Amid Covid blues, Ludhiana industry hoping expos will be breath of fresh air

With the Union ministry of culture having allowed exhibitions from November 10, the city-based industry is looking forward to organising expositions in the beginning of 2021.

After an extremely mundane year, the industry hopes the exhibitions in the financial capital of the state will bring back normalcy to various industrial sectors, such as hosiery, auto parts and hand tools, which have suffered heavy losses due to the Covid-19 lockdown and farmers’ ongoing rail-roko agitation.

One major industrial exhibition already announced is the “Mach-Auto Expo 2021”, which will be organised from February 19-22, with over 550 exhibitors from India and abroad.

“No exhibition took place this year due to the pandemic. Apart from hitting the expo sector, it also took a toll on the industry that could not upgrade itself in the absence of exhibitions. The expo planned in February will see participation of companies from India and abroad, which will help the local industry incorporate new technology and machinery, and expand business globally,” said Upkar Ahuja, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

The managing director of Udan Media and Communications Pvt Ltd, which manages trade fairs, GS Dhillon said, “Organisers of exhibitions have suffered huge losses in the absence of exhibitions all year due to the Covid outbreak. However, the industry is showing good response for the Mach-Auto expo, which will help pick up the exposition sector as well.”

On digital platforms to organise such exhibitions, Dhillon said, “We are not equipped with the infrastructure and facilities required for digital expos. The government and industry jointly need to work on this.”

For the hosiery sector, apart from providing an opportunity to upgrade its technology, exhibitions also give them a chance to get feedback from consumers.

“Two exhibitions are organised for wholesale and retail hosiery sectors in June and July. During these exhibitions, we get feedback regarding the consumer demand, which helps us focus on manufacturing the right products. But, no exhibition could take place this year,” said Darshan Dawar, president, Knitwear Club and Ludhiana Woollen Manufacturers’ Association.

Industry to rope in education institutions

Ahuja said with students coming up with various innovations that can useful for the industry, they will be roping in educational institutes, such as IITs.

“We have also tied up Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, for the students’ skill development, which will equip them to graduate into industrial jobs with ease,” said Sushil Sharma, general secretary, Association of Ludhiana Machine Tool Industries.

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