From Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore October 18, 2014: We can't help recalling the children's fable, "Sleeping Beauty", where the Prince wakens the slumbering princess, with a kiss. The annual IT 'mela' or show of Bangalore which has been languishing for many years, has finally opted to receive a kiss of life from the "baap" of all IT shows -- CeBIT, organised by Hannover Milano Fairs.
Starting this year -- November 12-14 -- Bangalore ITE.biz as it has been called after the last in a line of name changes -- will be co-hosted by the Indian entity of the German trade fair experts. In fact we cannot find an update on the Bangalore ITE.biz site that remains unchanged for a year and for details of this years's show we have to go to the CeBIT India site
The partnership will also see the event move back to the city's largest show complex, the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on the outskirts of the city on Tumkur Road.
Bangalore IT.com as it was known for long, has shrunk in recent years, moving from its traditional site, the Bangalore Palace Grounds to a hotel -- the Lalit Ashok. It has been renamed Bangalore IT.biz, then Bangalore ITE.Biz to try and embrace a larger target of enterprises -- but this has not helped much. An attempt to host it at BIEC was a failure -- as few wanted -- or could -- make it to the venue that was some 15 kms and 90 minutes away from the business district.
The decline of the annual state-sponsored IT show in India's Silicon City has been in large part due to the singular lack of support of the large Indian and International IT companies who make Bangalore their home. The biggies like Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Oracle as well as the large Indian players including the top names -- TCS, Infosys, Wipro -- have failed to put their money where their mouth is and have preferred to pour their millions into their own developer shows and partner events, rather than supporting the only technology event that cuts across the industry. If they do take up exhibition space, they have tended to give it away to their selling agents rather than deploying their own man power or attempting to share their innovations with the public. The only saving grace of recent Bangalore IT shows has been the participation of other countries like UK, Germany, China, Korea by way of country pavilions -- and some neighbouring states, hoping to poach on Karnataka's tech grazing grounds.
The Joint Event will see the concurrent staging of the regular events like Karnataka’s IT Export Awards Function, Rural IT Quiz and the Student Internet World. The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) which has co sponsored all earlier editions, is hopeful of showcasing the work of 100 member companies this year. The Joint Event is expected to attract participation of over 600 Exhibitors from 35 Countries. and over 30,000 Business Visitors from India and abroad. Conference sessions on key IT trends likeCloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Enterprise Mobilily and Social Business have been planned.
It remains to be seen if the infusion of professional management by a global trade show expert will, like the Prince in the children's story, waken the sleeping beauty that is the Bangalore's own infotech show, to new life and vigour.