Anbu first Indian to head UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry
Mr. Anbu Varathan, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) and Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) formally assumed office as the President of UFI for 2020 - 21.
It’s a historic occasion for the Indian exhibition industry as Anbu is the first Indian ever to occupy the top post of UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry in its 95 years existence.
During his tenure, Anbu would focus on UFI initiatives to revive the exhibition industry and extend all possible support to industry leaders besides urging stakeholders to be resilient to face future contingencies, adopt technology that would enhance the value of face-to-face exhibitions in future and enhance a stronger connection with communities in the exhibition space.
“I’m extremely happy to assume the Presidency of UFI and feel privileged to be the first Indian to get elected to this role in more than 9 decades of UFI’s history. I wish to thank the UFI board for giving this opportunity to work with the global exhibition industry.
It is a daunting task but also an opportunity for me to enable the Indian exhibition industry to be vibrant and stronger and get its due recognition at the global level.
I also look back with pride IMTMA’s journey in transforming IMTEX into a great international show, an ecosystem in itself and enabling BIEC as the best green venue and an industry infrastructure,” said V. Anbu, on his first day as UFI President.
Anbu is taking over the reins of UFI at a time when the global exhibitions industry is passing through an unprecedented time and is recovering well from the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On a brighter note, Anbu’s elevation as UFI President provides significant opportunities for third world countries to uplift their exhibition industries and narrow the gaps with industries in developed nations. As governments create a well-structured exhibition industry ecosystem, trade and economy in these countries will flourish.
About Anbu Varathan
Anbu is the Director General & CEO of IMTMA and BIEC. He has been a board member of UFI since 2011 and serves as a member on the UFI Executive Committee. The UFI Board of Directors elected him as the President of UFI for 2020 - 21. Anbu is a Metallurgical Engineer from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with a work experience of around 30 years. Prior to joining IMTMA, he was with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) heading various key areas of Technology / IPR activities.
UFI is the leading global association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 56 national and regional associations’ members. Seven hundred and eighty two member organisations in 83 countries and regions around the world are presently signed up as members. More than 927 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike.
IMTMA was formed in 1946 when 19 machine tool manufacturers joined hands to form an association. Over a period of around 75 years it has grown in size to represent around 90% of the organized machine tool and allied equipment manufacturers in India. IMTMA is the apex body and single point of contact for the entire machine tool industry of India and plays a critical role in the development of the metalworking industry. A not-for-profit association, IMTMA’s initiatives range from government advocacy to industry and export promotion, trade fairs and events, training and seminars, technology missions, publication of various industry and technical writings, structuring of regional councils, and development of clusters.
BIEC is India’s premier exhibition-cum-conference facility. Spread across 57 acres of lush- green area BIEC infrastructure comprises five exhibition halls, a conference centre, food court, amphitheatre, entrance plaza and a large outdoor area.
BIEC is India’s first LEED certified Green Exhibition and Conference Facility. It is a member of UFI, IAEE, AFECA, ICCA and IEIA, globally recognized associations of the exhibition industry. Exhibitions from diverse sectors such as construction equipment and technology, woodworking solutions, machineries, exposition of startup ecosystem, digital business, and architecture and building materials, electrical, agriculture, IT, textiles, and so on are regularly held at the venue. Government of India as well as the Government of Karnataka have patronized BIEC for various events organized by them.