The organizer of India's second-largest plastics show, Plastivision, is looking seriously at expanding its franchise to Africa next year, likely in Kenya, after launching a show in the Persian Gulf in 2012, show executives said.
The Mumbai-based All India Plastics Manufacturers Association said it is in talks with local groups in Africa, and hopes to leverage its Plastivision India show, which wrapped up its ninth edition in December in Mumbai, and its Plastivision Arabia show, which had its inaugural edition in the United Arab Emirates two years ago.
The group would also like to set up a plastics trade show in Mexico, although that's not an immediate goal, said Raju Desai, chairman of Plastivision 2013, held Dec. 12-16 in Mumbai.
"Our first priority is to launch the show in Africa with Nairobi as the most likely venue" he said in an exclusive interview with Plastics News at the Mumbai show.
"We are in touch with [the] local industry association and working out… modalities of the proposed show," Desai said. "We are very keen to involve the government bodies and stakeholders of the plastic industry of Kenya to jointly organize the show with full support."
He said the agreement could be finalized by March, with the show targeted for the second half of 2015.
Besides tapping economic growth in Africa, show organizers said they see opportunities because Kenya and other countries on the continent have a large population of expatriate Indian business people. As well, AIPMA said it sees Kenya as a safe location.
"We believe that the venue is safe," Desai said. "Besides, Kenya is politically stable compared to other African countries and buyers from neighboring and other countries could safely travel to the show."
This show would not be AIPMA's first try in Africa. The group set up a show in Kenya a decade ago, jointly with Al-Fajer Information and Services Ltd., the organizer of the Arab Plast show in Dubai. But that partnership ended after a few editions of the fair, AIPMA said.
Desai, who is also director of injection molder Jyoti Plastic Works Pvt Ltd. in Mumbai, said the date of the Africa show would likely be announced at this year's Plastivision Arabia, April 7-10, in Sharjah, UAE.
The Plastivision India show, which had more than 1,200 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors, generated about $250 million worth of business deals, Desai said.
The show grounds in Mumbai is slated to be torn down and replaced with a new multi-story structure, Desai said.
He said the exhibition center has assured the show that the new structure will be ready for the next edition of Plastivision, which is held every three years.
Problems with the construction of new show grounds caused problems for India's largest show, PlastIndia, and its plans to move to a new location next year. But Desai said AIPMA has had detailed discussions with its Mumbai venue.