MUMBAI, India—The 10th Indian Rubber Expo, organized by the All India Rubber Industries Association, continued to show growth during its recent event in Mumbai.
The three-day event drew about 33,000 visitors and had more than 165,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Bombay Exhibition Center, compared to its 2001 debut, which had 5,000 attendees and 12,000 square feet of expo booths, according to Vishnu Bhimrajka, the lead organizer for the IRE.
Dignitaries who attended included Suresh Prabhu, the Indian Union Minister for Commerce and Industry. Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and many other country, state and city leaders sent welcome letters.
More than 400 exhibitors presented their products for IRE-2019, including global firms such as ExxonMobil, Arlanxeo, Lanxess, Desma, SI Group, Lord, Wacker and Zeon. The expo also included a strong contingent of Asian exhibitors from China, Japan and Malaysia, as well as domestic Indian companies—from large firms such as Apollo Tyres and Reliance Industries, to smaller ones including Yasho Industries, Polmann and Bharat Polymers.
A domestic reverse buyer-seller meeting was held for all three days in a dedicated hall, with several hundred buyers representing the railway, automotive, mining, defense, aerospace and infrastructure sectors participating.
A three-day international rubber conference with 22 papers was conducted concurrently with the expo, drawing more than 300 Indian and foreign delegates.
The keynote speech was titled "Shaping the Future Together" presented by ExxonMobil's Prasanna Joshi. The talk touched on the expected future growth of the Indian economy and positioning of the rubber industry to benefit this growth. Joshi said the Indian GDP is forecast to grow 300 percent by 2040, and the middle class will exceed 1 billion people.
For comparison's sake, he said the U.S. currently has 750 cars owned per 1,000 people, compared to 100 in China and just 20 cars per 1,000 people in India. That means a strong increase in automotive demand can be expected as the Indian economy's growth takes shape.
However, Joshi said this could cause a crisis among rubber auto parts suppliers. To be ready for the development, he said rubber industry suppliers and parts manufacturers have to follow the current macroeconomic trends, which include disruptive innovation, process robotization, and products weight and waste reduction.
The delivered papers were devoted to the new frontiers in raw materials, processes and the modern rubber industry macroeconomy. Several papers addressed such emerging trends as rubber parts for electrical vehicles, parts to satisfy the Indian railroads development and new regulations.
Educational workshops on testing and quality assurance of rubber and rubber products; rubber products manufacturing and improvements; and emerging materials and product improvement drew many attendees.