India is the land of surprises, even for an Indian. Kids India was Gumtoo’s second professional B2B trade fair in Asia. It took us a while to understand that trade fairs (the good ones) are the best place to meet new distributors/ retailers in a market, but on retrospect we think it is also essential that a company should reach a stage of maturity in terms of its product development before any trade fair can truly generate meaningful business leads.
We flew into Mumbai on 17th September the day before the fair opens its door to visitors and first surprise began when we reached Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre at 1400 Hrs to take ownership of our booth to set it up with our display. The place was a kaleidoscope of workers, wood, display pieces, dust and chaos. Well, we knew India generally pulls off the last minute transformation (the great Indian wedding syndrome), but we truly believed its mission impossible to get the place ready in time for the start of the trade fair on 18th Sep 10am. But slowly but steadily the work progressed and by 6 pm we were hopeful that they might just pull it off. And they did in spectacular manner!
The next surprise was witnessing the flexibility in the Indian project management system. Well, we had asked for wooden display stands in our booth and the lighting in the booth did not actually suit the product display on them. So we gently inquired if we can replace the wooden stands with glass ones? The display contractor shook his head (which actually is a yes) and it was done in a whisker. We were happily surprised with the ease of getting through this last minute change request!
The morning of 18th Sept was when we were surprised to see the complete transformation of the venue. It was unbelievable; no one could have imagined what the place looked like a day earlier! The trade fair was a very successful one for Gumtoo. We were pleasantly surprised to get lots of footprints in our booth and we practically interacted with potential retailers, distributors and collaborators through out the trade fair without a break!
Kids India 2014 was organized by Spielwarenmesse eG, who are one of the most professional and experienced trade fair organizers in the world. In our conversation with them, we understood that they also have accepted “The Indian Way”. All in all, it was a memorable experience and we would love to visit Kids India again sometime in Future!