I was talking a few days ago with the president of the Plastindia Foundation, Subhash Kadakia, and he mentioned that some high-ranking people in PIF were unhappy with how this newspaper has covered the ongoing controversy about the Plastindia show moving from Delhi to Gujarat.
If you've missed the coverage, the leaders of PIF decided in September to move the show, which opens Feb. 5, from Delhi to Gujarat.
It's clearly been a very public controversy — one member of PIF's board resigned in protest over how the move was made, a handful of companies in India filed a lawsuit seeking to block it.
As well, several key international partners of PIF, including the organizers of the K show in Germany and the Chinaplas fair, wrote letters questioning it, saying such a last-minute move would hurt their credibility.
From the comments, I don't think people were objecting to the move to Gujarat directly.
They seemed more concerned with how the decision was made, with the logistical and contractual problems that would come from a last-minute decision to move one of the world's biggest plastics shows.
Suppose the U.S. trade group the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. had decided in October to move the NPE show (coming up in late March) back to Chicago, its home for 40 years before it went to Orlando in 2012.
I can imagine that would be controversial.
Kadakia told me that others within PIF cautioned him that Plastics News likes to publish negative news.
Given that it seems some in the Indian industry, including some of the leaders, are questioning Plastics News, I wanted to take this chance to explain our philosophy and talk about how we've covered India in general.
India's an important place for the industry, it will only become more important, and the Plastindia show is a key entry point for foreign companies into a fast-growing and challenging market.
Plastics News seeks to be a fair-minded news source, reporting on global developments for the industry and giving people the best information we can so they can make good decisions.
We think it's that philosophy that's given us the market strength to publish several newspapers and websites, including in Chinese, and to outlast former competitors who have closed print magazines in the last few years.
We've covered India a lot. We've paid for our reporters to travel from around the globe to cover the Plastindia shows in 2006, 2009 and 2012, and the other big India show, Plastivision, in 2011 and 2014.
As well, our freelance correspondent in India regularly attends smaller Indian events. If you search our online archives, you'll find dozens of stories from those events and literally hundreds about India's plastics industry.
We've given PIF the same kind of coverage in this situation we give trade associations around the world.
As one example, in the U.S., when the SPI and the American Plastics Council went through their tense separation, we wrote about it.
When two prominent Chinese recycling groups argued with each other publicly in 2012 about which was better positioned to represent the industry, we wrote about that.
The health of the industry's trade groups are important to the industry, so we try to write about them, warts and all.
I have seen no substantial coverage of the controversy surrounding the Plastindia move in India's plastics trade magazines. Personally, I think the industry's better served by shining a light on these issues.
But I do want to repeat what I said earlier: we want to be fair-minded. I invited Kadakia and PIF to write to Plastics News if he thinks we've not been fair in our coverage.
Toloken is news editor — international for Plastics News.