'You won't find such an exhibition elsewhere'

'You won't find such an exhibition elsewhere'
Ahead of the second edition of CeBIT India, Deccan Herald’s Georgy S Thomas sat down for an interaction with Mehul Lanvers-Shah, Managing Director of Hannover Milano Fairs India, which is organising the event from October 29 to 31 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). Excerpts:

What is CeBIT?

CeBIT is the world’s largest and most important portfolio of technology fairs. Apart from Hanover where it began, CeBIT is organised at Istanbul in Turkey and Sydney in Australia. Deutsche Messe also holds a few technology conferences in Brazil, but it is not organised as CeBIT in that country. We started looking at India in 2011-12, and the first CeBIT was held last year in Bengaluru at BIEC.

What are the takeaways from last year’s CeBIT India?

CeBIT is strictly a business-to-business (B2B) event. Last year, we had 400-plus exhibitors and 9,311 visitor-buyers. Along with the trade show, we also held a conference which drew 1,874 delegates from across India.

How has CeBIT evolved over the years?

Cebit initially was about software and hardware. Then it became an internet fair. From there it has transformed into an ESDM (electronics system design and manufacturing) and ICT (information and communications technology) event.

In India, we are invested in the Prime Minister’s Digital India mission. ESDM, which powers the execution of enterprise technology, the internet, and the Digital India mission would all be interconnected. And CeBIT will be a showcase of how that interconnect happens. In Digital India this year, there’s a lot of focus on IoT (internet of things), ESDM, manufacturing in India, collaboration between software and ESDM to create smart cities, etc. CeBIT India will create a conversation around these core elements of the Digital India mission.

How are you going to do that?

At CeBIT, there is a conference which will run concurrently on all three days. This year’s conference will have as its theme ‘Digitisation of the Economy’. We call it ‘d!conomy’. Typically, at such conferences we hear from technology industry leaders. They give us the seller’s point of view on use of technology. But this year, we are twisting it a bit to hear the user’s perspective. We realised that for digitisation to happen, the key buyers of technology (CMOs, CIOs, CTOs) should be invested in it.

We have identified 170 of them, and they will be our keynote speakers. For instance, we have Vijay Sethi, the CIO of Hero MotoCorp.

He will talk about how Hero is using IoT and ESDM in its distribution channels. Other speakers include Jayantha Prabhu, CTO, Essar Group; Rajeev Batra, CIO, MTS India; TG Dhandapani, CIO, TVS Motors; and Umesh Mehta, CIO, Jubilant Life Sciences.

Keynotes for the three days will be delivered on ‘Visionary Leadership’, ‘Technology in Action’, and ‘Innovation’.

What else is new this year?

We have partnered with CLIK (Consortium of Electronic Industries of Karnataka), an MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) organisation with a few hundred members in the electronics manufacturing space, now in its third decade. CLIK organises a biennial B2B event called CLIKTRONIKA.

This year, that trade show is being organised within CeBIT India on the theme ‘Smart Cities and IoT in the MSME Perspective’. The event will provide a venue for the member manufacturers of CLIK to connect with software companies, understand the trends, and develop partnerships in the IoT and smart city space.

How much does it cost to participate and what is the expected participation?

This year too, we are holding CeBIT India at BIEC. SME companies can participate in the three-day event paying as little as Rs 90,000 for a nine square metre (sq m) exhibition space.

In all, 16,000 sq m of space is available.  Other formats include 12 sq m, 200 sq m, 400 sq m, etc. We are expecting 430–440 exhibitors, a 7–8 per cent increase from last year. Expected visitor-buyer numbers are in the region of 10,000–12,000. Also, some 2,100 conference delegates are expected. Typically, each exhibitor would display up to eight products. So between 2,500 to 3,000 products available under one roof over three dedicated days. You won’t find such an exhibition anywhere else in India.

How did this year’s Hannover Messe fare for Indian participants?

Indian companies did very well this year. India was this year’s partner country, and our companies did onsite trade volume of €1 billion ($1.02 bn), primarily from SMEs selling their engineering products to a worldwide audience. This $1.02 bn is the actual business transacted, and does not include MoUs, leads, pipelines, etc.
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