after taking stock of the situation. It is hoped that by Feb 2021 the CE industry will see a surge in economic activities and the start of new projects.

Subhash Sethi, Chairman, SPML Infra: bauma CONEXPO INDIA is certainly a big platform for the construction industry and since the pandemic situation is still quite grim across the country, it was a wise decision to reschedule it to the next year. I think technology exhibitors will be the most sought after for their solutions for the CE industry.

Sorab Agarwal, Executive Director, ACE: February 2021 seems to be an opportune time to hold bauma CONEXPO INDIA as the CE industry as well as the Infrastructure sector would be back on track. We feel that it was a wise decision to postpone the event. Due to the Covid fear, participation from the CE Industry and the visitorship would have been limited.

Mu. Moahan, President, BAI: There is no doubt that bauma CONEXPO INDIA is a very important event for Indian builders and contractors. Participants are expected to display their latest machinery, methodologies, services, etc, for the players in the building and contracting industry. They will be able to know about new technologies and adopt them for better management of the 3Ms (man, material and machine), and complete their projects on time. The postponement is even more welcome as the BAI National Members Meet can be planned alongside, with maximum pan India participation.

P.V. Prasanth, Director - Operations & Technology, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C: The organisers have taken the right decision by rescheduling the bauma CONEXPO INDIA event to Feb 2021 as it was unavoidable due to the pandemic. Hopefully, the situation would improve by then and the industry leaders and delegates would feel safe enough to attend the event. Another option that could be explored is to conduct a virtual expo now to showcase the new products and offerings – when we need them most; plus the target audience and decision makers are relatively free now to witness such an event.

Ajay Mandahr, CEO, Escorts Construction Equipment: Rescheduling of bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 2021 was inevitable given the current uncertainty and demand contraction, and in view of the health and safety related challenges. Most of the companies would like to preserve cash, so in their list of priorities, exhibition participation would be stacked lower than employee safety and welfare, digital investments, and product developments, etc.

Anand Sundaresan, Managing Director, Ammann India: It is undoubtedly a wise decision to reschedule the expo to Feb 2021. The year 2020-2021 has been very challenging for everyone; travel restrictions and fear of the virus are still there as no one wants to take a chance. So, I would say that, firstly, more contracts should flow in from the government, and, secondly, we should see the pandemic coming under control. My take on bauma CONEXPO INDIA is that the participation will be lukewarm.

Puneet Vidyarthi, Brand Leader, CASE India: We understand that in the current situation, safety of all exhibitors and visitors is of paramount importance. Considering the magnitude of the event, it is necessary that adequate time and resources be available to all stakeholders to ensure proper planning. We’re hopeful that the situation will be conducive by February 2021 and are eagerly waiting to be a part of the event.

Jaideep Shekhar, MD (Asia & EMEAR), TEREX Materials Processing India: I believe that this is the right decision taken by the organisers. With the current health crisis, it would have been very difficult for companies to participate and even for the visitors, if the bauma CONEXPO INDIA would have gone ahead with the original dates. However, we need to be cautiously optimistic since the event is just six months away and the health crisis does not seem to go away anytime soon.

K. Jalandhar Reddy, Executive Director, KNR Construction: The onslaught on the CE and Infra sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to continue till a vaccine is produced and supplied to all; but the uncertainty is likely to persist till March 2021. In the meanwhile, the organisers of bauma CONEXPO INDIA could circulate newsletters, CDs, brochures, or e-mails, on the new technologies and equipment, or provide information by way of demos in webinars.

Abhijeet Pai, President, Puzzolana: Rescheduling bauma CONEXPO INDIA dates to February 2021 is the right decision in view of the aftermath of Covid-19. The CONEXPO USA was a lackluster event due to very low participation by the OEMs and the visitors. bauma CONEXPO INDIA has been an important platform to showcase our products and drive business, however, it will be vital for the organizers to package the future event in a manner that will help us draw business after the lull.

Devendra Kumar Vyas, MD, Srei Equipment Finance Limited: Postponing bauma CONEXPO INDIA to 2021 is in the best interests of the exhibitors and visitors. It will give exhibitors more time and resources to participate and visitors from across the country can go the trade fair without fear of any complications.

Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Founder & Chairman, Bennet & Bernard Group: The decision to reschedule bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 2021 is very good, considering the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe that there will be more focus now by the organizers on maintaining social distancing, health, and hygiene, so there should be a good turnout at the event.

Premraj Kashyap, MD, KYB Conmat India: It is a good decision to reschedule bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 21, as it will provide the participants an opportunity to review their decision to participate or not, as by that time the Covid situation will be somewhat clearer.

Ashwin Reddy, MD, Aparna Enterprises: The decision of rescheduling bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 2021 will certainly have an impact on the timelines by which the newer technologies can be implemented. Though online demos have become the norm, there are still certain things that require major decisions, which will be delayed due to the postponement of the trade event.

Jasmeet Singh, AVP, Corporate Communications, JCB India: The world has been hit by a global pandemic which has adversely impacted economies and businesses across sectors. While there are different solutions and recovery measures for each industry, sectoral exhibitions are a few of the most impactful, immediate, and universal solutions to give organizations and their products wide visibility, and drive market demand. bauma CONEXPO INDIA has always been a platform of repute, and we feel that it will be instrumental in bringing the entire industry together and work concertedly to scale up and sustain the market. Given the ongoing pandemic, the highest priority for each one of us right now is to ensure the health and safety of all our stakeholders. We believe that it is a prudent decision of shifting the expo to February 2021.

Deepak Garg, Managing Director, SANY India & SOUTH ASIA: The rescheduling of bauma CONEXPO INDIA from November 3-6, 2020 to February 23-26, 2021 in Gurugram/New Delhi due to the ongoing pandemic situation, is a very strategic move on the part of the organizers and a boon for the participants as well. Since it is one of the best platforms to showcase machines and interact with the customers, it would be very vital for the CE segment and its players to participate in the trade fair after the current slowdown, as it may give a considerable boost to their business.

Rajiv Chaturvedi, VP- Sales & Marketing, After Service & Parts, Hyundai: The decision to reschedule bauma CONEXPO INDIA is a welcome move. The current social distancing norms that are in force will possibly continue for a longer duration and conducting a mega exhibition like bauma CONEXPO INDIA with a mass gathering would put all exhibitors as well as visitors at high risk. The decision to postpone the exhibition will help interstate vehicle and people movement to be further relaxed. Mobility of goods and display materials will be eased, and also the norms relaxed for customs clearance at ports. Participation by exhibitors and visitors will be encouraging, as the fear of pandemic would have eased to some extent and normalcy would have been restored.

Dimitrov Krishnan, MD, Volvo CE India: I believe that the decision of rescheduling bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 2021 is the right move at this juncture. With the current tight business situation, manufacturers’ ability to maintain discretionary spending is low and I would say that exhibitors in general need to have a flexible approach. Online expos need to be looked at and focus must be on enhancing the expo experience. I would not comment on the Feb 2021 timing yet, as it is tough to plan for shows without seeing a clear revival of demand.

Satin Sachdeva, Founder & Secretary General, CERA: It’s a wise decision to reschedule bauma CONEXPO INDIA to Feb 2021 as it’s still difficult to predict the Covid situation in the near future. Looking at the increasing number of cases in our country and across the world, we cannot expect people to go to large social gatherings and exhibitions. The Government has also called for strict social distancing norms. Hopefully, by February 2021, the situation would have improved, and we will see business gatherings once again. Delhi’s climate too will be appropriate in February.

NBM&CW September 2020

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