In Conversation With Sandip Das – Dy. Director General, TPCI

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I am of a strong believer that Virtual shows can never be a threat to physical shows as they can’t sustain for a longer period if left alone where as physical events can. Virtual shows have their own merit and if clubbed with physical Events shall add value to the physical ones resulting in better ROI for exhibitors, visitors & organiser.

ES. Indus food is a global platform to showcase food and drink technology and equipment to the food processing companies in India. Please tell us about the rich legacy of your show and its journey over the years.
Sandip Das. Indusfood is a global platform for entire Food & Beverage Industry. It was conceptualized during 2017 with an intention to provide a professional market place for promotion of Indian Food & Beverage products. Since Food Processing is thrust sector for India gradually the need was felt by the industry to add food & beverage technology in the portfolio which will eventually help them sell and source at the same place. Hence during January 2020 edition we had introduced a food processing Technology arm of Indusfood called Indusfood-Tech.

  • Indusfood is closed door B2B trade show where 450 top Food & Beverage and 250 Food Processing Technology & ingredient suppliers exhibit their product in front of global buyers from more than 70 countries.Indusfood is closed door B2B trade show where 450 top Food & Beverage and 250 Food Processing Technology & ingredient suppliers exhibit their product in front of global buyers from more than 70 countries.
  • Over the years the food & beverage arm of Indusfood has turned out to be a spot order show due to the fact that the buyers / trade visitor entry t0 the show is only through invitation, screening and approval basis.
  • The last edition of Indusfood 2020 generated on-spot business deal worth USD 2.1 billion in 3 days.

ES. What will be the major highlights of the upcoming edition of Indus Food?
Sandip Das. Due to the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, we had to postpone the dates for Indusfood from January 11-13, 2021 to March 20-21 , 2021. However due to paucity of time in 2021 we won’t be organizing Indusfood-Tech and will go ahead with Indusfood – F&B only involving 350 exhibitors and 1000+ buyers from 50 countries in physical format.  Current year’s edition will take place strictly following SOP for health & hygiene measures issued by Government of India & WHO due to COVID -19 pandemic.

ES. Will we see a different format this year? Will it involve some virtual/hybrid element?
Sandip Das. Yes this year’s edition shall have an virtual component as well apart from the physical trade fair. The virtual fair shall allow additional buyers who could not attend the physical trade show due to health concerns or existing travel related restrictions. Virtual platform will enable them to transact business with the exhibitors as well.

ES. As an organiser, what measures you will take to ensure smooth and safe experience for the attendees?
Sandip Das. Indusfood will probably be one of the first exhibitions in the country in COVID period that involves participation from more than 50 countries including USA, Canada & EU apart from the developing countries. TPCI is committed to ensure implementation of all necessary Health & Hygiene measures to provide a safe & smooth experience to all the participants of Indusfood 2021 #SafeForBusiness. The health related guidelines and protocols for Indusfood 2021 has already been updated in the event website.

ES. About 1300 foreign buyers from 80 countries participated in your previous event. How are you going to replicate a international participation this time?
Sandip Das. Certainly. Indusfood has established itself as India’s premier export promotion trade fair. Export can’t happen without overseas buyers. However due to pandemic and existing travel restrictions we have limited the number of foreign buyers to 1000 from 50 countries for Indusfood 2021 edition.

ES. Please share with us the statistics of your upcoming event – tentative exhibition area, number of exhibitors and visitors etc.
Sandip Das. Indusfood 2021 edition will be spread across 4 halls of India Exposition Mart Ltd, Greater Noida with net exhibition area of approximately 6000 sqm and gross area of 14000 sqm, 350 exhibitors & 1000 + foreign buyers & 500+ Trade Visitors.

ES. We witnessed two concomitant shows Indus Food-Chem and Indus Food-Tech 2020 in last edition. Are they also going to be held this year?
Sandip Das. As already mentioned earlier during 2021 we won’t be organizing Indusfood -Tech.

ES. We witnessed a great reverse buyer-seller meet in the last edition where prospective buyers were given return air tickets and accommodation. Please throw some light on this year’s arrangements and major markets?
Sandip Das. Yes we are organizing reverse buyers seller meet this year’s also. In this buyers from developing markets get Sandip Das. Yes we are organizing reverse buyers seller meet this year’s also. In this buyers from developing markets get sponsored air tickets and hotel accommodation. Major developing markets include CIS, Africa, GCC, ASEAN, East Asia, SAARC & LAC.

ES. What protocols will be in place and technology touchpoints set up at the event to make the event all-secure?
Sandip Das. We shall follow contact less registration process and we have our inhouse technology in place for ensuring the same. However for F&B services and others, the contact less technology shall be implemented by the respective vendors with the help of venue.

ES. What is your expectations from the venue and what role is it expected to play in supporting successful execution of your event?
Sandip Das. We have been organizing Indusfood in IEML since its inception. Over the years the venue has extended all necessary cooperation to us for successful organization of the event. Like previous year we have discussed in detail the expectations with IEML including the health, hygiene & safety measures and they have assured us on all our points.

ES. What is your comment on the virtual shows
Sandip Das. I am of a strong believer that Virtual shows can never be a threat to physical shows as they can’t sustain for a longer period if left alone where as physical events can. Virtual shows have their own merit and if clubbed with physical Events shall add value to the physical ones resulting in better ROI for exhibitors, visitors & organiser.

ES. Finally, what is your message to the industry?
Sandip Das. For the Exhibition & MICE fraternity my message is that we have come out of the most difficult challenges posed by COVID-19 & things are now gradually opening up; soon we can expect to come back to the normal days. However it is important that all of us shouldn’t lose hope and be responsible while organizing activities so that our actions do not pose any unwanted problems for the exhibition & event industry.