In normal times, some would be looking forward to IFEX and the Indian Foundry Congress, but this has been quite rightly postponed to April 2022, as the organising committee headed by Subodh Panchal, Organising Chairman of IFC, Amish Panchal, Chairman of IFEX 2022, Devendra Jain, President of IIF, Manish Patrikar, Chairman of Western Committee, Saibal Sen decided, considering the current pandemic situation.
As we are currently seeing sharply rising COVID infection figures in India too and the government is tightening entry rules from 22 January 2022.
We take the opportunity in the transitional period of the postponed events and ask Subodh Panchal, the outstanding organizer of the big events in India and a profound expert of the Indian foundry industry.
Subodh, obviously your decision for postponement was absolutely right, what is the current COVID situation in Ahmedabad and how are the Indian foundries doing?
Last month in December there was panic created by media and people were hesitant to travel, so we took a decision to postpone 70th IFC and IFEX from Feb to 22-23-24 April 2022 at the same venue at Gandhinagar. Situation is almost normal except few cases of cold etc but nothing serious. Govt has given third booster doze of vaccine and every one doing normal business activity in Ahmedabad/Gandhinagar.
In fact in December three major exhibitions were held in the venue which was attended by 20000 to 50000 visitors.
All over the world, foundries are struggling with the shifted supply chains, extreme price increases in raw material and energy, how do you deal with this in India, or do you have enough resources of your own?
Indian foundries are also facing the same situation of crazy price revisions. There is good demand from Auto, tractors and infrastructure sectors. Even total export of India increased to record level last month. Temporarily production in foundries reduced from 20-30 Pct but looking forward to big demand by March 22.
For foundries India is self sufficient in Pig Iron, Bentonite, sand, scrap , process equipments from Furnaces to sand plants etc. But some ferro alloys and chemicals imported from certain area have created havoc.
How are Indian foundries evolving during the pandemic? Are there good opportunities to quickly implement the paradigm shift announced in 2020 right now?
That was a bad phase but almost all foundries are survived. There capacity is intact and even few have expansion plans. Within couple of months after announcement of major infrastructure projects by the Government in the budget huge demand for castings will be there in couple of months before 70th IFC and IFEX.
Let's hope IFEX and the 70th Indian Foundry Congress can be held from 22-24 April 2022. Subodh, you have been working for IFEX for 30 years and I remember many events in the last 20 years. You always have a lot of delegates, a lot of suppliers, but relatively few foundries presenting. What is the reason for this reluctance?
You are right. Foundries of India have not participated in large nos in CAST INDIA EXPO which I had introduced in 2010. We have seen a very big participation of foundries in Metal China, draws Castings buyers from all over the world every second year.
We got additional time now and I am going to pursue leading foundries to take part in CAST INDIA EXPO and also have planning to make it available virtually for foreign buyers for couple of months.
India can be a new destination for sourcing the castings.
Let's hope that by April the situation will improve noticeably and a meeting in India will be possible. Stay healthy and all the best for your activities and let's keep a good eye on the Indian foundry industry. All the best!
Thanks Thomas. We welcome you and suppliers from Europe in large nos to have Business Beyond Boundaries.( Our Theme)
Current figures of the Indian foundry industry
India has foundry clusters in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Coimbatore, Belgaum, Howrah, Kolhapur etc.
Its difficult to give current production volume which is below average.
About Subodh Panchal
-Past President IIF (2002-03) , Executive council member of WFO, China Foundry Asso , BRICS Fdy asso, Asian Foundry Asso. , Chairman Long term Exhibition Committee, Mentor international committee.
Actively associated with iif annual congresses and international participation for about 30 years,