An industry body representing the MSMEs in the city --- Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry --- has decided to organise the ninth edition of its flagship industrial exhibition under the Gujarat-government's 'Vibrant Gujarat' banner. This seems to be a conscious and significant move, considering the political affiliations of top BJP leaders including PM Narendra Modi and Gujarat finance minister Saurabh Patel with the city.
"The exhibition (the first edition of which dates back to 1990) that usually used to be held in February, has now been moved to November 27. Earlier, we used to have a lot of problem attracting the vendors in February, which was held immediately after the conclusion of the Vibrant Gujarat summit," said Nilesh Shukla, chairman of VCCI Exhibition 2014. Similar exhibitions have been held by the industrial body in 1990, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
When asked if VCCI, for the first time, decided to hold the exhibition under the Vibrant Gujarat banner due to the political association of both Modi and Patel with Vadodara, the VCCI official said, "No, no... This is not true. In fact, we always had the support of the Gujarat government," Shukla said.
VCCI officials said the it's tie up with the Vibrant Gujarat summit will help the MSMEs gain a "global reach". "We have told the state government that we are ready to help in implementing the MoUs (memorandum of understanding) that are signed for Central Gujarat region during the Vibrant Gujarat summit (slated to be held in January 2015)," Shukla told mediapersons.
In fact, the Gujarat budget presented by Saurabh Patel in state legislative assembly also makes a provision of Rs 50 crore to be set up a Convention Centre of "an international level" at Vadodara. "Since 1999, we have been constantly requesting the state government for a convention centre. We are happy that the request has been granted," Shukla added.
As part of the three-day exhibition organised with support from Government of Gujarat and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), about 500 stalls will be set up over nine lakh square feet. As part of the event, fresher's spot placement fair will also be held, where HR managers of leading MNCs and large corporate houses and SMEs will offer spot placement/internship to freshers. "Last year (in 2013 edition) we had conducted 7200 interviews and 2200 jobs were offered on the spot," he added.
The event will also see an annual convention which will bring representatives from all chambers and commerce and industrial associations of the country on a common platform.