Debut WorldBuild India review: connecting professionals to professionals
“I didn’t expect that sort of crowd on the first day!” This quote, from Portuguese insulation and flooring brand Amorim, sums up the first edition of the WorldBuild India building exhibition in Mumbai – the aisles were busy, the 220 exhibitors were happy with who they met, and the 18,600 visitors managed to get a good overview of the premium international products available to the Indian market.
“It’s been a worthwhile experience,” Finnish copper specialists Aurubis said. “As our first year exporting to India we have learnt a lot about the market and made some good contacts for future projects. The investment has been profitable for this exhibition.
“The construction industry is booming. The Indian economy is quite diverse, including niche customers who want to use our products. The copper market in India is quite limited so we want to be there at the beginning and expand our presence. There are only around 10 projects that are using copper at the moment so it’s a very new market here with no real local competitors.”
“We’ve had a great first WorldBuild India,” agreed Sika. “We’ve met lots of prospective buyers of the right profile and expect to finish the show with many new customers and increased organic reach on branding. This has opened a new market for us.”
One reason WorldBuild India has been able to open this new market to so many international brands is the strong government support it enjoys – at the very highest level. Prasad Lad, Vice-President of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was a guest of honour at the opening ceremony, giving full support to WorldBuild India from the governments of India and of Maharashtra, the home region of Mumbai. "We promise to make India proud and support you,” he told the audience.
One sector where international brands enjoy solid demand is roofing, so WorldBuild India 2017 joined forces with the well-established, standalone Roof India exhibition to connect these brands to Indian buyers looking for quality. “The show has delivered the right type of buyer interested in roofing and waterproofing – they are the decision makers so we hope to convert many leads after the show,” said Saudi Arabian company Arabian Waterproofing. We have been active in India for many years, this has been our most successful Indian exhibition.
Italian firm Tecno Imac, meanwhile, gave an intriguing insight into why they got involved in India’s roofing market. “Many businesses are by the sea but haven’t solved the problem yet of salt aggression, so they are now starting to look for solutions and resins,” the brand said at the show. “Now, buyers are starting to look at quality over price. I’ve had many enquiries online from India so decided to invest and exhibit here. India is a booming market – there are a lot of construction projects and consumer spending is growing.”
There’s a lot happening in Indian construction to keep these brands interested. The 100 Smart Cities, for example, which will equip India’s urban areas with next-gen infrastructure, systems and technology, is a huge opportunity for the whole sectors. But there has been so much speculation about the plan that it’s hard to sort fact from fiction – the Vision India conclave that took place within WorldBuild India helped fill the knowledge gap. The conclave brought together the big players involved in developing the smart cities, municipal corporations from western India displayed their development plans and network with architects, engineers, urban planners, builders and contractors.
Meanwhile, the Dutch architect Jan Gehl was the top attraction in the Icon Lecture series – making sure the talk lived up to its name. He spoke about the ways city planners can create urban spaces for everyone, making sure they keep the needs of the people at the heart of everything they do: “My whole career’s work is about creating a good urban habitat for homo sapiens.”
Finally, the Breathing Cities contest, curated by Dean D’Cruz and Reboni Saha from Goa’s Mozaic Design studio and launched in partnership with Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited, invited architects to design an architectural project that represents the colours of their city. There were many other business events at the show – click here to see the full schedule.
WorldBuild India is back next year, from 19 to 21 April 2018 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre.
In the lead-up to WorldBuild India 2017, the country’s leading construction exhibition, WorldBuild India and WorldBuild365 are talking to some of the shining lights in Indian architecture, design and construction. First up is Manit Rastogi, Founder Partner of Morphogenesis...
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