Bombay Exhibition Centre to house 10,000 migrant labourers

Venue of major printing and packaging events

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Bombay Exhibition Centre during the Media Expo Mumbai 2020. Photo IPP
Bombay Exhibition Centre during the Media Expo Mumbai 2020. Photo IPP

The Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC), the venue of some of the biggest expos in the country including some of the leading printing and packaging ones, has decided to offer its space to accommodate migrant laborers who have been affected due to the 21-day lockdown. The venue, owned by Nesco Group, located in Goregaon, will accommodate over 10,000 people.

“Thousands of migrant workmen who have been adversely affected due to the closure of the Mumbai metro, vital link-roads, coastal road and construction sites, have been left homeless. Although the BMC and the state government have been trying to accommodate them, they need much more space,” Nesco chairman Sumant Patel was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 many upcoming printing and packaging exhibitions that were slated to take place at BEC in the coming months have been deferred. The last major expo related to the printing or packaging industry that took place at BEC was Media Expo Mumbai 2020 held in late-February.

Some important events slated to be held at BEC that have been postponed include Screen Print India 2020. Taking into account public health concerns, travel restrictions and market volatility due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India has decided to postpone the Mumbai edition of Screen Print India 2020 scheduled to be held from 24 – 26 April 2020. The Mumbai edition is now planned to be held in the latter part of the year, and the new dates will be announced in the coming weeks, after consultations with the fair’s international and local supporting associations.

Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India also decided to postpone Gartex Texprocess India, which was slated to make its debut in Mumbai last month. Gartex Texprocess India is a comprehensive tradeshow on garment and textile machinery.

BolognaFiere Group and Informa Markets, organizers of Cosmoprof India, have announced the postponement of the 2020 edition. The exhibition, initially scheduled for early September, will be held from 29 to 31 October at the BCE. Cosmoprof India in Mumbai is the business-to-business event for the fast-growing beauty market in India. A lot of cosmetics and pharmaceutical packaging companies participate in the expo.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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