Exhibition Showcase Talks To Krishna Patel, Managing Director, Nesco Limited

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“We manufacture equipment, which deals with metal-finishing and surface preparation. We always ensure that our designs are up-to-date and furthermore are able to customize designs as per the client requirement. We are in the real-estate segment where we provide luxurious but at the same time sustainable corporate office space. All our development are LEED Platinum certified which ensures the use of high-efficiency products and energy-saving techniques. We host several hundred trade-shows at Bombay Exhibition Center, which we are in the process of upgrading to World-Class standards. We are into high-quality mass catering (IDC & ODC), backed by a large state-of-the-art kitchen; fine dining and other F&B offerings. We organize our own Exhibitions & Events, which are considered to be the best in their categories. From music concerts to food festivals to automobile trade-shows – we cover a very wide range.”

ES. Can you please share about the story of inception of Bombay Exhibition Center
Krishna. It was the year 1939, when Mr. J.V Patel, a self-made entrepreneur, founded the New Standard Engineering Company on the very grounds that BEC stands on today. From being one of India’s few renowned engineering companies to becoming a diversified conglomerate, the company has taken innovative, bold and creative steps over the past decades to be what it is today. From diversifying into realty in 1986, and to exhibitions in 1992 with the creation of BEC with just 20,000 sq mtrs dedicated as exhibition space, it today is arguably the most active exhibition centre in the country with over 190 events and exhibitions hosted in the year gone by. Today, with the expansion over the years, BEC has over 55,000 sq mtrs of Air-Conditioned indoor space to offer within a secure and largely self contained campus.

ES. Can you please highlight some major milestones in the journey of BEC?
Krishna. Started in 1992, BEC has grown from hosting a handful of exhibitions annually, to being the most active and the most sort after venue in Mumbai.

  • Exhibition area growth from 20,000 to 55,000+ sq mtrs. This space will be further enhanced in the coming year to add atleast another 15,000 sq mtrs
  • The exhibition halls boast of solid industrial level flooring making it aptly suited for large format machinery exhibitions. Today some of India’s largest shows in the space of jewellery, medicine, logistics and machinery are held at BEC
  • A very large number of the IEIA member exhibitions are held at BEC.
  • All international organisers have atleast 1 of their events at BEC
  • In the last 10 years we have tripled our revenue
  • In the last 10 years we have doubled the number of exhibitions at the campus
  • 190+ annual events makes BEC the most active campus in India

ES. BEC hosts events round the year. Can you please share what draws so many events at your venue?
Krishna. BEC offers organisers a 3 fold advantage:-
1. SPACE – It is the largest air-conditioned exhibition center and many exhibition related facilities readily available within the campus. It also has one of the city’s largest banquet halls.
2. FACILITIES – The facilities at BEC extend to a state-of-the art kitchen which can cater to any number and any type of cuisine required, to ample parking space in a city like Mumbai which makes BEC a sort after venue. This allows for an organiser to concentrate on the task at hand because many of his requirements are taken care of.
3. LOCATION – located on the Western Express Highway and within a few km distance of both the domestic and international airports with over ten 5-star hotels close by, BEC is conveniently located for organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike. Furthermore we look forward to the Metro playing another vital public transport value-add to our venue.

ES. As BEC is the busiest MICE venue in this region, are you considering modernization of the venue at par with the other global venues of repute?
Krishna. BEC certainly has plans to grow and modernise the venue. In a phased and planned manner the work has already begun. Over the last 2-3 years we have already added a new banquet hall, an 11000 sq mtrs pillar-less exhibition hall. Construction on another new hall will begin in 2020. We have also constructed a 23k sq ft modern kitchen to cater to all types of cuisines that our event organisers may require. In this step wise manner we will continue to modernise the campus and keep in step with what our clients need and require.

ES. As we understand that BEC is a part of Nesco and contributes but some part of your revenue stream. How much importance then, do you allocate to BEC or your event venue business? Do you think it is an important pillar for you?
Krishna. Each of Nesco’s verticals is important and contributes to the overall growth of the company. BEC, is infact a very important and fast growing segment of Nesco and every effort is made in terms of man-power, modernisation and growth of the vertical to keep it relevant for its clients. Further, with BEC extending its facilities beyond just exhibitions and opening up to B2C events, socials, MICE and other avenues; there is immense potential for growth and we certainly are assured of its growth.

ES. According to you, what is the significance of exhibitions and what role a venue like yours can play towards this cause?
Krishna. Exhibitions are the business backbone of any country. European countries and America have well recognised this very early on and the governments there give a lot of importance to these activities. Asia is now beginning to emerge as a strong player in this area and of course has immense potential. We have seen a significant growth in the number of exhibitions in the country and on the Nesco campus and needless to say this will only grow as international players eye Asia more and more; and the domestic market too continues to grow. Venues like BEC have to and do recognise this potential and our expansion plans are being made with the purpose to ease and help with this growth. We also recognise our role as exhibition community members and will strive to find ways to assist organisers and other community players with facilities and support and be a strong part of this growth story.

ES. As we understand that Mumbai is hit by torrential rains and it can have a negative impact on the exhibitions, are you having some plans to tackle this issue?
Krishna. In Mumbai, the concerns raised due to the rains are certainly major and need tackling from the highest government offices in the city. Because the whole city’s infrastructure needs an overhaul to ease the daily problems faced during that season. But having said that, we at Nesco have decided to resize our entire drainage system including mechanical pumping systems to ensure that we are well equipped to combat the onslaught of water.

ES. How are you looking to tackle the traffic issues
Krishna. Traffic management is being handled with utmost care during all exhibitions. This includes the need of collective efforts of the concerned authorities and local management. Events and exhibitions in any area of this city will result in more than regular traffic movement and will have to be managed well from within the venue and from the outside by the authorities. We at Nesco recognise this concern and have closely been in touch with the traffic authorities to follow all rules laid out to effectively manage the parking and vehicular movement. Additional efforts being taken are:

  • Dedicated parking areas within the Nesco Campus
  • Additional parking facility within the Nesco IT park area
  • Surrounded by Lodha Parking ground and SRPF Grounds that are used for parking
    Additional area taken from Railway authorities to increase parking area during large format exhibitions
  • Getting organisers to have a required number of traffic wardens to manage traffic
  • Having adequate staff for traffic movement around the exhibition venue
  • Following local traffic authority instructions for effective traffic management