COVID-19 has changed the global landscape enormously, and professionals in the exhibition industry now face the insistent need to make tough decisions quickly. Since the beginning of the pandemic, hundreds of events have been cancelled all over the world, and waking up to the news of cancellations or postponements has become the new normal. Mr. Sanyal Desai, CEO of Radeecal Communications tells Kanchi Batra, Business Editor, The Diplomatist about the company’s future plans, what’s new, and what show attendees can expect to see in a post-COVID-19 world.
Q. Radeecal Communications has established itself as one of India’s most successful exhibition organizers. What are the major milestones it has crossed over these years?
As you know, the journey of Radeecal Communications started from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India in 2010. It is promoted by Mr. Neeraj M. Shah and myself, we have a collective experience of more than 20+ years in the field of exhibitions and conferences. This experience made us serve various industries through this platform. Our tagline says ‘Exhibit to Succeed’ which we haveimplemented in the real sense as well. We started with one exhibition focussing on agriculture in Gujarat, India but now we’re organising exhibitions on around 13 different subjects which include Agriculture, Dairy, Grain, Food, Cold Chain, Nonwoven Technical Textile, Wood, Ceramics, Hardware, Environmental, Industrial, Plastics, Medical & Hygiene, etc. in India. We also represent more than 10 International exhibition brands in India. After a successful stint in India, Radeecal also set its foot in Africa by organising its 1st exhibition in 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. Major cities where we are organizing exhibition and tradeshows are Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Delhi, Rajkot, Nairobi, etc.
Q. The exhibition industry relies on the free movement of goods, people and ideas. However, this seems to be in danger at the moment because of the coronavirus outbreak. Should we be worried?
Coronavirus, undoubtedly, has made a huge impact on business and working patterns of each industry, hence the exhibition industry is also not spared. Above all these, we think this will give us new possibilities to expand the exhibition business with the new normal situation in the world, so the organizer who will adopt the new normal quickly will start getting back on track quickly. Through association, we’re in discussion with the Government with SOP of organising the exhibition in post-lock-down days and we’re hopeful that Government will come up with some good news for our fraternity. New problems bring new challenges that can be converted into new opportunities for future growth. We, at Radeecal, believe in this mantra and have always worked towards it.
Q. What efforts can be taken to bring the industry back to normality?
We understand that the need for exhibitions or tradeshows cannot vanish, it will increase day by day as the Government is promoting self-reliant and start-ups. To bring the industry back there, we all have to understand the new normal situation and all must get back to work with all new rules and regulations. As I mentioned before, SOP for post-lock-down days already been made and all need to work with the new rules. Major rules are the use of mask and sanitizer dispensers at the exhibition venue, entry for all with a screening of thermal-gun and cross-checking with Health App in mobile, social distancing within the exhibition venue halls, etc.
Q. Kindly tell us more about the kind of shows you organize. Which are the other upcoming shows and their highlights?
1. Agri Asia (Along with Dairy Poultry & Livestock Asia), Gandhinagar, Gujarat. This is our flagship Exhibition; the 10th edition will be held in 2020.
2. Nonwoven Tech Asia: We started India’s first and only exhibition on Nonwoven Technical Textile in 2014 in Gujarat. Now we organise this brand in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The 7th edition of Nonwoven Tech Asia will take place in 2020.
3. Agritec Africa: This brand also started in 2014 which is our first International brand outside of India. The 7th successful edition will be held in 2020 along with Dairy Livestock & Poultry Expo and Graintech Africa. Concurrent brand Dairy Livestock & Poultry Expo Africa also started in 2014. Graintech Africa was included as a concurrent event from 2019 onward.
Upcoming Exhibitions in Kenya:
1. Foodtec Africa
2. Cold Chain Africa
3. Nonwoven Tech Africa
4. Woodtech Africa
5. Ceramics Africa
Q. What difficulties did you encounter in organising Agritec Africa in Kenya?
Agritec Africa was our first brand out of India. For the first three years, we, as a team had travelled to Kenya to make a good repo with new contacts which helped us to organise our first successful exhibition in Kenya. Because of our hard work, we could achieve support from the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries & Cooperatives – the Republic of Kenya. Also, some foreign diplomatic missions in Kenya i.e. India, Israel, Egypt, Brazil, USA, UK supported us to make this brand a success. For the last four years, we have our own office in Nairobi with local staff who works in synchronization with our head office in India.
Q. How do you think the industry will develop within the next five years? Can you tell us about the key trends emerging?
In the next five years, there will be total revamp in exhibition and tradeshow industry, as we would see many new and niche subjects on which exhibition would be taking place. Also organisers will try finding newer destinations within the country as well as overseas. We would see organisers creating platforms with a hybrid model (Physical as well as Virtual Exhibition). Physical exhibitions, undoubtedly, will be there forever as humans are social animals — nothing can beat one-to-one interaction, but the virtual exhibition will be an added feature in the physical exhibition platform.