Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2020 - Page 15

Big Interview The machine tool sector plays a strategic role in the success of manufacturing. While the sector is small, the role it plays is paramount. IMTEX keeps the machine tool industry players in touch with the global manufacturing fraternity and promotes its growth. The combined business enquiries at IMTEX (metal cutting) and IMTEX FORMING (metal forming) put together equals around 70% of India’s machine tool consumption. This would not have become possible without the BIEC infrastructure. IMTMA has leveraged exhibitions as well as exhibition infrastructure for the success of machine tool industry in India in a big way. Tell us more about BIEC and would you call Bangalore an ‘events city’? w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk During the 90’s and beginning of this millennium, when IMTEX was growing, a strong need was felt in IMTMA to create a world- class exhibition infrastructure to demonstrate machines in ‘working conditions’ similar to what exists in manufacturing industries. The association, however, wished to set up this infrastructure initially in Mumbai. Bangalore was eventually selected for the advantages it offered the manufacturing industry as well as future growth potential. Many large machine tool manufacturers and user industries, IT & electronic industries, research and technology institutions had their bases in South India, particularly in Bangalore. The city’s climate and its connectivity to international destinations made it an ideal choice. Above: V. Anbu, President of the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) and incoming UFI President BIEC was conceptualised as a green exhibition infrastructure and is the only such venue in India certified by both the US Green Building Council (LEED Certification) and the Indian Green Building Council. The exhibition centre has also obtained Integrated Management System (IMS) certification. BIEC is also India’s first exhibition centre to be certified a ‘Green Project’ with 30% green cover, 3,500 trees, rain water harvesting, waste water recycling and solar lighting. How has the relationship changed between event stakeholders over the years? At the beginning of the millennium, the Indian exhibition industry faced immense challenges in terms of inadequate infrastructure, Issue 2 2020 15