Green shoots in economy encouraging, but inadequate infra continues to haunt Bengaluru, says GM, CCEL

Bengaluru, long established nerve-centre for service based businesses in India, is grappling with the shortage of world-class convention centres, feels Gurmeet Singh, the GM for CCEL – a venture of Brigade Hospitality Services. He adds that while the Indian economy has demonstrated green shoots, global challenges and political upheavals in the larger Asian continent may continue to impact corporate footfalls. An interview:


Share with us some key trends in MICE and wedding segments. How are they shaping up in Bangalore?

Four must follow key trends in MICE market are:

  1. QR Codes for quick downloads of Vcards, checking in at a special event.
  2. Event Apps: get conference attendees to interact through exclusive apps where content agenda and bonus materials can be shared prior to, during and after an event.
  3. Video Conferencing: live streaming opportunities, where an event can be broadcasted to a wider audience.
  4. 360 Content Recording: Live content recording can take place; the trend is to add to the experience through virtual reality.

Being the IT capital, Bangalore has the advantage of availing advanced technology and ultra-modern facilities clubbed with natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality. It offers unique conference destinations with world class accommodation facilities and conference support facilities in place. The addition of new centers of information technology, convention centers, hotels and improved surface transportation makes it an attractive for MICE tourism.

Wedding trends are getting back to more traditional styles with ethnic décor and of course the famous big fat Indian weddings are all-time hot favorites. Food takes the center stage with a whole lot of live counters and multiple cuisine options including the regional cuisine.

Has there been a profound change in inflow, in the past year, given India’s enhanced engagement with the larger world, and visibility of  green shoots in the economy?

A recent survey by Fast Future Research has shown that the industry has to strategize and reinvent itself to face new challenges. The future will be influenced by the following major factors like economic uncertainty in India, technological options for live events, and political and economical influence of Asia.

Green shoots have been seen, however Global economic conditions will remain a major strain on the Indian economy and MICE tourism.

What are some key source markets for Bangalore? How does the city fare in comparison to other major south Indian cities like Chennai and Trivandrum?

The North American and the European tourism markets are currently the main key sources for inflow to Bangalore. Developing historical circuits and Buddhist circuits will help increase the inflow of tourists from the Asian market for MICE. The major industries making use of the convention and conference facilities in India are the automobile, IT, pharmaceutical and Medical tourism.

Hyderabad still tops the list followed by Bangalore and Chennai in South India. MICE in Bangalore is picking up and the future certainly looks bright with BIEC winning the Excellence in Services award. It also bagged the best award for its flagship event IMTEX in the categories of Top Exhibitor Value, Top Global Dominance and the first runner-up in the Royal Show category.

What are some bottlenecks in improving MICE footfalls into Bangalore? Are there some low hanging fruits? What are some immediate steps that, you believe, can better the scope of business for the larger industry?

 There is a huge potential in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. However inadequate infrastructure within the city and low availability of world-class convention centers are big hurdles. Also, the MICE sector has not been promoted in a desired way within the country. If given necessary focus it can boost the tourism sector in India.

Give us a little insight into your own company. How are you planning on expanding your reach in the coming months?

Our existing properties are all across the city from MLR Convention Center and Woodrose Club in JP Nagar, MLR Convention Center and Regent Club in Whitefiled to Galaxy Club in Malleswaram.

The North Bangalore market is growing at a fast pace with the airport being there and we are tapping into this market for MICE. We have our latest banqueting venue The Northern Terrace in Malleswaram, and the soon to open Signature Club Resort is next to the airport – apt for both social and MICE business. Our properties are hence strategically located to cater to each business pocket of the city.

Also the wedding planners’ cult is growing in India with many dominant Indian communities opting for their preferred wedding planners. We are targeting these big wedding planners across India to tap the big fat Indian Wedding segment.

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