The 27th edition of Food Hospitality World in Mumbai reached new benchmarks as the three-day event witnessed several thought-provoking panel discussions, a fierce culinary battle among 150 chefs and a robust international participation By Rituparna Chatterjee
Reiterating its position as one of the leading food and hospitality exhibitions in India this year was the recently-concluded Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2016 Mumbai. The 27th edition of FHW was held at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The three-day exhibition, held from January 21-23, 2016, was inaugurated by E Sabri Ergen, consul general, Turkish Consulate General in Mumbai; celebrity chefs Ajay Chopra and Ranveer Brar; Rohit Shah, owner, Hotel Tip Top Plaza; and Mehul Shah, managing director, Hannover Milano Fairs India. Speaking at the inauguration, Ergen stated, “FHW is one of the best exhibitions I have participated in. For Turkey, India is a potential market and it is a very good opportunity to promote our products here. We want to make Turkish cuisine the second most popular cuisine in India. We want to provide more variety of Turkish products.”
Giving his perspective on the food and hospitality industry in India, Brar opined, “Food and hospitality are innate in our culture. We, the chefs, are products of this industry which is structured and growing. Good hospitality and good food come with good intent. I see that at this exhibition. It is good being here.” Adding to this, Chopra stated, “It is great to be part of FHW every year. I have been part of this exhibition since the past five years. FHW has grown tremendously year-on-year. India is becoming a hotpot of global cuisine.”
Sharing his thoughts as well, Rohit Shah stated, “We have opened a hotel that caters to engagement ceremonies and weddings. We are coming up with hotels in Lonavla and Pune as well. We started off with manufacturing sweets and generated huge profits from that. India has immense potential for growth and FHW has given us a great opportunity. We have been associated with The Indian Express Group in many ways.” On a closing note, Mehul Shah stated, “Thank you Tunisia and Turkey for bringing diversity to the exhibition. I wish all of you, including my partners behind this event, the very best.”
Over the three-day exhibition, FHW 2016 Mumbai hosted various events including the 10th edition of The Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC), held across all the three days. This year around 150 chefs representing various leading hotels and hotel management institutes across India participated. GICC, supported by the Western India Culinary Association (WICA), provides a professional platform for culinary professionals from India to showcase their individual and collective skills, learn and share experiences, partner and network in a competitive environment.
Apart from the GICC, FHW 2016 Mumbai also witnessed several interesting and engaging panel discussions. One such discussion was the Hospitality Think Tank, a knowledge initiative focusing on ‘The Challenge of Sourcing International Food Products’, held on the first day. The Hospitality Think Tank witnessed participation from executive chefs, F&B heads, and founders of leading hospitality/ food brands across the country discussing the key problems associated with importing food products, the role of the FSSAI, the need for policy changes, solutions for the future, among others. The panelists for this discussion included Chef Vishal Atreya, executive chef, JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai Sahar; Chef Zubin D’Souza, executive chef, Waterstones Hotel, Mumbai; Aditya Parekh, founder and director, Aspher Foods; Debdeep Chakraborty, director F&B, Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai, Vashi; Gaurav Magoo, director F&B, Novotel Imagica Khopoli; and Ashish Shome, director F&B, Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.
On the second day was the Hospitality Knowledge Exchange panel discussion wherein general managers (GMs) of leading hotels from Maharashtra spoke on the topic ‘India Hotel Development: Vision 2020.’ The panelists included Sameer Sud, GM, The Leela Mumbai; Kapil Kapoor, GM, Waterstones Hotel; Varun Sahani, GM, The Orchid, Mumbai; Srinivas Srirangam, GM, Novotel Imagica Khopoli; and Satyajit Kotwal, GM, The Resort, Madh-Marve. Following this was The Power of Purchase panel discussion organised in association with the Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum (HPMF). Here purchase managers were seen discussing on the topic – Are we ready for the latest FSSAI ruling?
On the concluding day, a special conference was held by the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) where Prof Pushparaj Shetty, ex-faculty, Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Mumbai, spoke about the emerging food and beverage trends in India and the menu in present day restaurant business.
An interesting highlight of FHW 2016 Mumbai was the Turkey Pavilion, which was the largest international participation ever by any country in FHW’s history with 13 companies participating. Other participating countries included Japan, Thailand, UK, Tunisia, Singapore, Canada, Australia among others. Moreover, around 200 exhibitors participated at FHW 2016 Mumbai representing different segments of the food and hospitality industry like F&B, interiors, kitchen equipment, housekeeping, bakery and others. Few of these exhibitors were Alliance International, GTT Foods, Ecoteco Food, Dataman Computer Systems, Aura Essentials, Beepee Enterprise, Palmex International and many more. In the F&B category, companies related to confectionery, biscuits, energy bars, cheese and cheese products, fruit juices, Japanese sake and noodles, pasta, rice, bread and bakery, gravy and mixes, jams, ready-to-eat, wine, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc, participated as well.
Speaking about the India market, Mustafa Mehmet INCEL, foreign trade representative, GESAS stated, “This is the first time we are participating at FHW and we got a few enquiries for some of our products like jams, halva, etc. People in India are open to Turkish products but for now they don’t know these products well. We need to introduce our products better not only through exhibitions but also by visiting people separately. We have prepared our products according to Indian regulations after which we decided to enter this market. We hope to find a good contact for exporting our products to India.”
Adding to this, Eray YALIN, export sales executive, OBA opined, “We are first time participants at FHW. We are looking for distributors here and have got a potential contact. There is immense potential for our products in India since the imported pastas over here are expensive and the domestic ones are not of superior quality. Our aim is to provide good quality pasta at a competitive price. We have been exporting our products to 80 countries and Africa is our main market, while India is our target market.”
The FHW trade show is organised by Global Fairs & Media – a joint venture between Hannover Milano Fairs India and The Indian Express.