Review

Building Effective Business Platforms

May 27, 2015 |

NEPAL BUILDCON INTERNATIONAL 2015 AND NEPAL WOOD INTERNATIONAL EXPO 2015

The three-day international exhibition-expo on construction, woodwork, architecture and accessories was the first event of its kind in Nepal and featured over 100 domestic and international stalls

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Nepal is a growing market with growing needs. Since most of our infrastructure is in the nascent stages, the scope for development here is unparalleled. The raw materials and human resources of Nepal remain virtually untouched as well. Tapping into these deposits could very well ensure the development and prosperity we lack and so demand at the moment. With proper investment and support from the general public, Nepal can utilise its vast resources and the funds at its disposal to create a better future for itself and its citizens. The contemporaneous “Nepal Buildcon International 2015” and “Nepal Wood

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International Expo 2015”, which took place in Kathmandu from February 27 to March 1, were designed specially to ensure that the right companies are exposed to the right individuals here. Organisers Futurex Group, India, and Media space Solutions, Nepal, planned and executed the exhibition-expo with the aim of exploring the demanding domestic market.

Mahesh Basnet, Minister of Industry inaugurated the three-day event in a ceremony that took place at the venue, Bhrikutimandap, on February 27. The exhibition-expo featured over 100 domestic and international stalls, the latter of which were mostly based in India, exposing the Nepali market and consumer populace to products that are not as yet well-known about or widely available in the country. Stalls related to varied sectors of the construction and wood production industries could be visited, and their respective products talked about and examined in close detail at the event. The range of products included processing machineries and finished products that were put on display by concerned stalls and companies. Domestic as well as international companies like Jagadamba Cement, Asian Paints, Pashupati Paints, Surya Ply, Hunter Douglas, Leitz, Hettich, Zoren Hopps and Alstone, among many others, were amongst those that participated in the event.

Even though the primary aim of the exhibition-expo was to bring international and domestic sellers and consumers to the same platform, the organisers also wanted to familiarise the general Nepali public with the construction sector. A few of the participating companies stated that they managed to secure a considerable number of contracts because of the exhibition; even those that had not said they had certainly branched into the Nepali construction business with the number of contacts they had developed at the event. The participating international companies all echoed the belief that Nepal is a growing economy, and with a growing economy comes a growing market. They say they are optimistic about their relations with Nepal and hope that these relations will be fruitful for both parties.

Gaurav Chopal from Chopal Timber Company, India, said, "Buyers and sellers are constantly searching for each other, but aren't able to find the satisfactory other. Exhibitions like these help us easily find sellers and vice versa. Moreover, we get the opportunity of shedding light to the general public regarding the wood processing industry and the company itself". The live demonstration of wood peeling by the Chopal Company was certainly the highlight of the exhibition.

 

Our main aim has been to bring the kind of technology that Nepal’s construction industry needs to the market so that clients do not need to travel abroad to avail of various services. The plan now is to make this an annual event in Kathmandu

The overall experience organising and facilitating the event has been very good. There is huge potential in the Nepali market. In two or three years, there will be an even bigger demand for the construction industry in Nepal. It is with view of such demands that we organised the event and the feedback has been phenomenal. The fact that concerned buyers were present at the exhibition-expo meant that the event was an actual business-to-business platform. The exhibition more than met expectations, although the experience of organising an event of such a scale in Nepal proved startlingly different from the experiences we’ve had in India. It was a challenge, but we believe the challenge was met. We still have a long way to go and improve further, though.

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NAMIT GUPTA
Director, Futurex Trade Fair and Events Pvt. Ltd, India

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Our main aim has been to bring the kind of technology that Nepal’s construction industry needs to the market so that companies and clients do not need to travel abroad to avail of various services. We also want the general public to have sound knowledge of developments being made in the construction industry. The plan now is to make this an annual event in Kathmandu. We will have more international stalls next time around, and facilitate international conferences as well.

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Every layperson in Nepal has supported us so we have felt very welcomed here. We plan on bringing some more exhibitions to the country in the near future. Solar energy, medical equipment and IT and e-commerce are some avenues we will definitely be exploring. We will definitely have more buyers and sellers at the exhibition-expo next year. We are already looking forward to making the event bigger and better in its next edition.

Other one-of-a-kind products exhibited at the event included lifts by L.T. Elevators the latest models of which have an eight hour battery back-up, certainly useful for a country like ours with faces frequent electricity outages. According to Vivek Bathwal of L.T. elevators, the company has gotten 2-3 confirmed clients. Other interesting products by the company included dumbwaiter elevators, car lifts and a car stacker. Even though Bathwal had expected only to advertise his company during the three-day exhibition, he says he received a lot of unexpected inquiries. Another exhibitor, Pankaj Sarraf from Shree

Shyam Hardware Pvt. Ltd. (Natural Veneer) said that Nepal is an emerging market that has “grown to be a premium-level market with premium consumers”. “However,” he continued, “even though people want to spend their money here, they are not able to because premium products are not easily available in the Nepali market. So these consumers have to travel outside the nation to satisfy their needs.” Sarraf plans to bring such premium-level decorative veneers to the Nepali market. The company further commented that it has been very successful in gaining exposure and recognition amongst domestic architects, designers and normal consumers here.

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Some firms, who were looking to establish relations with concerned businesses and business professionals, however, said they were disappointed to find the exhibition-expo attendance was dominated by casual visitors as opposed to concerned businesspeople. They also expressed discontent with the footfall, saying it was much lower than they had anticipated. Surabh Pandey from Alstone commented that one reason for this might the manner in which the event promotion was restricted to the Capital. An event, of such as scale, he said, should have been promoted throughout the country to allow concerned individuals to participate in it as effectively as possible. Political disturbances on the second day of the exhibition-expo further meant that visitors were considerably few on Saturday, disappointing stall owners who were expecting maximum footfall that day.

Visitors could be seen streaming into the Bhrikutimandap hall and examining the stalls on the first and third days of the exhibition-expo. Most were very impressed by the exhibits and the overall management of the event. Many even commented that they had never seen such a large-scale exhibition for building and construction and personally gave positive responses to some of the exhibitors. Most visitors confirmed that they would definitely come and visit again in the coming years. "The response, for the most part was positive, but critical feedback would help us better our offering further,” said Pashupati Paints as they spoke of their experience showcasing at the event. “Such events give the brand more exposure and spread awareness of the product and provide our customers much-needed product knowledge. Exhibitions of this kind are an effective medium of reaching the masses who, in the end, are the consumers".

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SRIJAL BHATTARAI
Managing Director,
Media Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Nepal

The ultimate goal is to change the concept of international expos and fairs in Nepal. We want to drive home the point that such events are effective business-to-business transaction venues

Organising the “Nepal Buildcon International 2015” and “Nepal Wood International Expo 2015” has been an invaluable learning experience for us. The response has been wonderful and we’re happy with the success of the event. A lot of work needs to be done now to make the next edition a much better event.

We are trying to raise the bar for exhibitions such as these in Nepal. The ultimate goal is to change the concept of international expos and fairs in Nepal. We want to drive home the point that such events are not fetes but effective business-to-business transaction venues where meetings can be set up and potential business relationships fostered. Our aim is to promote business transactions and support the utility industry here. We want to make the newest and the best technologies available here in Nepal.

 


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