And Construction Technology Trade Fair: Show Roundup
South Asia’s largest construction equipment (CE) and construction technology trade fair organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), EXCON 2019 was held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bengaluru from 10th-14th December 2019. As part of the 10th year celebrations of EXCON, CII planned to organise special activities like celebrating ‘Women in Infrastructure’, exclusive Pavilions on AI, IoT, Robotics, Start ups, components and parts among others.
Over the last 9 editions, the event has grown into one of the topmost construction equipment exhibitions in this part of the world. It is an ideal platform to connect all infrastructure stakeholders, including policymakers, investors, and developers, with the exciting growth story of India’s infrastructure. Indian Construction Equipment Manufactures’ Association (ICEMA) was the Sector Partner for the event and the show was supported by Builders Association of India (BAI).
The show spread over 3,00,000 sq. m witnessed participation of over 1,250 exhibitors including 390+ overseas companies from 21 countries with country pavilions from China, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA among others. The 5-day exhibition attracted over 70,000 business visitors, from India and abroad.
The theme for the current edition of EXCON was ‘Smart i-tech- Next Gen India@75’, with the aim to demonstrate the role of smart technologies and innovation in design in the manufacture of NextGen CE and machinery to support the rapid pace of infrastructure development in the South Asian region. EXCON 2019 endeavours to build India’s infrastructure in an ecologically sustainable manner, enabling projects on Smart Cities, supporting Swachh Bharat programs, promoting Skill Development and position “Make In India” – as the National Agenda for achieving holistic growth in the infrastructure and related sectors.
Shri. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road, Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India, along with Shri. B.S. Yeddyurappa, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka inaugurated CII
EXCON 2019. Delivering his inaugural address, Shri. Gadkari said that “The CE industry can hope to expect a 40% increase in sales in the near future, as the Government is pumping huge amounts of investment in road and other infrastructure projects such as the development of waterways, airports, ports, and smart cities. But the private sector should focus on bringing down the cost of construction and pollution.”
The Guest of Honor, Shri. B. S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, said that “Karnataka is an emerging hub for CE, component outsourcing base and design base. The state presents huge business opportunities for the construction industry, as it is embarking on major infrastructure development projects in roads and flyovers, industrial infrastructure and power.”
Felicitation of the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour Inauguration by the Dignitaries
Mr Vikram Kirloskar, President, CII, in his address, said “India is on a mission to build up its infrastructure. The government has embarked on an ambitious strategy to spend about $1.3 trillion in infrastructure construction over the next five years. With this as driving force, the CE industry is set for a new horizon of growth.”
In his address, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said “EXCON was launched at a time when the construction industry was set for a new growth trajectory. With 83 exhibitors in 2000, we are proud that this year, over 1250-plus exhibitors participated at the show. This demonstrates the need and utility of this exhibition for the sector and other stakeholders.”
Delivering his theme address, Mr Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council, said that “This edition of EXCON with the theme, Smart i-tech- Next Gen India@75 provides a platform for the display of technological advancements in the CE sector. EXCON would project the CE industry as an industry of the future and help us bring the vision of India@75 to fruition.”
During the Inaugural Session, a MoU was signed between Education Department (Higher) of Government of Karnataka and CII on Industry Institute Connect, which will focus on creating a taskforce of Government and CII on facilitation of skilling and teaching content in the construction equipment sector.
EXCON Women Building India Awards
The inaugural session celebrated women in infrastructure by introducing, ‘Women Building India- Equal Opportunity Awards’ and recognised companies from the Infrastructure sector who have taken proactive steps to enable women to participate in the workforce. EXCON hopes to initiate a dialogue on how women can be engaged in a traditionally male driven sector through this special initiative launched in this edition. The award saw 50 companies applying for the different award categories. The Chief Guest, Shri. Gadkari presented the awards to the winners:
- Cummins India Limited – Inclusive Workplace for Women Award
- JCB India Ltd– The Special Initiative (Shop Floor) Award
- Feedback Energy Distribution Co Ltd (FEDCO) – The Special Initiative (Unskilled Workforce) Award
A report titled ‘Women in Infrastructure’ was also released during the inaugural ceremony. The report uncovers the current status of women participation in the sector and best practices that can enable the sector to include more women as it continues to develop.
Bridge 2019 – Building Regional Infrastructure To Drive Growth Of Economies
On Day 1, a Conference was organised on ‘Building Regional Infrastructure to Drive Growth of Economies’. “Let us build a 100 Smart Cities that are best in the world” said Mr Amit Gossain, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Smart Cities and Urban Development, and Managing Director, KONE. Adding to this, he pointed out that infrastructure development in India must focus on promoting ease of living for its people and ease of business for the business community. There is also a need to work towards policies that simplify infrastructure funding and private investment in infrastructure projects.
A session was conducted on ‘Infrastructure Powering Regional Economic Growth’. It was moderated by Mr Sanjeev S. Ahluwalia, Advisor, Observer Research Foundation, who began the session with a brief on policy issues and their impact on the infrastructure segment.
Mr Asit Ranjan Sikdar, Vice President-Project Advisory and Structured Finance, SBI Capital markets said that despite a slight dip in foreign investments, India continues to be an attractive destination for investment. Further, speaking about the power sector, Mr S. Chandrashekhar, Managing Director, Bhoruka Power stated that the sector was over regulated. He said that for systems and technologies to work, the focus must be on ethics. Also, he emphasised the need to use electricity as a commodity and not an incentive.
The session also witnessed addresses of Mr Rajkiran Kanagala, Senior Vice President and Group Head – Business Development, Transport Corporation of India and Mr Barinder Sethi, Vice President, Quess Group.
The title for the second session was ‘Technology for Smarter, Faster and Secure Infrastructure’, which was moderated by Dr. Sumit Chawdhury, Managing Director, CEO and Founder, GAIA Smart Cities. Greater transparency, improved efficiency, and effective management were the key issues highlighted in the session, where panellists discussed the impact of effective use of technology in infrastructure projects.
The speakers were Mr Anand Sirohi, Director, India and SAARC, Trimble and Mr Sanjay Mundley, Senior Vice President – Business Development, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries India, among others.
Artificial Intelligence Iot And Automation
The second day of the show started with a Conference on ‘Artificial Intelligence IoT and Automation’. This session focused on the paradigm shift from machine training through programming to achieve automated solutions with AI and IoT under the Industry 4.0 wave, where Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chair, CII AI Forum & Chairman, Axilor Ventures said that, “From USD 180 billion economy in 1980s to over USD 2.8 billion economy in 2019, technology has enabled India to grow multi-folds. With the right approach and great platforms like EXCON 2019, we have the opportunity and potential to lead the world in technology.”
In his theme address, Mr Pratik Kumar, Chairman, Task Force on AI, IoT and Robotics, and Chief Executive Officer, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, said, “The 10th edition of EXCON with the theme, Smart I-tech – Next Gen India@75 has thrown light on the role of technology as a change-agent in the construction and equipment industry and factors responsible to accelerate the industry’s pace. And, it is no surprise that even in this sector the products and services are creating new experiences for all of us.”
Risk And Credit Conclave 2019
Day 2 of the 10th edition of EXCON also witnessed a Conference on ‘Risk And Credit Conclave 2019’. Addressing the topic, Mr Sandeep Singh, Managing Director – Tata Hitachi and President, ICEMA, said “The construction industry needs to focus on understanding customer expectation and guide the customer towards the best solution.” With optimism about the future of the CE industry in India, he emphasised the abundance of jobs in this field.
Mr Jaswinder Singh Bakshi, Convener – Finance Panel, ICEMA, suggested that the opportunities arise when the market is stressed. Also, he stressed on the need to support the equipment leasing market in India. ICEMA was looking to bring to India the best practices in both financing and leasing from other countries.
The half day conclave had discussions on Macro-economic risks in CE financing, risks in CE financing, and mitigation and handling Assets Risks.
Construction Technology – Way To $5 Trillion Economy
“Increase in the manufacturing jobs and improvements in the supply chain efficiency are crucial for India to become a US$5 trillion economy by 2025. These twin goals can be achieved only by making the construction industry robust,” said Mr Sachin Chandra, President, BAI at the conference on Construction Technology, organised on the 2nd day of CII EXCON 2019.
The conference also witnessed addresses of Mr K. Sriram, Vice President, BAI and Mr Adithya V S, CEO and Founder, Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, among others.
CEO Power Session
On Day 3, a CEO Power Session was held at EXCON 2019. Highlighting the importance of networking for success, Sri Gaur Gopal Das, a reputed spiritual leader and lifestyle coach, said that networking is not just about exchanging cards, rather “you should invest in relationships and cultivate a spirit of camaraderie.” This would help people in business face serious challenges effortlessly. Mr Arvind Subramanian, former Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India took the idea forward by suggesting that “Government must instil confidence in the investors and help bring private investment back.”
The officers urged the private sector to provide gainful employment to engineers who retire from the armed forces. The seminar included the presentations of Maj Gen Pawan Anand, Additional Director General, Corps of Engineers, Lt Col A. Balakrishna SM, Assam Rifles, among others.
This seminar was followed by a session on Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) and Infrastructure for Armed Forces, where the industry experts shared insights on efficient project cargo movement and emerging requirements, along with smart technology solutions in defence.
The speakers in this session included Mr Ayush Agarwal, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Center of Competence, McKinsey & Company and Ms Geeta Lakshmi, General Manager, Atlas Logistics Pvt. Ltd., among others.
Green Buildings And Factories
The session on green buildings and factories was held as a very significant part of the tenth edition of EXCON. It was organised by CII in partnership with IGBC on the 4th day of the event to include the sustainability component in the growth process. Several key aspects were discussed, including the benefits of green factory buildings such as energy efficiency, water savings, enhanced water quality, and so on.
The half day session included speakers such as Mr Manjunath, managing Director, KNND Associates and Mr Chintan Soni, CEO Ecolibrium Energy, among others.
The 10th edition of CII EXCON key highlights:
- 3,00,000 sq. m exhibition display area
- Participation from 21 countries including country pavilions from Germany, Italy, South Korea, China, Turkey and United Kingdom.
- 300+ product launches
- User Industry CEO’s Meet
- BIM and Digitalization Summit India 2019
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