In Conversation With Uttam Gupta, President, BIG Logistics India

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Please introduce us to your organisation, its legacy and the accomplishments in your journey?

Uttam Gupta. At BIG LOGISTICS INDIA, our target is to provide all exhibition and event related services under single roof for all air, sea and road shipments. The services include – Freight forwarding, Customs Clearance, On-site and off-site warehousing, Transportation, on-site handling of all kinds of cargo, unpacking and re-packing. We have a core group of 37 members who head various departments, and cover regions throughout the world.

We take pride in the fact that all the core group members, having an experience of more than 20 years, have been together even longer than the history of our brand, and are still growing strong together, carrying forward our values and mission. It remains important for our organization that the success of our business goes hand-in-hand with the development of our colleagues, and the growth of our valued partner agents/clients throughout the world. Our USP is that we fulfill our financial, quality of services and time bound commitments that we make to our partners under any circumstances, and at any cost.

This has been our success formula which has helped us to establish our brand with all the major organizers and partner agents throughout the world. Having company owned offices in all metro cities, along with Government of India approved Customs Broker license gives us the additional stability and strength that we need to handle exhibitions of all volumes and nature across all major and minor venues in India. You can leave your worries far behind once your cargo is in our hands, for we very well understand the needs and demands of exhibitors throughout the world!

Please tell us about the major shows that you have handled?

Uttam Gupta. INDEE shows (the latest one being INDEE Bangladesh 2020), IESS shows (latest one being IESS Chennai 2019), all editions of Cphi-Pmec India, Garment Technology Expo, Renewable Energy Shows, Hannover Messe, SATTE, FI India, Concrete India, INDEX, INNOPROM, OSH, Pharmalytica, INDIA BIG 7, Pharma Pro&Pack, Asia Pharma Expo, Auto Shows, Engineering Machinery Shows, Defense Shows.

Can you relate one incidence where you or your team handled crisis situation on the site of an event successfully?

Uttam Gupta. Being Exhibition Logistics Agents, such situations are aplenty in our line of work. However, one such situation in which we take personal pride in the Bahrain International Show of 2014. We received special request from DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization), to handle their exhibits under returnable basis in an extremely short time frame. The whole project was done in direct coordination with the Government of India & India’s Defense departments, with daily updates. We received an official appreciation letter from the then Joint-Director of DRDO for the professional and efficient way in which the project was completed.

How has been your association with IELA and what role do you see for the association in the global exhibition industry?

Uttam Gupta. Though short, but our association with IELA has been extremely fulfilling, both emotionally and professionally. It is platform not just for networking and finding quality partners throughout the world, but also a great place to make friends with people having varied cultures, but having similar areas of interests. It helps us to understand the world better, and in making it a better place to live. IELA plays a pivotal role in the global exhibition industry. Be it organizing seminars, events or keynote speakers, it is one platform which helps us in keeping updated with whatever is happening throughout the world in the exhibition industry, and also acts a mouth for the complete international body comprising of the Logistics Agents in the exhibition world. Above all, it generates trust, which is must in our line of work. Working with an IELA member means working with a partner on whom you can rely with your eyes closes.

What are your comments on the IELA Congress and IELA events held annually?

Uttam Gupta. IELA’s Congress, and other annual events, act as a great place to meet people with whom we already work, or want to work, on prestigious projects. It helps in attaching a face to the email-ids with whom we communicate on numerous mails. It helps us to know more about our partner friends, in addition to work. Apart from this, there are huge learnings which come out of these events, especially the Winter Seminars and the Operations Summits – which includes various details on Customs practices in different countries.

What according to you will be the top trends in the exhibition logistics industry in upcoming one year?

Uttam Gupta. There can only be one answer to this – HYBRID EVENTS. Though we believe none of the members of IELA would want to digest this fact, but it is already a reality. On the positive side, it can act as a push for our industry, and give a much-needed thrust to exhibitions. Hybrid events are better than no events at all. Once the industry gathers confidence, we can make some efforts to get back to physical exhibitions (which is already happening in some regions). hybrid events might just be the catalyst which we need.

How have you evolved your services to suit the new normal?

Uttam Gupta. Yes, and no. As a company, we have tried to never dilute our services. Though this has been an unprecedented situation, but there has been instance in the past (on a much smaller scales) which affect exhibitions. We have held on to our core set of skills and services through thick and thin. However, as has been the need of our fellow countrymen during the COVID era, we have been open to work on permanent import and export of medical and other essential items. It is a matter of giving back to our nation in the need of hour.

What are your upcoming events in pipeline?

Uttam Gupta. The answer to this question would be very short for most of the logistics agents in the Indian subcontinent, as the situation here is still complicated. Though markets in the west, some parts of Europe, China and the Middle-east have eased, but it remains to be seen how smooth it would be for an Indian participant to travel to these regions. One of the major and realistic projects to which we are looking forward is Cphi-Pmec India 2021.

Any message for the exhibition logistics community?

Uttam Gupta. There is not much that can be said, as everyone in the logistics fraternity is already giving their best shot to survive, and to win over this situation. But as always, it remains of paramount importance to stick together, support each other, in order to be together strong. This seems to be the only way to defeat this pandemic.

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