Exhibition Showcase talks to Ravinder Sethi, Managing Director R E Rogers India Private Limited

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ES – It is said that life of an event manager is extremely stressful. Being a leader in the exhibition logistics, what do you feel how true is this statement and how do you cope up with all the collective stress?
Ravinder – I’ll give two contradictory responses on this .
Yes , life of an event manager is extremely stressful . But , on the flip side , he should not let the stress affect his life .
To be in this trade , one has to be made of an extremely strong metal – or else you’ll not succeed .

ES – How have you seen the Indian exhibition industry evolve, over all these years? Please take us through that sepia theme to today’s era of 4G. How have you seen the industry change.
Ravinder –The Indian industry has changed phenomenally in the last few decades . Access to global knowledge , innovations , and digitalization bring our industry to international standards now.

ES – You don so many hats, and you are also the frontrunner in exhibition logistics. How do you manage it all?
Ravinder – Yes , I don many hats and give equal importance to all of them . I manage it because of the passion I have for the entire industry , and not just the logistics part . So , it comes down to one word – Passion !!

ES – What does a normal working day in your life look like? Please take us through the course of your day from the time your wake up till the time you retire to bed.
Ravinder – I rise at 7.00 , talk to our kids in the US and Australia , have my first cup of tea , and go straight to the news channels. Some days of the week I’m on the road doing meetings from the morning itself. On other days , I’m first in the office interacting with my colleagues and then out for meetings .
I get home by early evening and be with the family . We have an open house with extended family or friends almost everyday . I love to have people around ! My wife and I do a lot of business socializing together – be it breakfast , lunch , or dinner .
Being a TV freak , I’m back on the box for news or entertainment programs before retiring by 11.00 pm . One important aspect – I’m on my phone for work throughout the day . And I’ll also tell you – this annoys my wife every now and then !

ES – And for our information , what do you do during your event days? It is any different? Do you personally accompany your team.
Ravinder – I try and be present at as many events as possible . My ideal time for being around is the last day of buildup – this is the best day to evaluate our work as logistics service providers .
For some events though , I spend more days on site – I relish being in the midst of forklifts , boxes , and my work force !

ES – How do you take up the role of a leader? How do you keep your team motivated to excel in their work?
Ravinder – The role of a leader comes naturally . It cannot be taught or forcefully be drawn out . The first rule to motivate your team is to respect them for who they are and what they do – no matter what their job function is . Everyone is important in whatever they do. Once everyone knows they are being respected , their motivation to excel in their work will automatically follow.

ES – As a leader, how much do you believe in delegation of work? Or you believe in more centralization of control?
Ravinder – It has to be by delegation and only by delegation – or else you do not succeed .

ES – What 5 tips would you like to give to budding professionals in this industry?
Ravinder – Be sincere and honest in your work ; strive to move up the ladder from day one ; respect your fellow colleagues ; respect your adversaries as well ; and always remain humble .

ES – What 3 things one should avoid in order to achieve success in this industry?
Ravinder – Do not become overconfident ; do not underestimate your adversaries ; and do not loose your humility .

ES – What can India learn from the global exhibition industry?
Ravinder – As I’d mentioned already , India has learnt a lot from the global industry . India should now impart its positives to the rest of the world . The main one being respect for human values in its work traditions.

ES – Who has been the inspiration in your life?
Ravinder – My father.

ES – What are the upcoming trends in exhibition industry?
Ravinder – I’m a firm believer that exhibitions will remain in the same traditional form as they have been for centuries . Greater technology , digitalization, etc. will further change the formats of the exhibition . But , end of the day , the handshake will never go away.

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