"Excon 2009 has attained a cosmopolitan tag as the leading lights from across the world engaged in the sector are currently the active members of its steering committee playing their individual roles ensuring the event to be a big draw. At Excon'09, around 400 exhibitors from around the world will showcase their latest offerings to the trade visitors coming from across India, sub continent, and Asian countries. We are expecting 30,000 visitors this year and doing everything possible to make their Excon visit a memorable experience," says Mr. Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII - Excon, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India in conversation with S.A.Faridi and S.K.Khanna.
Being the Chairman of Excon 2009, how do you view the on going preparation for the South Asia's largest construction equipment and building technology trade show to be held in November at Bangalore? Will it be on a much massive scale than its earlier edition?
Excon - 2009 has attained a cosmopolitan tag as the leading players are active members of the steering committee and have played their roles individually & collectively ensuring the event to be a big draw. The size of the exhibiting space in terms of square meters speaks volumes of the dimensions of the mega show. Excon - 2009 has recorded an amazing augmentation in exhibiting space from a mere 20,000 sqm in the first show in 2000 to 1,40,000 sqm this year.
Now, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), which organizes this mega - event is developing 35,000 sqm of extra exhibition space to accommodate an additional over 59 exhibiting companies who are in the waiting list. About 400 companies will showcase their latest offerings from around the world. This year Excon will have four–country pavilions that include China, Italy, Germany, and the U.K besides many other manufacturers participating individually.
This time we are expecting over 30,000 visitors from the Indian sub continent and Asian countries.
With the renewed focus on infrastructure development and the timing of Excon 2009–do you think that the event would lift the construction equipment market including its allied products and services out of the grip of the current recessionary trends?
This event will certainly pep up the market as there is a need to strengthen building capabilities of the country including taking care of the manpower crunch looming large at the industry. The main focus of Excon-2009 is to help building modern India by making available right kind of construction equipment and the best building technology available in the world. The other major challenge is for the exhibition to focus on adding to the ability of contractors to deliver qualitative products by strictly adhering to the deadlines. In the recent past companies engaged in construction and building industry used to import equipment from abroad and foreign firms reaped rich dividends but today almost all types of construction equipment available in the market are largely manufactured in India. Even during the recent recession, India did not lose that much of forex and employment as was the case in other countries and this in turn has bolstered the image of the country to the outside world.
What is the main theme behind organizing Excon 2009?
The Excon 2009 aimed at showcasing India’s infrastructure build capabilities.
What would be the agenda at the CEO meetings and the main topics of discussion at the simultaneous seminars and conferences during the trade show?
During meetings, conferences and seminars on the sidelines of the Excon 2009, the think tanks of the industry would dwell on issues confronting the industry by creating sound mechanism for arranging funds for large infrastructure projects, contractors' perspectives and environment related policy matters and users feedback about industries products and services.
How over a period of time the Excon forum from mere a domestic event, has phenomenally graduated into the global event arena with impacts similar to internationally acclaimed trade shows? How has it been able to identify meaningful networking avenues in business and trade?
In 2000, CII in consultations with the captains of the industries felt the need for a construction equipment trade show to display and showcase complete range of construction equipment and machinery and allied products and services. Initially, some companies expressed apprehensions but the very first show was a phenomenal success and there was no looking back since then. The success of the Excon at the international level can be attributed to the Indian image globally as an ideal destination for infrastructure investments. Today, almost all the internationally acclaimed players are doing brisk business in India and they are also increasingly participating in Excon trade shows. Eventually, we could think of taking Excon to other countries as its venue.
What about the key functions of Excon?
The key functions of the Excon include displaying and showcasing world–class construction equipment and related products and services at the trade show. Exhibiting the newest launches and varied variants of the machineries displaying India's manufacturing might, CEOs program and conferences by IECIAL.
In the last edition of Excon, it appeared to be a bit tough to highlight the need to create a level playing field for industry to compete on an equal footing, particularly in regard to import of second hand machineries into the country. What has been the outcome of this attempt and how the industry is currently coping with the menace? Are you planning to take up the issue at the forthcoming trade deliberations to remove the glaring distortions? Don't you think if such practice persisted for long it will turn our country a dumping spot for the used machinery of the developed world?
Indian technology and products are in no way inferior to what other countries offer. Exhibitions like Excon have gone a long way in helping educate the customers and other equipment users. As trade bodies, both CII and IECIAL do not believe in the dumping of the second hand equipment and that's exactly what is clearly stated in all our communications and brochures. Most importantly, companies promoting second hand equipment do not participate in Excon. We together with the government are organizing various programs highlighting the fact that it is not only a question of dumping but also many serious issues including safety factors, pollution norms, environmental spoilage, losing forex, and so on.
Construction equipment industry in the country has reached a stage necessitating documentation, a critique on its strength, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. Will it not be worthwhile for Excon and its allied bodies to document this and sensitize the aspects for better appreciation on industry profile and prospects as one of the most important engines of infrastructure growth lies in the policy making and its true implementation?
These forums are largely attended by wide cross–section of interest delebrating on various issues to synthesize problems and evolve possible solution for the growth and well being of the industry.
Despite aesthetically developed, beautifully landscaped and friendly surroundings and ambience, reaching Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, the venue of Excon, has proved an uphill task for the delegates, exhibitors and visitors alike. Has Excon received any feedback from the local agencies so far to ensure that participants and visitors are not put to such hardships as was the case during the last edition of Excon?
Logistics and Visit Excon Committee has been set up to help visitors and exhibitors giving guidelines to reach BIEC. While the actual traffic is not under the control of either the CII or Excon, we are doing everything possible ensuring hassle free and comfortable journey.
Visitors can enjoy an online registration facility and their badges will be sent to them. Information will also be sent in advance to the registered visitors. A new 'appointment feature' will help and guide customers to meet the representatives of the concerned company besides, booking forms, catalogues forms, compressed air, badges are being automated ensuring trouble free tour to trade and other visitors.