UBM India to Launch the First Edition of Food & Hotel India Expo

The show will belong to a premier and influential category of over 20 market leading food and hospitality shows across 12 countries, organized in Asia by event organizers UBM Allworld.

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UBM INDIA is set to launch its very first food and hospitality show in the Indian sub-continent, Food and Hotel India Expo (FHIn). The show will belong to a premier and influential category of over 20 market leading food and hospitality shows across 12 countries, organized in Asia by event organizers UBM Allworld. These include Food and Hotel Asia Singapore, HOFEX and Hotelex, among others. The inaugural Food & Hotel India will take place on 5th-7th September 2018 at the Sahara Star Hotel in Mumbai. BW Hotelier spoke to Yogesh Mudras - MD of UBM India who threw some more light about the happenings.

Debuting in the Indian market after having run shows over all of the Asia how is the platform different?

We are delighted to launch the Food and Hotel India show, India’s first truly global B2B show in the Food & Hospitality industry. The expo belongs to the top-tier, luxe category of over 20 market leading food and hospitality shows across 12 countries, organized in Asia by event organizers UBM Allworld. FHIn debuts at the right time to leverage an advantageous market, fuelled by large-scale governmental initiatives spending power and the aspirational lifestyle of India’s middle class. The Indian edition is customized to the country’s needs as it deep dives into its most significant sub-sectors -- F&B, Meat, seafood, beverages, bakery, hospitality technology, Commercial Kitchen Equipments, tableware, Housekeeping, Retail & Hospitality Food Services and interior designs -- keeping the show floor buzzing with business, trends, and experiential engagements surrounding these.

How do you think the international market will be able to help/collaborate with the Indian market?  

With business and leisure travelers flying across all parts of the globe, foreign collaborations and learnings are intrinsic to the growth of the F&H industry. Currently, the Indian food and market is the world’s 6th largest and is expected to be ranked among the top 5 business hospitality markets globally by 2030 – clearly, it is at the center of a thriving region that continues to see further strong growth in the food and hospitality industry. At its preview show, Food and Hotel India is set to catalyze this growth, hosting over 90+ Exhibitors, 15 participating countries, and a gamut of engagements including Chefs Competition, Wine Tasting, Product Innovations, Conferences, and a ProductLaunchPad. No doubt, this will be of bridge the knowledge and market intelligence gap for the gathering of over 5,000 serious trade visitors including decision makers, specifiers and end users in India looking to source the latest solutions for their business.

Are there any international/national products being launched? 

The FHIn will see a number of launches at the show venue. We are especially happy to announce that for the first time the USA Egg and Poultry Council & INTERPORC  is testing waters in India. This would prove to be a great opportunity for the US and Spanish Exporters to meet with Indian importers and other stakeholders in a week-long trade mission.

ProWein aims to spread information about the wine industry. How do you see the wine industry has evolved over the years?

Historically, Indians have preferred liquor over wine. One of the highest taxed sectors, wine is still considered a luxury However, favorable and promotional government policies, higher disposable incomes and growth in foreign tourists,  along with global travel and experience of other countries where drinking wine is a part of the lifestyle makes India a highly attractive sales market in the major cities, where its consumption has been growing 25-30 percent. Some popular wine brands have come up in the country as imported wines suffer from high retail prices due to import tariffs. Even so, one out of four wine bottles consumed in India is imported making it a high-value market. You will get to know about these nuances at the FHIn, where the largest wine education platformProWein India will help deliver wine education, through a range of master class, wine & spirit tasting and pairing, discussions and presentations focusing on the sensory perception for wine, spirit and hospitality professionals at FHIn, from September 5-7at Sahara Star, Mumbai.

What, according to you, are the challenges the Indian market could face when it comes to international competition?

With its growth potential, hotels & tourism yielded USD 10.9 bn as of December 2017 in terms of foreign direct investments (FDIs). Investment in boosting infrastructure and initiatives such as the proposed development of 10 major sites into world-class tourist destinations are major growth drivers for the industry. While the economy is growing rapidly, India faces a huge challenge of being ‘under roomed’  -- given the current demand-supply scenario of hotels, there is an acute shortage of 150,000 rooms in our country, which the industry has to grow and fill up the gap. Along with Indian players, corresponding global International hotel chains are increasing their presence in the country, as it will account for around 47 percent share in the Tourism & Hospitality sector of India by 2020 & 50 percent by 2022, up from 44 percent in 2016. They are also entering into tie-ups with the local players to penetrate deeper into the market. While the competition is rigid, India is a better space strengthened with various market players who are emerging with new trends and standards while embracing the essence of India.

With regards to food, certain products like wine, cheese, meat products, exotic fruits are often not able to fetch the premium which the imported tag automatically adds. However, in comparison to local products, imported foods are heavy on the Indian wallet as the aligned high taxes & import duties are pushed towards customers. This is a serious challenge that the market faces. Even if this challenge is overcome, the distribution channel for these foods is still not up to the mark. Most of the exotic items require frozen cold storage facility during transportation and storage but this facility is still nascent in India. The Government has realized this lacuna and is trying to develop cold chains that would make the supply chain easier to manage,

What sort of opportunities do you see the Indian hospitality industry offering the international players?

Diverse, dynamic, and with a thriving population, India is a very enticing proposition for international players. While our country is blessed with a startling range of biodiversity, natural, heritage and cultural attractions, it has kept pace with the times in terms of mobile apps, online usage,  availability of e-visa and m-visa among others. It can be seen variedly as a destination for spirituality, adventure and camping, medical and wellness, ecotourism, culinary tourism, rural tourism, and the focus of a plethora of niche experiences. Incredible India it truly is for international players.

According to you, how has the Indian hotel industry fared so far?

India, after China, is considered one of the most lucrative hotel markets in the world and has the second largest construction pipeline in Asia. A consistently growing middle class and increasing disposable income, improving infrastructure, key governmental initiatives, interest in Tier-3 and 4 towns, cleaning up of the financial system through GST, and digitalization which allows hotels to provide services at a scale and level not otherwise possible, has resulted in the hotel industry faring well and continuing to do so in the future. The fact that the demand is regularly outperforming supply is a good indication. Research in the sector tells us that a lot more can be achieved in the Budget segment.

A part of the supply is met these days by the popular short-term rentals/home-stays that are customized to user needs. Of course, there needs to be greater uniformity in the rules and regulations so that guests are consistently offered safe, secure accommodations, on top of exceptional hospitality. Indeed, globally, as well as in India, there has been a turnaround since the years of economic slowdown. In India, additionally, economic risks, high capital costs, competition in the industry, poor infrastructure facilities and scarcity of land had traditionally posed challenges.


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