In the last few years, where the demand for cleaning has been steady, the growth in the Indian cleaning industry has been volatile. This could be one of the reasons for Indian companies not sealing the international tie-ups mooted during this period. Keeping the dealings in suspension is also having a detrimental effect on manufacturers who are eagerly awaiting confirmation from prospective Indian companies. Some of the few companies among them are from France, UK, Denmark and Spain.
USA and the UK, two of the biggest players in cleaning, that have been concentrating production and distribution to the local market, are now expanding operations not only to Europe but also to India, China and the Middle East.
Other relating trends in India are detrimental to positive growth in the cleaning industry are eroding margins, unhealthy competition, poaching and others leading to a vicious circle of payment problem.
Innovations in the cleaning industry have largely focused on providing solutions to suit local market. Internationally, major players are redesigning products to suit the specifics of Indian cleaning needs.
To conclude, despite challenges, the cleaning industry as a whole is looking at India as a potential market and taking concerted steps to grow. With more and more international companies making headway into India, the country is evolving as a perfect platform for the cleaning business.
A show that began in 1967 under the banner of Interclean and thereafter following the association with ISSA in 1998 renamed to ISSA Interclean, has grown to become the world’s largest expo for the cleaning industry. The show celebrated its 25th anniversary. Leading from the front since 2004, Rob den Hertog, Manager ISSA Interclean, shares the new elements that have contributed to the success of the Show.
It has been a long journey since I got associated with exhibitions two decades back and today with ISSA Interclean having grown to become the most important event of the cleaning industry globally, we are in a comfortable position with all the brands associated with us.
Some of the new features that have been added to this exhibition this year for the knowledge exchange and segmentation include the dedicated Steam Cleaning Area, the Outdoor Demo Show, the Young Cleaning Professional programme, the Global Association Meeting and the Management and Mobility Solutions Pavilion.
Earlier, if a visitor was interested in washroom solutions he had to roam into all the nine halls to find the solution. We decided to combine on the basis of type of solutions to make it easier for a visitor. This is because, we are not competing with the world but with the time. Visitors’ every hour is important, we will have to value that. You need to find “why should one invest even a half day in our show just to save few dollars?”
When we have international visitors coming in from across the world, communicating in languages help us to build international impact with media support all over. Besides, we have 36,000 rooms available for accommodation. So, it is not only the show but a complete package that we offer.
One of our main challenges is to comply with the market demands, market developments, management solutions and apps. When we got queries from companies with one app/program and could not take up an entire booth, we made a small pavilion of Management and Mobility Solutions with array of mobile devices, wireless networks, all inclusive enabled them to be a part of the show. We had ready customers for them. So, Management solutions, Apps and other software solutions are growing.
Similarly, the Hall for Steam Cleaning exhibitors was placed close to the high pressure and scrubber drier segments for the convenience of the visitors. So we change but that happens as per the expectations of the visitors. The new areas opening up are solutions for duct cleaning, for sick buildings and car cleaning.
We have many manufacturers as distributors looking for brands to represent. We have now 5000 unique distributors visiting the show from all over the world.
We started hall 2 in 1967, 60 companies participated and the area was that time around 2200sqm. Now, it has become around 29000sqm and still expanding. Visitors are around 25000-27000. So everything has changed dramatically. When it was started, there were 99% Dutch faces, but it has reduced to 28% simply appealing how global it has become.
We have grown year over year. This time we have got 200 new exhibitors. This also means that we have lost 200 old. Normally, we lose one-third and get a little more than one-third, so we are still increasing. The growth is shifting towards Asia. We also run our show in Poland and now started in Istanbul, which we think as a connection between Asia and Europe.