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Kaleidoscope -Leaders' Views

Activating Fairs & Events - a Fair Act

Mr. Sunil More
Start of Business : 2011
Business website : www.fairact.in
Main Product Lines : Exhibitions, Conferences and Events Organisation and Management Services
‘Star’ Product /State-of-the Art Design/Front-running Product : Handling Exhibition operations
Quality credentials of products (ISO/ CE/UL /CSA/RoHS etc.) : Not Applicable
City & Country of factory and Head Office : Mumbai,India
Names of locations of branch offices : Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata
Main countries of business operations : India, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE
Major market segments for products : In the field of Exhibitions & Events organisation
Turnover growth % in last year compared to previous year : 15%

Most organisations dealing in events, have frequency of same event of 2 to 4 years, and cannot sustain to hold the infrastructure including manpower for the off-peak period. FairAct has realised this need and is just doing a fair deal to bridge this gap. FairAct offers all those required services to the Exhibition Organisers, thus releiving them from unnecessary expense, and yet offer these services with elegance and in a professional manner.


What were thoughts and philosophies for starting your business?

With a background of working in a national Association for 32 years and last 15 years as its Director General as well as being responsible for organizing a very large world-class international exhibition, a need was noticed particularly in extending assistance to exhibitions and events organisers in the area of operations management.

Many of the Associations organize their flagship exhibitions with a frequency of 2 to 4 years. It is economically unviable for such organisations to maintain an operations manpower since the same remains idle till the next Show is announced. The private organisers, on the other hand like to concentrate more on marketing aspects and look forward to outsourcing operations work to professionals.

Realising this need, we three partners, started FairAct in the year 2011.


To what extent you feel having fulfilled your objectives today?

Our company is in existence for the past 5 years and has worked with very large Associations and Exhibition organisers to their satisfaction. Though we are still learning, particularly in assimilating the latest technologies to serve our clients more efficiently, we believe we have done fairly well during these years. Having said so, we believe that learning is a process and there is room for improvement, always.


What according to you are your positive points towards growth and sustenance of your business?

We three partners together have more than 50 years of combined experience of managing conferences and exhibitions. Having background of working in an Association, we not only gel well with the Associations, their members and executives but also understand their needs and constraints better. The extensive experience of working with industry leaders while in Association, gives us a cutting edge in handling and resolving critical issues. Our flexibility also assures Organisers of our ability of delivering services even though requested and desired at the last moment.


What are your growth/expansion plans for next 5 years?

We are looking at a minimum of 20% growth every year.


Can you give brief account of major projects / assignments executed in the recent past:

During the current financial year, we have provided exhibition management services to more than 15 events including 3 major exhibitions having more than 1,000 exhibitors; viz,

bcINDIA 2016 - Exhibition of Construction Machinery and Equipments
ITME 2016 - Indian Textile Machinery Exhibition in Mumbai
PLASTIVISION 2017 - International Plastics and Plastic Machinery Exhibition


What are your major forthcoming projects that you may like to describe?

In a natural step forward, this year, we provided ‘Turn Key’ Services to an Association taking over all expenses of the event with a ‘Revenue Sharing’ model. We also entered into the business of organizing exhibitions during the current financial year by organizing an exhibition in Ghana, Africa. This will be followed by organization of six more exhibitions in Ghana on different subjects. In addition, we are also organizing two exhibitions in India.


How do you foresee growth of your industry in next 5 years (a) in the country, and (b) internationally?

Considering that India is a fast emerging markets both in industrial as well as consumer sectors, it is expected that the exhibition industry will continue to grow during the coming 5 years. The growth in international markets, though not significant, but will remain fairly stable.


What kind of bottlenecks you anticipate in your growth plans for next 5 years?

There are many bottlenecks in growth of the industry but these bottlenecks are universal for all sectors. Most important bottlenecks are quality of infrastructure, statutory and legal regulations, inability to look at the broader picture etc.


In present business practices, do you experience problems like:

a) Unusual credits expectations by customers, – Not from all customers. Some are very good and some are not so.

b) Payment delays, non-payments, bad debts, – Partially true

c) Statutory & regulatory exploitations, – Yes. But I will call it as Statutory and regulatory Regulations. I do appreciate that some of the regulations are necessary and justified in view of the safety and security of our country. But there are some regulations, provisions of which are exploited by unscrupulous elements.

I will name a few regulations, which are causing hardships:
- Approval from Trade Fair Organisations and concerned Ministries. We do appreciate these regulations from the point of view of safety and security of our country. However, time taken in obtaining these approvals needs to be reduced by streamlining procedures.
- Restrictions on Import of Exhibition material and exhibits
- Entry and exit of material from the boundries of the cities where exhibitions are held
- Entertainment Tax on conferences and technical and knowledge based events
- Provisions of Labour Acts, wordings of which are causing exploitation of exhibition organisers by unscrupulous elements
- Various local permissions and no-objection certificates required from state and local governments

d) Harassment from some specific sectors, - Yes

e) Effects of Government policies (lack of policies/inadequate policies/negative policies) -

- The major difficulty faced by the industry is that the industry does not enjoy status of ‘Industry’ by the Government. Regulations and incentives specific to the industry are therefore not possible in absence of such status.
- Such ‘Industry’ Status will allow the Government to look holistically at the Industry. The business generated by this industry is not only for the organisers and the participants in such events alone but to a wider sections, such as hospitality industry, travel industry, tax collections by the Government, employment generation during the event etc.

f) Effects of International happenings - The effects of international happenings do affect but these can not be generalized. For example, SARS and Bird Flue did affect the business to some extent. There is however more impact of National conditions on the business. These detriments are arson, terrorism, epidemics etc.


As a progressive and prominent businessman, would you have any suggestions for removing these hurdles?

As mentioned before, ‘Industry’ Status will help the Industry as the Government can create a policy for development of the industry.


How you see the onslaught of international competition in your business segments?

We welcome international competition since it brings in technology, professionalism and transparency. There are many areas where Indian organisers can learn from the practices followed by the international players.

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