Interview with Vinnie Mehta

In a conversation with Shobha Mathur, ACMA’s executive director says the components fair at Pragati Maidan will be a pure B2B show that will draw the right kind of audience.

By Shobha Mathur calendar 31 Jan 2014 Views icon3428 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Interview with Vinnie Mehta

In a conversation with Shobha Mathur, ACMA’s executive director says the components fair at Pragati Maidan will be a pure B2B show that will draw the right kind of audience.  

With just a week to go for the show, can you give us an update on preparations for the components show at Pragati Maidan?
Work actually starts closer to the event. Right now, all the other elements that go into the show are being finalised. The Auto Expo is one core event and around it there are so many other activities as it brings entire industry together. There will be several conferences taking place and everybody is working towards finalising speakers, participants and sponsors.

Despite the downturn, the response to the show has been very overwhelming. Companies’ requests for space had to be rationed by 30-40 percent for each company. We are located in the same place as Auto Expo 2012 – about 50,000 square metres
space as against 47,000 square metres the last time around. There is not much difference in terms of the size but we take place back to back with the Defence Expo.

What, in your opinion, will be the immediate perception for visitors on the opening day?
One international show is now at two locations. The vehicle show has moved to Greater Noida. Because of the sheer size of the auto show, we could not accommodate it in one venue. We will have an inauguration at Greater Noida and then another ceremony at Pragati Maidan. There is a challenge in the fact that the venues are a little far off but internationally too, these things happen.

We will now have one show purely dedicated to the vehicles and another show for components at another location. In fact, we had started working towards it at the last Auto Expo itself. The vehicles were in certain hall numbers ranging from 7-18 and the components were across the road in hall numbers 1-6. Just to ensure that the right kind of visitors go to the right places,  the component show has always been a B2B show whereas the vehicle show is both a B2B and a B2C show. So we are working towards a definite B2B show that our stakeholders would like it to be. 

How many visitors are you expecting at the component show?I would think between 30,000 to 50,000. At the last Expo, it would have been close to a million for the entire show because it was a combined show.

From a component maker's point of view, what will be the highlights of this year’s Expo.

There will be several new products and technologies.  We have been given to understand that 500-plus new products will be launched and 5,000 products will be displayed. From ACMA’s perspective, we are adding another pavilion called the Safety Pavilion in addition to the Asli- Naqli campaign that we traditionally have had for several years now. It will be under the same Consumer Affairs Committee. With this, we want to bring on board and extend further our awareness about use of genuine components and make people aware of safety equipment they should be using. Unfortunately, for some of these there is no mandatory requirement; for instance, safety belts are required but there are issues in terms of ABS, child safety restraints, child restraints, headrest restraints and lighting systems that are mandatory for safety. We are very excited about this. 

Some big component players like Bosch and Continental, among others, are not participating. Why?
This is an unusual year and people have challenges, so I guess we should respect their decisions. But I am sure it won’t be long before they are back because this is the premiere show in the country and you cannot stay out of it. 

What is the total number of exhibitors at Pragati Maidan and how much business is the component show expected to generate?
About 650 exhibitors are expected to participate. In terms of the potential that the show generates, it will be something in the range of Rs 300-Rs 500 crore but I am not saying that happens immediately. Whatever the contacts you develop, they warm up and take a year to reach to a logical conclusion. So it definitely is a hot ground for doing business, networking and discovering new technologies. 

Which companies have taken the biggest stalls?
Overseas exhibitors have been allotted 3,000 square metres and out of the 650 exhibitors, 220 will be overseas from countries like Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Africa, UK and USA. Besides, there will be focused pavilions like Garage Equipment and AsliNaqli. The major participants will be 21 including the TVS Group, Varroc Group, IGCC, Amtek Auto, Anand Group, Rane Group, Denso, Endurance, and Shriram Pistons & Rings. 

What were the logistical hurdles faced in organising two separate shows?

There are no logistical hurdles in the two places but you could say the only logistical hurdle from the organiser’s perspective will be having two locations. You have the inauguration at two places so the organiser’s team gets a little stretched out, running from one place to another. There are certain conferences here and there and a whole lot of speakers who have to move from here to there. So, two disparate venues is a little bit of a challenge. Given the challenges this country has, one would have wished for one big convention centre where we could all be accommodated. 

Cleanliness of the venue was a sore point at the 2012 Expo. Has it been addressed this year?
Infrastructure can get stretched as a result of the large number of visitors. Considering that this time around, the numbers will be less, we hope that things will be better maintained. We have had the experience of ACMA-Automechanika in February last year and are confident that we will be able to offer better services to stakeholders, visitors and exhibitors. 

How have security arrangements been addressed?
If you have a valid business card, you can enter. Children will not be allowed, so we are working very hard to make it a pure B2B show. I do not expect any security challenges though there could be some concerns because it is back to back with the Defence Expo.

Two years from now, will Auto Expo 2016 have both shows under one roof?
We have been talking to the government about this. At this juncture, it is a fluid issue because we are in the run up to the national elections. There has been talk of having a spacious convention centre somewhere near Dwarka (west Delhi). So hopefully if it comes up by 2016, we can have both shows at a single location. 

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