The upcoming 31st Convergence India and 9th Smart Cities India expo promise to be a showcase of cutting-edge technological innovations. These expos serve as the biggest platform for both domestic and global tech brands, allowing them to launch their innovative products. Aligned with key government initiatives such as 'Make in India,' 'Digital India,' 'Startup India,' and the 'Smart Cities Mission,' these events play a crucial role in boosting technological growth. Jyoti Janda, Editor, Telecom Today recently talked to Ms. Chandrika Behl, Managing Director, Exhibitions India Group about the upcoming 31st Convergence India and 9th Smart Cities India expo. Read below the complete conversation to know more.
Jyoti: Tell us about the 31st Convergence India and the 9th Smart Cities India expo organised by the Exhibitions India Group.
Chandrika: Since 1992, Convergence India has heralded the telecom and digital revolutions in India. During this time, it has remained at the forefront of promoting technological advancements in the fields of telecom, Satcom, broadcast, wired & wireless technologies, 5G & 6G networks, IT solutions such as Cloud, Big Data and analytics, AI, smart solutions, M2M, mobile & accessories, IoT, embedded tech, blockchain, and FinTech – the entire gamut of digital solutions. The 2024 edition of the expo celebrates what we have achieved thus far to help create a digital infrastructure through digital inclusion to bridge the digital, social and economic divide. It’s also an opportunity to showcase India’s growing popularity as a digital powerhouse and its ability to emerge as a clear leader.
The 9th Smart Cities India 2024 expo is a display of India’s emerging modernisation and development landscape by showcasing the integration of transformative technologies with the key pillars of urban development - green buildings, rooftop solar, renewable & clean energy, clean environment, clean water, water conservation, urban mobility, and the use of innovative ICT solutions for optimising resources that make cities smart and sustainable.
The two expos offer a comprehensive platform for domestic and overseas players, innovators, technologists and startups from all urban development segments, mobility, and smart & sustainable technologies to unleash the power of physical networking, expand business opportunities, and make new alliances. The expos focus on creating a modern India through landmark initiatives such as ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, ‘Startup India’, the ‘Smart Cities Mission’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, and other associated missions.
Jyoti: What should the industry expect from this year’s event?
Chandrika: Organised by the Exhibitions India Group and ITPO, the 31st Convergence India and the 9th Smart Cities India expo will be the go-to event for anyone associated with the digital and urban development space. Convergence India will showcase emerging and disruptive technologies and innovations in IoT, AI, design applications, blockchain, Big Data and analytics, Telecom/Satcom, 5G & 6G networks, E-commerce solutions, Cloud, Embedded Tech, Fintech, and more. Meanwhile, the Smart Cities India expo focuses on the latest technologies and solutions in green buildings, energy, transport, clean environment, etc. It explores their integration into urban development to make cities ‘smart’ and ‘sustainable’.
This year, the expo is bigger and better than ever, with over 1,200 participants from 35 countries, including 250 startups congregating on a common platform to exchange ideas and deliberate on the industry’s future. Up to 50 conference sessions will be organised alongside the three-day event, where senior speakers from various government departments, public sector undertakings, and private players will share experiences and provide input on the challenges faced by various sectors. Over 55,000 visitors will get a chance to interact, explore and make alliances in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The expo will also be graced by the presence of Ministers and senior dignitaries from the Government of India, along with industry leaders, Smart City CEOs, city planners, Mayors, Ambassadors and stakeholders from India and around the globe.
Jyoti: What will be the key attractions at this year’s event?
Chandrika: This year, we will showcase over 1,200 participants from 35 countries. Up to 250 startups will showcase their vision for the future. Up to 50 conference sessions will host speakers from government departments/ministries alongside private players from India and worldwide who will delve into the challenges facing us and chart a course for the future of various sectors. Notably, at this year’s event, we expect to welcome over 55,000 visitors who will get to explore the latest innovations and technology developments on offer today.
Key Attractions of the Expo:
Country Pavilions from:
The international conference will have concurrent sessions over three days and focus on the government’s initiatives to develop India into a digital economy. Interesting discussion areas will include AI-driven telecom; India as the next mobile manufacturing hub; a multi-stakeholder approach for circular cities; Indian gaming landscape; multimodal integration and mobility as a service; advances in green hydrogen value chain; metaverse; cyber security in the 6G era, etc.
Other significant attractions include Experiential Zones, global product launches, curated marketing support, business matchmaking, a City Leaders Conclave, and industry awards.
Curated B2B meetings during the show. This value-added service will assist exhibitors in establishing new business engagements and creating lucrative business opportunities through one-to-one interaction.
The expo has received support from the following ministries & govt. campaigns: Digital India, Skill India, Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC).
Jyoti: Please share something about the co-located expos.
Chandrika: The 2024 expo aims to bring together the latest technology innovations and trends in the fields of telecom, Satcom, broadcast, wired/wireless technologies, 5G & 6G networks, IT solutions like Cloud, Big Data and analytics, AI, smart solutions, M2M, mobile & accessories, IoT, embedded tech, blockchain, Fintech, digital gaming, and much more.
Co-located Expos and Pavilions:
Mobile India expo is India’s largest, longest-running and most trusted trade show for mobile devices, Accessories, hearables, wearables & lifestyle gadgets ecosystem, providing a robust buyer-seller platform to all industry players. Heralding the growth in the industry, Mobile India has witnessed exponential growth over the last six editions. The focused business profile of its high-quality buyers and exhibitors makes the Mobile India expo a unique platform for brand owners & manufacturers to network with emerging brands, distributors, wholesalers, stockists, department stores, corporate buyers & end users – enabling participants to showcase cutting-edge technology, create strong brand awareness and develop a robust distribution channel.
The Internet of Things India expo will be the focal point for established businesses, startups and tech talent to meet with top investors, influencers and professionals. It will showcase IoT innovations in cloud and big data, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, smart cities, design applications, enablers, Industrial IoT, data analytics and many other disruptive technologies for enterprises.
The Embedded Tech India expo provides a platform to showcase the latest trends & developments in the Embedded Technology ecosystem that power smart devices, smart manufacturing, smart transport, smart industries, smart homes, smart cities, IoT devices and demonstrations showcasing the reliability of electronic systems, IoT applications, distributed intelligence, microcontrollers, sensors and solutions for smart future and other technology solutions.
FinTech India expo Showcases Companies and institutions involved in financial technologies, including Blockchain, Digital Banking, E-Wallets, Payment Gateways, Point of Sales (PoS) & Payment Solutions, Cyber Security, Banking & Insurance Solutions, Accounting & Auditing Solutions, E-commerce Solutions, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Transactional Platforms, Data Analytics and more.
The Digital Gaming India expo will showcase emerging trends and technologies in the gaming sector, from software solutions in Animations, VFX, Software Developers, Cloud Computing, Digital Gaming Services, etc. & also focus on hardware components in Chipsets for Motherboards, Console Gaming Platforms, CPU Manufacturers, Desktop Gaming Platforms and more.
Startup Hub Pavilion - at the 31st Convergence India 2024 expo will feature over 250 startups, bringing innovations across the different verticals of emerging technologies, ICT, and Smart Cities technologies. There will be mentoring sessions from the pioneers of the ecosystem, specially curated conference sessions, a Start Pitch Competition, and an Investor and startup meet. Startups will generate B2B leads and build meaningful business relations with industry stakeholders.
Jyoti: What kind of audience is expected to attend the expo?
Chandrika: There will be a wide display of the latest technologies on display, such as:
Technologies on Display:
IT & Communications: GPON / FTTH products (ONT, OLT), Android / iOS Apps for WiFi Management, FTTx Infra, Unified Communications & Enterprise Telecom Products, 5G xHaul Timing Aware Switch, Network TAPs & Packet Brokers, 5G Infrastructure – Test & Verification
Satellite Communications: Satellite IOT Network Communication, iNetVu mobile antennas, VAST systems with one button, motorised and automatic
OTT / IPTV: AndroidTV, Media Player, Video streaming Solutions, Video Delivery over IP, Headend in the CLOUD, Middleware, Cloud Streaming, Cloud Distribution, Video Appliances
Broadcast, Content Distribution and Delivery: Set-Top Box, DTH Antenna, Satellite Receiver, Media Storage, CDN, Head End & Cable TV, Cable SMS, ISP AAA Server & CRM Application
IoT / AI / ML, Data Analytics & Big Data: Industrial Cellular Router (4G/5G), Industrial Switches, PoE LAN extenders, Media Converter, IOT Hardware Manufacturer, IOT Gateway, IO Cards and Customized Products, Routers, Gateways, Telecom Monitoring Solution and Energy Meters
EmbeddedTech: Electronic Components, PCB, Electronic Manufacturing Services, Server Motherboard, Desktop Motherboard, Memory products, DashCam (DVR)
FinTech, Cyber Security & Surveillance: Lending Solutions, Insurance Solutions, Retail Solutions, e-Learning & Immersive Technology, Payment Aggregator, Treasury Management, Spend Management and Corporate Cards Platform, CBS, POS Solutions & Equipment, Risk Assessment and Digital KYC
Mobile Accessories: TWS, Wireless Speaker, Headset, Wireless Headphone, Power Banks, Mobile Battery, USB Cables, Touch Screen, LCD, Connectors, Plugs and Jacks, RF Connectors, Charger Connectors, Neckband Headphones, Mobile Phone Charger, Wired Earphone
Digital Gaming: Gaming Application Software's Keyshot, AR/VR Equipments Apps & Games, Games Developer, drones, cameras, telescopes & gaming consoles
Jyoti: How has the Convergence India and Smart Cities India series of expos contributed to the growth of technology and digitisation across the country?
Chandrika: As companies across sectors explore technology to build their businesses, boost efficiency and achieve cost-cutting, IT & ICT-enabled technologies have emerged as the key to achieving their goals. These technologies are also relevant to the success of Smart Cities, as they play a crucial role in implementing various schemes. For years, the Convergence India and Smart Cities India series of expos have created a conducive environment for the public and private sector to implement the latest technologies and innovations, with the aim being to improve the quality of life of citizens. They have provided a launchpad for many Indian companies, including startups, to expand business opportunities domestically and overseas, thus allowing them to consolidate their position and emerge as global players and influencers. The two expos have also provided a platform to showcase ‘Brand India’ by promoting campaigns such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ ‘Startup India’ and the ‘Smart Cities Mission’.
When Convergence India was launched in 1992, the country’s ICT, IT/ITeS, IoT, and telecom sectors were still nascent. Since then, technological advancements have changed the manufacturing landscape across industries, boosted efficiencies, and attracted large-scale investment. Convergence India has been leading the digital revolution by providing an international platform for the Indian industry to grow, contribute towards nation-building, and emerge as a global leader. The expo is now recognised internationally as one of the leading trade events for innovation in the sub-continent.
Jyoti: In what ways is technology transforming India?
Chandrika: In the present global dynamic, technology uptake has become crucial to a nation’s economic development, and societies have also shown greater acceptance towards its financial and social inclusion. As businesses reconfigure their operations to include modern machinery, tech-savvy employees are in high demand. Companies use technology to boost efficiencies, cut costs, and expand to newer markets to emerge as global players.
Meanwhile, financial and digital inclusion are at the core of the Government of India’s policies and initiatives. From securing rural connectivity to boosting the quality of services or transforming urban spaces into Smart Cities, the government is expanding the integration of IT & ICT solutions across the governance pyramid. Departments and schemes have been interconnected and brought online to allow transparency in functioning. Dashboards and online public grievance cells enable people to access various services and even file online complaints to seek redressal. Smart and digital solutions in healthcare and education are reshaping these sectors.
Access to the Internet and connectivity has allowed entrepreneurship to blossom even in the remotest parts of the country and seeded the idea of startups. The youth use social and online platforms to transact business with clients anywhere in India or overseas. As opportunities grow, so does the desire to achieve more, thus creating innumerable job opportunities. This trickle-down effect is vital to creating a thriving society.