Interview with Vishnu Mathur
The director-general, SIAM, tells Shobha Mathur that Auto Expo 2014 will be comparable to other global auto shows and OEMs will also be visiting the component show at Pragati Maidan.
What will be the immediate perception of visitors on opening day?
The visitors will see the Auto Expo as a show that is comparable with any other global auto show. The fair facilities, venue, branding, exhibits and visitor access will be of global standards.
At the last 2012 Auto Expo, cleanliness and hygiene stood out like a sore thumb. Has that aspect been addressed this year?
Firstly, the venue is more modern and has better basic infrastructure with respect to cleanliness and hygiene. The toilets are modern and 10 more new toilet blocks have been constructed to cater to the large visitor flow around the outdoor halls. Three professional housekeeping agencies have been engaged to continuously monitor the cleanliness, remove garbage and keep the venue clean at all times, especially around lunch time.
Can we have an insight about the 3-layer security system?
Group Four, a private professional security agency, has been appointed for taking care of the security at the stalls and other indoor areas. CISF will be manning the gate security including x-ray screening of baggage and frisking like what is done at the airports.
The Uttar Pradesh police will also be involved and they will provide law and order security inside as well as outside the venue. UP traffic police will direct and control the traffic flow around the venue. There is another security agency (Securitas) for manning the parking areas.
Which OEMs have taken the largest space?
Tata Motors has taken the largest space at 4,674 square metres, Maruti Suzuki comes next with 3,159 square metres of exhibition area and Hyundai is the third largest with 3,147 square metres.
Given that there are 14 exhibition halls, six more than in 2012, how is the layout more compact?
Unlike sprawling Pragati Maidan, the overall area covered by India Export Mart (IEML) is much smaller. The exhibition halls are situated closer to each other and the permanent halls at IEML are all interconnected.
The outdoor halls being constructed are also interconnected and close to each other. Visitors will not have to walk as much as in Pragati Maidan to go from one hall to another. Hence, the overall layout is much more compact than Pragati Maidan.
Has a shuttle service from Pragati Maidan to the India Expo Mart been organised for easy commute for visitors to the twin shows?
Yes, there will be a free shuttle service operating between Pragati Maidan and Greater Noida at regular intervals for pass and ticket holders. Free shuttles will also operate frequently between the Botanical Garden Metro Station, Noida and IEML for pass and ticket holders. In addition, the DND Flyway will have a dedicated lane for vehicles for coming to both the Auto Expo venues. A large fleet of dedicated metered taxis from EasyCab and MegaCab will also be available at the Noida venue.
Did you encounter logistical hurdles in organising two separate shows? Will the 2016 Expo bring the show together again?
The biggest challenge faced was in regard to effective integration of the two venues on the principle of One Mega Show – Two Venues. Firstly, there will be a dedicated shuttle service connecting the two venues.
Secondly, the exhibitors at any of the venues will have open access to both the venues. Events are being organised at both the locations. Common branding and advertising campaigns are being carried out in addition to venue specific activities.
OEM visits to the component show are being encouraged and facilitated actively. The inaugural of the two venues will be done on the same day in a contiguous fashion.
SIAM has assured the component fraternity at Pragati Maidan of regular OEM visits to the component show. How will you ensure this?
The president of SIAM has written personal letters to all the OEMs to ensure that their CEOs as well as their technical and sourcing teams visit the component show venue in large numbers.
There is already an excellent response from the OEMs to SIAM. We, therefore, expect a record number of OEM visits to the component show this year.
How does SIAM plan to restrict the ‘picnic’ visitors that were a feature of the last Auto Expo?
There are very clear advisories being given to the visitors on the do’s and don’ts. However, we do not plan to restrict families visiting the show during the general hours.
The success of any motor show is gauged by the number of footfalls and car purchases that are usually a family decision and not the decision of any single person. We would, therefore, be happy if entire families attend the show. The fair facilities include a vast food court and activity area which will be an added attraction for visitors across all age groups.
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