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IEE Expo 2018

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Seventh edition and first under Messe Frankfurt umbrella stays true to established format, brings added excitement.

They say change is the only constant in life. It is only when we look back after the passage of time that it becomes obvious. The seventh edition of the International Elevator & Escalator (IEE) Expo 2018 at Mumbai’s Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) was the first by Messe Frankfurt GmbH after the event organizer acquired it from Virgo Communications and Exhibitions (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2016). Although it was a familiar expo held at a familiar venue, the February 27-March 1 event sizzled with energy as the real-estate industry stepped forward to play a bigger role, international participation saw a marked increase, and attendees came away with business leads and an optimistic outlook.

Change was visible at the inauguration ceremony itself, where the dais had more property developers and consultants as honored guests than one would normally expect. Change was also noticeable in the speeches, which reflected the updated regulatory scenario in India for the elevator and escalator industry, as well as real-estate development in general. The three-day event witnessed a confluence of stakeholders trying to interact and find a way to navigate the new norms. 

The reverent atmosphere and crowded conference hall during the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony made it clear why the Indian vertical-transportation (VT) market is the second largest worldwide. Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO, Messe Frankfurt, said he appreciated the tradition, and the fact the expo began on an auspicious note. He also expressed happiness that G. Raghu and Anitha Raghunath, who had originally conceptualized the expo, were present near the front row at the inauguration.  

Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt. Ltd. and executive director and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holding Ltd., shared:

“We are happy to announce that the first edition of IEE Expo under the Messe Frankfurt umbrella has been successful in bringing the top players from the VT sector to the Indian market, facilitating business and networking to cater to the demands of a fast-developing nation. Looking at an increase in international participation by 20%, along with a list of insightful fringe programs planned for the show, we are confident that our exhibitors and visitors will benefit.”

Addressing the delegates, Ramesh Nair, CEO and country head, JLL India, predicted major demand will come from residential and new commercial concepts like co-working space. By 2022, he explained, 20% of overall demand is expected to come from co-working space. There is big opportunity in residential space, as well, particularly affordable housing, with demand for 10 million apartments per year. Further, he said, India’s Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act will bring transparency to the sector, which, in turn, will attract foreign direct investment.

The inauguration ceremony witnessed association heads and developers on the dais, including Deepak Goradia, vice chairman and managing director, Dosti Realty, and vice president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India-Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (CREDAI-MCHI); Dominic Romell, director, Romell Group, and secretary, CREDAI-MCHI; Dhaval Ajmera, director, Ajmera Realty & Infra Ltd. and Sonal Shah, chairperson of Women’s Wing — CREDAI-MCHI.

CREDAI-MCHI President Mayur Shah conveyed:

“CREDAI-MCHI takes great pride in joining hands with Messe Frankfurt as they host their first edition of the IEE Expo in Mumbai. Covering technological advancements and new product developments related to safety, speed, advanced control systems, passenger convenience/comfort and energy efficiency for high-rise buildings, IEE Expo is the perfect platform that brings the industry together, under one roof, to network, discuss issues and collaborate.”

As the event progressed, visiting dignitaries included Chandrakantdada Patil, cabinet minister of Revenue Relief and Rehabilitation, Public Works, Government of Maharashtra, who observed that Maharashtra is the ideal place for events like IEE Expo that promise to “take the industry to the next level.” 

With projected growth of more than 50% in the next four years, the Indian elevator and escalator sector attracts worldwide attention. IEE Expo 2018 reflected this, with 174 exhibiting companies from 10 countries that included India, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. to exhibition space that had increased by 15%. Leading players including Fujitec, Hitachi, City Lifts, AVCAM Corp. Ltd., Creestaa Elevators India Pvt. Ltd., Fermator, Gefran, Mas Industries Pvt. Ltd., Montanari, Monteferro, Otis and Schmersal were present.

Real-life samples of elevators and escalators were on display and operational to give visitors a personalized experience of luxury and high-end technology. A total of 9,400 visitors were recorded, and they seemed happy about the technology and brands they got to witness firsthand.

Interactive sessions covering key sectors within the industry were held across the expo’s three days. There were seminars where industry leaders like Gefran, Fujitec, Nidec, Otis, Hitachi, Intellithink, Wittur, Schmersal and Monteferro touched on vital topics within the industry, giving the attendees better clarity about the sector.

Highlighting the current dynamics of the VT sector on the second day, Shanker Gopalkrishnan, president, Madras Consultancy Group, stated the elevator/escalator market stood at US$115 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US$175 billion by 2021. Major demand is expected from the affordable-housing sector, he said, which needs innovative solutions to facilitate vertical real-estate growth.

 While day one featured a panel discussion on interdisciplinary coordination in planning and design of tall buildings, day two saw a workshop on elevators for firefighting and emergency evacuation and the introduction of section 5, part B in the 2016 National Building Code (NBC).

Day three began with a surprise — an additional session where Niranjan Hiranandani, cofounder and managing director, Hiranandani Group, and national president, National Real Estate Development Council, shared that 51% of the population in India is moving to urban areas, which will lead to congestion and, eventually, result in aggressive growth in elevators. For now, he said, demand comes from the higher segment, but as “housing for all” becomes more prevalent, “the bottom of the pyramid will grow faster, and that’s where elevator-industry professionals will have to be more cautious.”

The next edition of IEE Expo will be held on February 27-29, 2020.

Wolfgang Marzin (WM), Messe Frankfurt CEO, shares his perspectives with your author (VP) on the first edition of the show under the Messe Frankfurt banner

VP: What has your experience been like so far?

WM: I have been a tradeshow person since I graduated university. I grew up on the fairgrounds. To walk the expo, especially when you see the first edition, is always an occasion for goosebumps. A new show is like a new baby, and it’s a pleasure.

VP: What were the primary decision drivers for Messe Frankfurt in acquiring the rights for the IEE Expo?

WM: Messe Frankfurt is one of the oldest tradeshow organizations in the world. We have a large portfolio of technical shows, and, since elevators and escalators make up one of the driving industries, we looked for whoever was a good organizer for a famous elevator/escalator show. We found that in the former owners of IEE Expo, who decided to talk to us.

The decision was made, and we took over, but we sustain a good partnership with them. It’s not our baby. Actually, it’s the industry’s baby. In India, 700 million people will be living in high rises very soon, and they’ll all need elevators and escalators. It’s a big industry, and we are very proud to be a part of it. We also do elevator and escalator events in Europe — one in Milan, Italy, and one in Frankfurt, Germany, our home base. We’re trying to become more a part of the elevator and escalator industry everywhere.

VP: What is the significance of the IEE Expo in the overall portfolio of Messe Frankfurt and Messe Frankfurt of India?

WM: We have 23 shows now in India, and IEE Expo is our largest in financial terms. We listen a lot to the former owners. Of course, many of the companies are based or have major presences in Germany — thyssenkrupp, Schindler and Otis, for example. IEE Expo is one of the largest shows we have in India. It is, in my opinion, a show with really big potential because of the growing real-estate, high-rise and mobility markets. And, of course, India is one of the world’s biggest economies. It’s growing, and it’s a young economy with young, happy people. So, it will continue to be one of the biggest shows in our portfolio.

VP: How has the transition been from Virgo Communications to Messe Frankfurt?

WM: I think the transition went well, because we listened to each other. They had the idea to establish the show. It’s their show. They are business people and self-employed. We are a tradeshow organizer only. We don’t own any magazines or anything. So, we had it easy, because we listened, and they wanted their show to be in good hands for the industry. My managing director in India, Raj Manek, and his team are used to listening. When we buy new shows and take on new industries, we try to be humble. This is why it went smoothly. Of course, we always try to upgrade. Every exhibitor expects the show to grow in size and visitor numbers, as well as programs that add value to their rising expectations.

VP: What are the key changes exhibitors and visitors can look forward to in forthcoming editions of the IEE Expo?

WM: This show is always being developed. The seventh edition was better than the sixth, and the sixth better than the fifth. The thing that is most important to us, and has been through the years [since 1907], is to listen to exhibitors, find out what they expect next time, what they liked and what they want more of. Fifty people from my Chinese organization are here right now, and we try to listen to the views of the Chinese pavilion and see what we can do better next time.

VP: What are your future plans for the exhibition?

WM: Our first goal will be to focus on India, then on neighboring countries. With the potential, location and power of India, this show can grow significantly. The logo of IEE Expo already promises quality, due to its many years in the industry. I don’t think we should change this. The logo is still the same but has the Messe Frankfurt expertise to back it up — our power, our people, our strengths and our international record. We carry on the heritage of the former owners. They were there during the opening ceremony, which makes me very proud. The baby is not theirs anymore, but they are still the parents. In my opinion, if things go right, if the expo goes right, then why should it change? We have opinion polls of exhibitors and visitors. What they want changed is what we’re going to change. The rest remains like it is.

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