Growing interest in a growing market

Finding opportunities in India


December 7, 2004


Although India had a heavily socialist economy for much of the past few decades, the country has experienced remarkable growth since the opening of its economy in the early 1990s.


In 1999 political developments opened the country's economy even further to foreign direct investment and paved the way for several major privatizations. According to The Economist, the country's gross domestic product grew 3.95 percent in 2000, 5.14 percent in 2001, 4.59 percent in 2002, and 8.10 percent in 2003, and it predicts 6.1 percent growth for the country's 2004/2005 fiscal year. In the September 2004 World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund projects that India's economy will grow 6.4 percent in 2004 and 6.7 percent in 2005.

According to Economic Survey 2003-2004, which is published by the Indian government's Ministry of Finance, several industry segments have experienced significant growth during the last four years (see Sidebar). Many of these industries rely heavily on tubular products.

Growth by Industry Sector
Sector 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004
Mining & Quarrying 2.4 2.2 8.8 4
Manufacturing 7.4 3.6 6.2 7.1
Electricity, Gas,
& Water Supply
4.3 3.6 3.8 5.4
Construction 6.7 3.1 7.3 6

The Indian tube industry can be classified into the following four major categories: standard tubes; seamless tubes; precision tubes; and large-diameter, spiral-welded tubes. The Indian tube market currently requires an estimated 1.5 million tons of tube products annually, and the demand is projected to grow at an annual growth rate (AGR) of 3 percent. The largest demand comes from the standard tube category, while the domestic need for precision tube is approximately 300,000 tons annually with an anticipated increase at an AGR of 7 percent. The demand for seamless tubes is estimated at 150,000 tons.

One way to break into this growing market is to exhibit at a tradeshow. Preparations for trade-show participation in the U.S. and Europe can be complex, but exhibiting at a trade fair in India is often considered to be extremely problematic and complicated-and might keep prospective exhibitors away from this important market. However, with the appropriate trade show organizer and a few guidelines, companies can have a pleasant and successful experience exhibiting in India.

The Tube India Venue

The Hyderabad International Trade Exposition Center (HITEX) was inaugurated in January 2003. The country's most modern venue for international trade fairs and exhibitions, it was designed by German architects and built on the concept of a German fairgrounds. It is strategically located in the city of Hyderabad and provides exhibitors with world-class infrastructure and service.

Situated on 100 acres, the exhibition center consists of three air-conditioned halls each with 37,600 square feet of exhibit space; a 353,200-sq.-ft. open exhibit area for large machinery; and a trade fair office building with meeting rooms, media center, and a VIP lounge. This office building has a business center, restaurant, travel center, ATMs, and car rental agencies.

Each of the halls is a column-free structure located at ground level. The halls are self-sufficient with amenities such as power, water, telecommunications, and compressed air.

City of Hyderabad. As the capital of the state Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad is the fifth-largest cosmopolitan city in India and one of the fastest-developing cities in this country. Hyderabad is rich in culture, offering a unique combination of history and industrial growth-a city in which tradition and technology coexist.

The city is a flourishing commercial and industrial center with a population of about 7 million people. It offers optimal infrastructure, U.S. hotel chains (including Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Best Western), as well as a variety of restaurants and shopping opportunities for every taste.

Messe Düsseldorf's Office in India. In 2000 German trade fair organizers Messe Düsseldorf and Kólnmesse International GmbH (Messe Cologne) established the joint subsidiary CIDEX Trade Fairs Pvt. Ltd. in India. Having its own company allows Messe Düsseldorf and Messe Cologne to work in cooperation with Indian partners and allows the two companies to organize their own trade fairs in India. CIDEX has direct access to Indian companies and joint-venture corporations. CIDEX also helps to reduce problems with currency, customs, and import.

Tube India 2005

Tube India 2005, 2nd All India & Arabian Exhibition and Conference for the Tube and Pipe Industries, will be held Feb. 18-20, 2005, at HITEX in Hyderabad. The event will be sponsored by the International Tube Association (ITA), whose membership in India represents one of the largest national groups of tube and pipe technologists. The main exhibit product categories at Tube India 2005 will be tube and pipe manufacturing, raw materials and accessories, tube manufacturing machinery, tools and auxiliaries, forming and welding, casting and forging, as well as used machinery, test engineering, and measuring and control technology.

In addition, ITA will organize a technical conference, "Welding Technologies for Manufacturing and Processing Auto, Energy, and Structural Tubulars," to be held Feb. 17 and 18.


Following are some tips for participating in a trade fair organized by CITEX in Hyderabad.

Before the tradeshow starts:

  • Passport: For most international travel, a passport is required. Application forms are available at U.S. post offices or on the Web. The process usually takes about eight weeks. For faster service, check online providers such as
  • Visa: A visa is necessary to enter India. Contact the local Indian Consulate or use a service provider such as Travisa (
  • Booth: CIDEX offers customized service packages, including booth construction. For U.S. companies this is handled by Messe Düsseldorf North America.
  • Material: Shipping material to India should be done early and handled by an experienced freight forwarder; for customs procedures, all materials in a shipment should be listed. Schenker is the approved freight forwarder.
  • Credit cards: All major credit cards are accepted in India, and ATMs are available at most major banks.
  • Health: Check with your physician about necessary vaccinations.

At the tradeshow:

  • Show hours are usually 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Visitors are from all over India.
  • English is widely spoken; a translator in the booth is not mandatory.

More information on doing business in India and Indian culture is available from,, and

Anne Meerboth-Maltz is senior director of public relations, Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601, 312-781-5180, fax 312-781-5188,,

For more information and to register for ITA's technical conference, contact Phillip Knight at

Anne Meerboth-Maltz

Contributing Writer

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