Three days before the final stage of the India Road Show, the Drink Technology India (DTI) trade fair in Delhi, December 12-14, 2019, we had another appointment 1400km away, in Mumbai. In sweltering 35C heat and after nearly a year of trying to co-ordinate diaries, an appointment was finally scheduled with Parle Agro! This huge Indian beverage manufacturer produces soft drinks, such as the famous “Appy Fizz” or “Frooti”, in 84 manufacturing plants across India. Our meeting took place in Parle Agro’s head office, near to the Western Express Highway that we had travelled so many times with the Editourmobil during the India Road Show project.
Parle Agro CEO Schauna Chauhan and her father, company founder and Executive Chairman Prakash Chauhan, met us in their office for what turned out to be a relaxed and open discussion and chat, rather than a classical-style interview. We discussed the history and milestones of the beverage giant before turning to the subject of PET packaging. Its single-serve Appy Fizz 200ml and 160ml bottles have been a real success and the company is already, now, working on new formats and lighter preforms.
As the Drink Technology India event was scheduled to open the following Thursday we had to get the Editourmobil back to the north of India, to the Pragati Maidan fairground in Delhi, to be precise. We allowed ourselves just enough time to make the 1400km journey. While Indian roads are a big challenge we managed to arrive at the fairground the day before the DTI started, thanks to our reliable vehicle drivers!
We parked the beautifully decorated Editourmobil just outside Hall 9, in an area with a lot of visitor footfall, and got on with the task of setting up the PETplanet stall. It didn’t take long before we encountered a potentially major problem: we had no magazines for our stand. How come? Several packages had been sent from our head office in Germany directly to the DTI but they had not arrived. Intense investigations and tracking finally discovered that the packages were stuck in Delhi customs. We carried on in the hope that they would still arrive in time with the start of the show…
The fair’s opening day dawned and still the PETplanet Insider magazines were missing. Many calls and attempts, along with the efforts of our friends from Messe München India, who run the event, unfortunately doesn’t help: Customs won’t release our packages. Our Road Shows often give us occasions to improvise, so we quickly organised a TV screen and designed some leaflets explaining the situation – et voilà: every visitor at our booth understood the sometimes difficult bureaucratic situations in India! We took a lot of names and addresses an undertook to send a current edition by post after the show; everyone was happy. Later it proved that this step was the right decision as it emerged that the magazines were not going to arrive during the upcoming fair days, at all.
Regardless: the DTI show in Delhi is a huge success. Petra Westphal of Messe Munich Germany, together with her German and local teams, handed out a special booklet for exhibitors and VIP guests summarising the Road Show project and the collaboration between München and PETplanet Insider.
For us, the event was especially interesting because the visitors and a large proportion of exhibitors are different from those we meet at the DTIs in Mumbai or Bangalore. Our time in India was truly one of the most fascinating journeys which we had so far and a really inspirational experience.With the end of Drink Technology India in the evening of Saturday, December 14, we said goodbye to the Editourmobil drivers and finally released them for good.
I would like to thank all of our sponsors, supporters, companies and interview partners once again, for making this huge, extraordinary project such a big success!
You will see us again in 2020, when we start our next big thing!
Project Management, Editours