PALME INDIA EXHIBITION
(Bombay) - TPi reports from Mumbai on the growing Palme India Exhibition, discovering a wealth of new talent and professionalism at the Bombay Exhibition Centre.
The second PALME India show in Mumbai consolidated last year’s inaugural event by registering a 25% increase in visitors at the Bombay Exhibition Center.
Acknowledging the rapid technological evolution in the sub-continent, organising body IIR Exhibitions took the decision to extend the show for an additional two hours on the final day to maximise attendance. This decision paid off when several exhibitors reported a flurry of late business prior to close down. One of these was Arun Kalra, whose company RK International took a large order for a Martin Audio W8L ‘Longbow’ line array system — which will make it the first of its kind to be sold in the north of the country.
Three line array speaker brands — Martin Audio, Nexo and Ohm Industries — all took full advantage of showing their muscularity outdoors. Arun Kalra said: “The idea of having a Martin Audio W8L Mini Line Array demonstration outside was fantastic and has given us the opportunity to invite customers who wouldn’t normally get the chance to hear the system operating in the open air.”
He maximised the system by using Powersoft amplification (represented at the show by Luca Giorgi) and Dolby Lake processing (represented by Craig Lovell). These are two brands rapidly enjoying an increasing presence on the world map.
Kalra’s comment was backed up by Neeraj Chandra, director of operations for Sun Infonet Pvt, the Nexo distributor, who fielded two hangs of the GEO-T system. “It’s definitely been a success because people like to listen out of doors, and we have seen a lot of industry professionals.”
Ohm Industries provided the third demo in the natural environment and MD Jo Olenski welcomed the chance to further strengthen a brand that has a huge foothold in the Mumbai market, with its Lunaray. Ohm has already installed its TRS PA system in Poison — voted the best club in India — and can be seen in eight of the top 10 nightclubs as voted by the Times of India. Ohm’s business in this territory is growing so fast in India that Lalit Chopra, its agent with Harness Overseas Pvt, has now set up a dedicated company.
Another loudspeaker giant, Meyer Sound, was also represented — and looking to take advantage of the huge Bollywood market in Mumbai to mirror its success in the Hollywood film theatres.
Meanwhile, d&b audiotechnik was present on the stand of its distributor, Rohit Paul’s long-established Paul Movies (along wih Coolux media servers).
Several companies used PALME India as a springboard for launching new products. Among them was Mike Gopal at AMX who gave its first showing outside CEDIA to five new control products including a 5.2" wireless touch panel, which is video and VOIP active; an integrated thermostat, integrated video entry management system and integrated touch dial with mini jog-dial LCD display.
This was just one feature that had people flocking to the combination stand of distributor ESCO Audio Visual India Pvt, the major residential and commercial AV integrator.
It is a good time to be looking at the premium residential market, with the Sahara Group’s developing Amby Valley Lake City, on 10,000 acres off the Mumbai-Lonavala express way. Amby Valley is being positioned as the “most premium residential development in the country”.
ESCO also showed Aura dual-sided screens and holographic screens from Reversa (represented by Andy Richardson); this was supported by the Orion Multi 84" PDP display from Korea, offering picture-in-picture — thanks to its sophisticated processor — and expandable up to a 13 x 13 module configuration in portrait or landscape.
Several major contracts were written. On the opening day, ESCO MD Sunil Mehan announced a major sale of the Reversa World Clarity holographic screens to one of India’s leading leisure groups, Sahara India Parivar.
Several of the screens in 4 x 3 landscape configuration will be used in conjunction with the TARM laser show in the giant open dome at Sahara’s flagship hotel in Mumbai, the Sahara Star while others will be used in a waterfall effect outside the company’s new Lebanese bar, Mabruk.
Meanwhile, India’s first portrait-shaped holographic display (in 2 x 3 configuration) will be set between two palm trees adjacent to a fashion show ramp within the Sahara Star Hotel’s giant atrium.
The order was confirmed by Sahara India Parivar head of strategic planning and technology, Rajesh Mohan and chief engineer Vivek Chakravarty, and all five displays will be installed next month.
On the final day, the 4 x 4 Orion Multi PDP display was sold off the stand to Satyam Computer Services’ Real Time Leadership Centre in Hyderabad. The 84" display will provide separate broadcast and presentation media.
Media integration was also well represented by home automation specialist, Entelechy Systems, who provided a number of open standard based systems and the latest products from Crestron.
You didn’t have to look far for innovation, underlining that you underestimate this market at your peril. An eloquent voice was Harman’s country head, Sushil S. John, who emphasised that as larger touring acts increasingly appear in the sub-continent, so rental and staging companies need to be able to respond to rider requirements.
“The growth in the market generally has been phenomenal; Harman Pro has quadrupled its turnover here in the last two and a half years while the dealership base has increased in line with the economic boom in the country, particularly in malls and multiplexes,” he said.
With the biggest stand at the show, Modern Stage Service certainly showed the might of its touring products, ranging from Philips’ specialist lighting to LED from DTS and moving heads from Pearl River, Studio Due, LDR theatre lighting and SGM control.
Observing the increase in numbers this year, director Varinder Wadhwa reported that Modern Stage Service had again enjoyed a fantastic show. “We’ve seen a real mixture of people — many coming for installation services, while the interest in LED products and rental companies servicing film studios had grown considerably.”
Modern also had the imagination to show its technology in a working environment by presenting regular shows by leading Mumbai choreographed Bollywood dancers, Shamak Dawar Group.
One unusual product was receiving its Indian debut from an unusual source. Joe Ho’s Hawaiian-based Mystical Sounds Productions were showing its Universe Laser System (combining laser and LED sources in lightweight, 3D displays), and looking for a distributor.
Essentially, the product delivers shooting stars in a 3D environment, thanks to its 160° (full pan and tilt) characteristics. The product also stays within the 4mW barrier by splitting the beam via a diaphragm into less than 1mW output per aperture — thus it can be operated without a license. Designed to be maintenance-free, each unit weighs less than 5lbs. The company is currently targeting the events, restaurant and hotel market, while an ‘aqua’ version will follow along with a DMX-controlled version which “will be four times brighter”.
Another exciting product was the smart AV display from Singapore company, Comm (presented by Belinda Ng) which was showing its WizarDesk for classrooms and seminars. A further eye-catcher was the modular colour-changing LED-lit bar constructed by Dubai-based IBS Décor.
Dinesh Mandot of Vardhaman, the Harman Pro distributor, said the show had proved to be an excellent vehicle for them to reach the DJ and rental markets and indeed the DJ market was also well represented by Rivera International. In addition to establishing the Lab.gruppen pedigree in a market beset with cheap copies from the east, it also looks after Pioneer and annually sponsors the World of DJs competition which visits a number of cities in India.
Varinder and Davinder Wadhwa were just two of a number of professionals who proposed that after two years in Mumbai, PALME India should now consider a location change to New Delhi in the north for 2008 — citing an improved exhibition infrastructure, and the enormous development opportunities offered by the fact the Commonwealth Games will be staged there in 2010.
Finally, Florian van Hofen, head of German professional trade association VPLT, stated that last year German manufacturers had attended in search of distributors, and companies such as Kling & Freitag had been successful, appointing Rivera International. Like many others, he believes you ignore emerging markets such as India at your peril.
And that is the message being hammered home by IIR Exhibitions’ show organiser James Raffoul and his Indian representative Sanjay Handa as the country’s economic boom and technological infrastructure continue to accelerate exponentially.