From bang bang to Bangalore
04 September 2009
After a summer break we are approaching the conference and exhibition season once more, kicking off this week with a couple of events that I anticipate will reflect the optimism currently surging through their respective sectors.
The first of these is electronica and Productronica India, and takes place this week in Bangalore. This two-in-one show is organised by the same people who host the industry leading events in Munich on an alternating basis – we will be bring you much more about Productronica in the coming months prior to the show in early November.
Productronica was actually a spin-off from electronica over 20 years ago when the latter show out-grew the Munich fair grounds (in the days before the modern Messe Munchen facility). All the production equipment and services were split off to form an exhibition with its own identity and destiny and become the focal point for the manufacturing side of the electronics industry today. It is interesting then that the two shows have been ‘rejoined’ for its Indian outing.
Part of this is simply practicalities – an obvious way of building on the success of last year’s electronica is to add on its complimentary brand without having to invest in a new show. This year there will be around 750 exhibitors and expectations are for over 10,000 visitors, flying in the face of global uncertainty. As Anand Sethi, our Indian correspondent, has been telling us for several months, the Indian electronics industry may have been checked in its meteoric growth, but has continued in healthy state nonetheless through these dire economic times. I expect the Indian exhibition will reflect this robust good health (although Bangalore itself, I believe, is the worst affected part of India for swine flu, but I think people generally have learned not to fear this too much!)
The other thing I find interesting about the format of the Indian exhibition is that electronica came first and has now been augmented by Productronica. Much of the drive to Asia has been driven by low cost manufacturing, the ‘Productronica’ side of the industry, while the design side, ‘electronica’, has evolved at a slower rate. With its renowned expertise in software development leading the way, India has reversed this trend, with quality technology industries building up along side the manufacturing.
The other event this week with global significance is the defence and security show (DSEi), in London. I think that through this column I have made my rather liberal and negative views of the arms trade fairly clear, but I find it difficult not to be fascinated by this event.
Defence and security, in their literal meanings, are very important issues and the long-term nature of the projects, both from inception to fruition and from a lifecycle perspective, have meant that this sector has remained largely recession-proof. Due to the standards and accreditations involved it is not easy for an electronics manufacturer to dip into the military world just because times are tough in other sectors, but there is no doubt that those who already had a foothold are motoring along quite nicely.
The entire supply chain is in evidence at DSEi – from suppliers of components through to various outsourcing services, OEMs and providers of defence services, its all under one roof. So while an electronics manufacturer might be there to find new suppliers, cement relationships with customers and pick up on market trends, they will be rubbing shoulders with medal-laden generals peering covetously at tanks and missiles. Like I say, it is a fascinating mix.
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