Busworld is the world’s top international expo for bus and coach sector. Covering destinations such as India, China, Indonesia, Kazachstan, Russia, Colombia, Turkey, soon in South Africa and USA , Busworld has been strengthening its presence in the global bus sector year-on-year. The eighth edition of Busworld expo will be conducted at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) in Bangalore, which is expected to attract thousands of professional visitors. In an email interview, Didier Ramoudt, President, Busworld International, shared his views to Jaishankar Jayaramiah of Automotive Lead about the Indian bus industry and future plans of Busworld for India.
- You are conducting the expo regularly in India. What is your take on the Indian bus and coach industry?
The Indian Bus and Coach market has in the recent years gone through a real revolution. Due to different actions from the Indian authorities new opportunities have been created allowing a considerable improvement of the quality of the Indian buses and coaches. Opening the borders for foreign brands have alerted the local manufacturers upgrading the quality of their products on the level of comfort , safety and sustainability with as a result a healthy competitive market in the benefit of the passenger.
- How many companies are participating in the Busworld Bengaluru 2018 and how many visitors are expected this time?
We are looking forward to reach more than 90 exhibitors as for the number of visitors we can only assume that we will double the numbers of visitors
- Your’s is the biggest bus expo in India. In what way your expo is helping the Indian bus and coach industry.
Busworld has since it’s star,t now 47 years ago, always paid special attention to the passenger as at the end of the day, if no passengers there wouldn’t be a need for buses and coaches. Well due to our perseverance explaining to the manufacturers and body builders that they should pay their upmost attention to the needs of the passenger including environmental issues I think that we have made a big commitment and contribution to the development of the bus and coach of tomorrow.
- This is 8th edition of your expo in India and you have joined hands with ASRTU and BOCI, two major bus operator associations in India. What kind of positive impact does it will have in the Busworld expo?
Again, we want only the best for the operators, for the customer and for the developer. This can only be reached if all hands are together and all noses are looking in the same direction. There is such like a saying : alone we do not have the power, together we are strong. The two leading federations/confederations ASRTU and BOCI of India are keeping the pulse of their members and are joining the platform of Busworld India with the goal to enrich themselves and to create a vision how to develop in the future the transport of passenger by the road. The place to share this enrichment is Busworld India.
- Urban India comprising metropolitan cities are connected by the public transport like bus. How do you see the bus facilities available in rural India?
To be honest , this is not really a question for Busworld India. We can only give advice and create opportunities to the responsible authorities to use the opportunities we offer and visit our Busworld worldwide and see how other countries, continents are tackling these existing problems. We feel that more and more leading people do realise that the transport of people by the road is a very important link in the economic development of regions. It is in every country becoming a real challenge to implement “mobility for every one”.
- Which are the areas should be addressed to expand the bus market in India?
I think that replacing all old and polluting bus vehicles would already give a serious boost to the local industry. So public transport should become appealing. All technologies to facilitate this are existing. Benchmarking analyses can help. If there is a will and budget then implementation is a question of time. Also the growing tourism industry creates new opportunities and needs also some more professionalism. If there is a will, there is a way.
- The road infrastructure in India has increased multiple levels in the past 15 years. How do you see this to be in favour of the coach industry?
It is obvious that if the quality of the road infrastructure is increasing constantly this is of course not only a big advantage for the Coach industry, but for all industries related and depending on moving people and goods. To my humble opinion, there is still much to do and for sure in changing the mentality of the users ! Avoiding to use new motorways because of taxes is not really the goal that the government was looking for. So something should be done about this making new infrastructures affordable and attractive.
- As far as India is concerned, what is your target or goal to achieve?
To see that all passengers, from school boys and girls to workers, from employees to tourists, from disabled to pension holders can travel in India in comfortable airconditioned safe and ecological clean buses and coaches
- Apart from conducting expos, how Busworld’s expertise has been used in new concepts in India?
Our Busworld Academy is a knowledge platform where all worldwide experiences on the level of passenger transport are exchanged. Busworld academy takes place in all the Busworld exhibitions which are taking place apart from India, also in China, Indonesia, Kazachstan, Russia, Colombia, Turkey, soon in South Africa and USA and the assembled knowledge is within reach for all interested and can be found in our huge data bank on our website www.busworld.org Therefore Busworld India is really the place to visit and experience on the spot the added value which we bring to the sector.
- Bangalore (Karnataka) is known as bus manufacturing hub of India with Volvo, Scania, Tata Marcopolo and many other players including ancillary units located in and around Karnataka. In future, how do you see the importance of Bangalore growing in the global bus industry map?
I think that going for clustering is in the benefit of any economic activities. So also for the coach and bus building it creates opportunities and I wish to Bangalore that the good friendly enterprising circumstances will become a priority.