Interview with HK Bhattad – President, IESA

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ES – What is IESA. What is the role of IESA in the India’s exhibition industry? What has IESA been able to achieve since its inception?
HK – Indian Exhibitions, Conferences & Events Services Association (IESA) is the association for all the firms engaged in providing services and materials for the exhibitions, trade shows & Events. IESA has been conceived to promote and represent the exhibition industry. It is committed to contribute significantly by playing a catalytic role in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country.
IESA came into existence in the year 2013 and since then it has been growing at a pretty good pace. We are a 200+ member community now.

ES – How do your view the relevance of exhibitions in today’s era? How can they become even more relevant?
HK – In a growing economy like India, Exhibitions & trade shows are becoming more and more relevant with time. As per a recent, the events and exhibitions sector in India has been growing 16% annually and is expected to cross Rs. 10,000 crores revenue mark by 2020-21. Exhibitions provide a perfect platform to businesses and institutions, big or small, to market their products and services, strengthen their brands and network with clients as well as suppliers under a single roof.

ES – What kind of support you are expecting the government to provide to your sector?
HK – We all know the fact that government has always supported the service sector and has introduced many policies to boost growth of the service sector.
Indian events and exhibitions sector is not only the growth enabler, but also a huge employer of blue collared workforce and will continue to remain so, due to the labour intensive nature of its activities. We, at IESA, have been continuously lobbying with government authorities for recognition of events and exhibition sectors an Industry. This could prove to be a game changer.

ES – Exhibitions are a busy industry and you keep travelling so often. How do you maintain work life balance?
HK – Ours is not ‘9 to 5’ type of industry. We all work 24 x 7, weekdays and weekends, during public holidays and festivals, chasing almost impossible deadlines and we are expected to give our best all the time. At the same time, I enjoy what I do. I also thank to my family members who have always been very supportive all these years.

ES – Tell us about 3rd IESA expo shop? Why have you made it a part of CII GES?
HK – IESA is organizing 3rd edition of India Expo Shop (IES- 2018) this year in the month of May in Mumbai. IES has evolved as an exclusive platform for entire exhibition & event community. It provides an excellent opportunity of networking with exhibition industry service providers, organizers, event management companies, national & international associations, corporate leaders etc. GES is a platform created by the Government of India to promote the Indian service sector. Exhibitions are also an important part of the service sector. So it is quite logical to be associated with GES. GES is today considered a global platform for increasing trade in services, enhancing strategic cooperation and strengthening multilateral relationships between stakeholders from India and overseas. It brings together several industries and offers opportunities to understand the potential of service sectors globally. Association with GES provides IES global exposure, larger customer base and greater coverage.

ES – The Service sectors like themselves to be called as Partners and not vendors. What is your opinion on this? Please comment.
HK – I completely agree. If you look at the most admired companies across the globe, they doesn’t only treat their customers with respect, they also treat their service providers with equality. This philosophy of mutual respect brings cohesiveness and helps organizations create more value.Credit of success (or failure) of an exhibition has to be shared by the organizer and his service providers as partners. Accolades of a successful exhibition are shared by all the stakeholders as partners.
India is catching up with the developed world and we will see respect for service providers in our country grow in coming years.

 

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