ES: What do you think is the contribution of the exhibitions industry in promoting small-scale businesses?
VK Bansal: Exhibitions play important role in the overall development and growth of Trade and Commerce in Country. Exhibitions and Trade Fairs become more significant for SMBs especially; as these work to connect them with prospective customers and vendors which is otherwise not possible for them due to lack of resources with SMBs.
ES: You are the President of Federation of Indian Small Businesses; what kind of support do you provide to organisers of exhibitions that cater to small-scale industries?
VK Bansal: We have a very positive outlook towards Exhibition and Trade bodies relations as both help each other. We are pioneer in promoting exhibitions among our members as well as non members by connecting exhibitions with them. We also lend Logo support and disseminate information on our huge database.
ES: As a private exhibition organiser, what kind of support do you get from the government of India?
VK Bansal: Government seems shy on extending its support to Indian Domestic private organizers. All Government benefits are taken away by large Business Associations like FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM etc. Private small organizers need more Government support in terms of financial assistance and Logo lending; which is normally required to attract foreign exhibitors.
ES: How united or cooperative is the Indian exhibition sector? What kind of support do you get from your peers in the industry? And what kind of support do you get from the exhibition industry associations?
VK Bansal: There is always a competition between Indian organizers and Foreign Organisers. We don’t have any Exhibition trade organisation which can represent all segments irrespective of size and segment .
ES: When did you start your journey in this industry? What inspired you?
VK Bansal: We started our journey into this vibrant space in 2006 and we still feel that we have not been able to deliver what the Exhibition industry wants from us.
ES: What all exhibitions do you organise in an year?
VK Bansal: We organize International Police Expo, Homeland Security Expo, Fire Safety and Disaster Management Expo, SugarAsia. This year we have launched two more Exhibitions CCTV Expo and Drone International Expo.
ES: What is your most successful exhibition property? Can you elaborate on its key achievements over the years, along with its facts and figures?
VK Bansal: International Police Expo which caters to Indian State Police and central Armed Forces. The year in which this was launched, our Prime Minister rolled out concept of Smart Policing and we are proud to say International Police Expo is making this happen.
ES: What is the state of the Indian exhibition industry?
VK Bansal: We see good prospects in India, and Indian players are also organising Cross Boarder Exhibitions. We also organise exhibitions at Hanoi (Vietnam), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Uganda.
ES: What can India learn from the global exhibition industry?
VK Bansal: Nothing to learn from global exhibition industry rather Global exhibition Industry can learn from us a lot. A lot of foreign companies are reaching out to organize Exhibitions in India with our domestic resources.
ES: What are the emerging threats and opportunities in the Indian exhibition industry?
VK Bansal: Every industry has its own challenges. We need some friendly laws governing exhibitions. Very recently, Mumbai Municipal Council denied permission to an organizer, right before the event was scheduled to open. Exhibition organizers live in total uncertainty. These kind of hurdles need to be taken care of and we need an Exhibition industry Trade Promotion Council as our parent body to deal with all such issues.
ES: How can India become a powerhouse in the exhibition industry?
VK Bansal: India is capable of becoming the powerhouse, provided that Government extend its support to the industry. We need good and reasonable venues. A lot of hurdles are faced by organizers; if these are removed no one can stop us in becoming the Powerhouse in the exhibition industry.