The Executive Committee of Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) announced, 29 May, the unanimous election of Sonia Prashar as the association’s new president.
Prashar is managing director at NürnbergMesse India and becomes the first woman president of IEIA. She brings 25 years of senior management experience to the role. She is also deputy director general at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and chairperson, Advisory Committee, Women’s Leadership Forum, formed by IEIA in association with IAEE.
“I am humbled to be taking on this role. IEIA has been progressively working for the betterment of the Indian exhibition industry through its various initiatives for the last 15 years. As the industry evolves through restructuring and technology upgrading, I believe IEIA, with its strong EC, is in a position to assist the Indian exhibition industry and guide through this tumultuous period. I am hoping to carry forward the legacy established by my dear friend, colleague and predecessor Mr. S. Balasubramanian and realise his vision. His commitment and efforts to advocate the interests of our sector will always be remembered.” Prashar said, paying tribute to Balasubramanian who died in May.
Prashar added that the Indian exhibition industry is a huge contributor to the overall economic growth of the country. “Tradefairs have been recognised as economic growth engines by various leading economies of the world,” she said. “This highly catalytic sector is going through the most turbulent times and needs prioritised attention and support from the policy makers of the country. The inherent potential of the exhibition sector can help realise the government’s vision and mission of a strong Indian economy. We will pursue this goal through advocacy dialogues and engagement with government counterparts. I also want to urge the membership to stay resilient and be prepared for a strong comeback and request your support in all our endeavours for the progress of our sector.”
Rakesh Kumar, director general, EPCH and chairman IEML is serving as ex-officio past president at IEIA. He has served as IEIA president for two consecutive terms and currently is also the chairperson of the Advocacy Committee of the association. “IEIA has always been close to me since the time of its inception,” he said. “I am glad to have the opportunity to be part of the EC once again and look forward working together for the progress of our sector in these most challenging times.”