As India reels under the second wave of the pandemic, renowned leader of the exhibition industry, Mr. S. Balasubramanian, who was the Executive Director & COO at IMTMA & BIEC, President at Indian Exhibition Industry Association and Secretary at IAEE India Chapter passed away on 10 May, 2021. The untimely loss of Balasubramanian has left the entire industry in shock. No words can explain the irreparable loss and void that he has left behind.
Balasubramanian, who was fondly called “Bala,” is survived by his wife and two sons. He was associated with IMTMA since 2007, headed the trade fairs division which organizes IMTEX and regional machine tool shows across various cities in the country, besides being the COO of BIEC – India’s leading green exhibition facility. Prior to joining IMTMA, he had worked with Informa Group, Intech Trade Fairs & Wisitex Foundation. With over 2 decades of experience in the exhibition industry, he had always considered himself a student as he believed that learning never ends. His association of being part of BIEC for 10 years and IMTEX for 50 years were some of the big milestones of his career. He headed IEIA in one of the toughest times for exhibition industry and it was a huge challenge guiding and spearheading the industry during the global pandemic. In a number of occasions he had expressed his gratitude to IMTMA and IEIA for placing their trust in his work and for the opportunity to serve the exhibition industry. What can we say more about Mr. S. Balasubramaniam, he was a remarkable person, a friend of friends and a great human being who always had a smile on his face. A very loveable person, humane to the core, caring like a big brother and always being there like a true friend and guide. Bala was also a true sportsman at heart who loved to play football. On many occasions he had expressed his love for good food! He spoke informally and openly with all colleagues and was always open to suggestions. He brought out the best in people and lead by example. Bala believed that people, process and planning are the three key pillars to success.
He had an uncanny quality of quietly observing and finding out what one likes to do and would encourage you to do that chosen job. Bala was a workaholic and would usually work for 10 hours daily. He was an early riser and maintained a daily diary of his scheduled tasks any given day. Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, expressed, “Bala’s untimely passing creates a hole in our industry second in size only to the love and devotion he held for exhibitions and the international exhibition community. I rarely met such a kind, warm, and competent person. We have lost a colleague and a friend, and my heart goes out to all those closest to him.”
In an interview with Exhibition Showcase last year, when he was asked to share his message to the industry, Bala had said, “Exhibition industry is passing through a difficult phase and has seen some big disruptions in terms of revenue. However, at the same time it has thrown up new opportunities to reinvent itself and connect with customers more strongly and closely through technology. This shows that nothing can stop us from moving ahead and break the bond between two human minds.”
You will be deeply missed Bala!