Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) elects Sonia Prashar as its new President


The Executive Committee of Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) is pleased to announce Sonia Prashar as the new President of the association. Sonia was unanimously elected for this position at the 80th Executive Committee meeting held on May 29, 2021.

Assuming charge as the first woman President of IEIA, Sonia comes with more than 25 years of senior management experience, including a decade of strategic development. Currently, she holds the position of Deputy Director General at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (the largest bi-national Chamber in the world) and is also the Chairperson & Managing Director at NürnbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd. (100% subsidiary of NürnbergMesse GmbH). Ms. Prashar is also the Chairperson, Advisory Committee, Women’s Leadership Forum, formed by IEIA in association with IAEE.

“I am humbled to be taking on this role. IEIA has been progressively working for the betterment of the Indian Exhibition industry through its various initiatives since the last 15 years. As the industry evolves through restructuring and technology upgradation, I believe IEIA with its strong EC is in a position to assist the Indian exhibition industry and guide through this tumultuous period. I am hoping to carry forward the legacy established by my dear friend, colleague and predecessor Mr. S. Balasubramanian and realise his vision. His commitment and efforts to advocate the interests of our sector will always be remembered. I also like to thank the EC Members for electing me as President and look forward to serving the interests of IEIA membership with the best of my abilities.”- said Sonia Prashar.

Sharing her vision and plans for serving the industry, she further stated that, “Indian Exhibition Industry is a huge contributor to the overall economic growth of the country. Exhibitions industry in India is sized at INR 23,800 crore and supports INR 3 lac crores worth of business transactions across various sectors. Trade fairs have been recognised as economic growth engines by various leading economies of the world. This highly catalytic sector is going through the most turbulent times since the last more than one year and needs prioritised attention and support from the policy makers of the country. The inherent potential of the exhibition sector can help realise Govt.’s vision and mission of a strong Indian economy. We will pursue this goal through advocacy dialogues and engagement with the Govt. counterparts. I also like to urge the membership to stay resilient and be prepared for a strong comeback and request your support in all our endeavours for the progress of our sector.”

Sonia has a rich professional background with an extensive network and trade fair experience which will be instrumental to further strengthen partnerships, develop strategic alliances and expand IEIA’s global horizons. She has been a strong contributor to the promotion of exhibition industry in India and internationally. IEIA is also very honoured to have Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH and Chairman IEML on the Executive Committee in the capacity of Ex-officio Past President. Rakesh Kumar has served as IEIA President for 2 consecutive terms and currently is also the Chairperson of the Advocacy Committee of the association.

Speaking on the occasion, Rakesh Kumar stated, “IEIA has always been close to me since the time of its inception. I am glad to have the opportunity to be part of the EC once again and look forward working together for the progress of our sector in these most challenging times.” Expressing his views on Sonia’s appointment as President, he stated, “We are sure that with Sonia’s more than two decades of experience and a very strong sense of commitment towards the development of Industry, the association would continue to grow and flourish.”

IEIA also announces and welcomes Ubaid Ahmad, Senior Director, IMTMA to the Executive committee as the new representative from IMTMA. Ubaid has been associated with IMTMA since 2008 and is renowned in the Indian and international exhibition industry circles. On his induction into the EC, Ubaid said, “I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve our industry as Executive Committee Member of IEIA, the national apex body of exhibitions sector in India. I shall endeavour to contribute to the causes of the industry to the best of my abilities.”

Current EC members for the term 2019-21

  • Sonia Prashar, President
  • Rakesh Kumar, Ex-officio Past President
  • Sudeep Sarcar, Vice President
  • Bhupinder Singh, Honorary Secretary
  • Gaurav Juneja, Treasurer
  • Yogesh Mudras, EC Member
  • Ravinder Sethi, EC Member & International Ambassador
  • Sooraj Dhawan, EC Member
  • Ubaid Ahmed , EC Member
  • Dharampal Malhotra, EC Member