By Ali Ahmed al Riyami — As expected, this year’s 5th three-day ‘Indexpo Muscat 2012’ Indian Trade Fair, which concluded on Thursday, has been a resounding success, with vendors and organisers pleased with the visitor turnout of over 50,000 and the number of executed and negotiated business transactions that have taken place during this period.
It proved to be an opportune way for the 70 exhibiting companies to meet up with their Omani counterparts and show off their products, which included engineering products, consumables and processed food, cosmetics and toiletries, agro chemicals, dyes and intermediates, a wide range of consumer and manufactured goods, textiles jewellery, fashion accessories and brand lifestyle products, and the latest in Indian technological items.
All of the stalls were located in the Oman International Exhibition Centre’s main venue with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and the Department for Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, being the main supporters of the event. Fruitful B2B (business-to-business) meetings were held between 20 Indian business delegates and their Omani counterparts at OCCI, as an adjunct to the Trade Fair.
The Observer spoke to some of the organisers, delegates and exhibitors at the Fair to get their view of the event and how they have benefitted from it:
The Managing Director,
P D Nath, of the organising company, Silver Star Corporation LLC, who had also helped to organise the earlier held exhibition — the ‘Oman Plast’ International Plastics and Rubber Industry Exhibition 2012, in March — noted: the deep historical ties of friendship and trade between Oman and India, which have resulted in the signing of some 1,500 MoU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) and which makes conducting business here a simpler process.
In his comments concerning the Fair, he said, “This is the 5th exclusive Indian exhibition of its kind to be held in Oman, testifying our keenness to forge ahead with existing Indian trade with the GCC. The series of Indexpo exhibitions have gone from strength-to-strength in projecting the growth of Indo-Oman business relations in the context of globalisation endeavours.
“Following the remarkable success of the last four editions, the Indexpo is an ideal interaction forum for Indian and Omani entrepreneurs. Indexpo will pave a way for increased bilateral trade and co-operation.”
First time exhibitor Anil Kukreja, Director of Sanatan, said, they deal in plastic injection moulded components, including pipe-fittings, caps, pre-form for plastic bottling and plastic pots for garden nurseries.
He pointed out, although it is their first time to exhibit here, they already supply their products to Oman-based companies such as Amiantit, Oman Foodstuff — Al Mudhish Group and National Camps, amongst others.
He said, the event has been well managed and well organised with everything running smoothly and with them being able to conduct very good business. There has been a very good response with many visitors showing good interest in their products and looking for dealerships.
O V Chandran, Chief Executive of Pushpa Health Products, is also a first time visitor to the Sultanate. His company has branches in Kolkata and in Mumbai. He said, he has found the people here to be very friendly, nice and helpful. With regard to interest shown to his products — which include dehydrated vegetable products, spice essential oils, oleoresin and natural food colours — he noted, there has not been too much interest shown, but he is hoping to gain good responses as they continue to feature their products.
He sees good potential for business once they manage to increase interaction with local traders and has managed to establish initial contacts. He said he feels very much at home here and will be happy to return for future events.
V Subramanian, Regional Officer, Basic Chemicals Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, Export Promotion Council — Chemexcil, is also participating at the Fair for the first time. He said, it has been a good event where they have been able to promote their products, on behalf of some 5,000 Chemexil members located all over India.
This means that they can connect anyone who wishes to source material from India.
He said, the Council participated last year as well, where they have benefitted from meetings with their Omani counterparts, and they are planning to bring more delegations from India to increase fruitful interaction and bilateral trade relations.
“The facilities are fantastic over here and the people are co-operative, with a little realignment and adjustment we can have more business,” noted Subramanian.
Chandranath Som, Director at the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FEIO) commented on their role whereby they represent the interests of over 100,000 exporters and importers in India, where 16,500 companies are directly involved in over 70 per cent of India’s international trade.
In relation to this Trade Fair, he said, they are participating as “facilitators and as a source of encouragement for India’s international trading community, so that they can come and expand their market, especially in Oman and from here reach out to other Gulf countries as well.
India’s business community and Oman’s business community share goodwill, mutual trust and there is definitely enjoyment of special treatment for the business communities of both countries. We look forward to more and more interaction between the business communities so that trade can be taken further.”
“Thanks to the presence of mutual goodwill, it has led to an investment of $4.5 billion from the Indian business community into Oman, and Oman’s business community has also invested $2.5 billion in India.”