Anbu V Assumes Office as UFI President

Bangalore, India - Anbu Varathan, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) and Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) has formally assumed office as the President of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, for 2020-21.

UFI is the leading global association of the world’s tradeshow organizers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry.

Since Anbu is the first Indian to occupy the top post of UFI in its 95 years of existence, it makes for a historic occasion for the Indian exhibition industry.

He is the Director General & CEO of IMTMA and BIEC. He has been a board member of UFI since 2011 and serves as a member on the UFI Executive Committee. A Metallurgical Engineer from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, he has a work experience of around 30 years. Prior to joining IMTMA, he was with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) heading various key areas
of Technology / IPR activities.

Indian exhibition industry to benefit

During his tenure, Anbu would focus on UFI initiatives to revive the exhibition industry and extend all possible support to industry leaders besides urging stakeholders to be resilient to face future contingencies, adopt technology that would enhance the value of face-to-face exhibitions in future and enhance a stronger connection with communities in the exhibition space.

I’m extremely happy to assume the Presidency of UFI and feel privileged to be the first Indian to get elected to this role in more than nine decades of UFI’s history. I thank the UFI board for giving this opportunity to work with the global exhibition industry,” he said.

 He highlighted the four areas that he is passionate about — Resilience, Leadership, Technology, and Community. "These four focus areas aren’t of recent origin, some are ongoing and some are planned for the long-term. These will set the broad directions for several of UFI’s initiatives over the next one year," he added.

 “It is a daunting task but also an opportunity for me to enable the Indian exhibition industry to be vibrant and stronger and get its due recognition at the global level. I also look back with pride IMTMA’s journey in transforming IMTEX into a great international show, an ecosystem in itself and enabling BIEC as the best green venue and an industry infrastructure,” added Anbu, on his first day as UFI President.

Silver lining in tough times

Anbu is taking over the reins of UFI at a time when the global exhibitions industry is passing through an unprecedented time and is recovering well from the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On a brighter note, his elevation as UFI President provides significant opportunities for third world countries to uplift their exhibition industries and narrow the gaps with industries in developed nations. As governments create a well-structured exhibition industry ecosystem, trade and economy in these countries will flourish.

UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 56 national and regional associations’ members. Seven hundred and eighty-two member organizations in 83 countries and regions around the world are presently signed up as members.

More than 927 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. Initially, UFI was created under the name 'Union des Foires Internationales' (UFI), or 'Union of International Fairs' in English, or 'Verband Internationaler Messen' in German. The name change to 'UFI', accompanied by the tagline 'The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry' was decided upon by the General Meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on October 20, 2003. 


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