Lockdown was just a ‘speed breaker’

I would say there was no negative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business! Except for the months of lock-down, market sentiment in India has been on a high. Buyers have a positive

mindset and want to expand production capacities quickly.

Yes, physical meetings and discussions have gone online; but this change has only reduced our travel expenses and vastly increased efficiency.

No, we have neither participated in any virtual show nor do we intend to do so. We have always been with traditional shows, meeting clients face-to-face. I don’t think virtual shows can bring that experience.

IndiaWood is very important for us and brings us many new prospects. It has earned a very favourable image among visitors for new launches and a good experience.

Conference needed

Yet, to me it is not time for another show in 2021, especially with the Covid-19 contagion still rampant. We exhibitors spent a lot of money and resources on IndiaWood-2020, which ended with a lock-down.

Many orders booked during that exhibition are yet to be fulfilled. We are not ready for another investment at this point. We are also not sure whether the desired number and profile of visitors will turn up.

Currently, the industry is facing several challenges: shortage of raw materials (including particleboard), increase of raw material costs, an increase in sea freight tariffs and shortage of shipping containers. These are affecting the growth of our industry.

To address these challenges – and in the absence of a trade show in 2021 – I feel we could do with a conference of industry players, to create awareness, share problems and perspectives, and jointly look for solutions to these issues.

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