The Mumbai International Boat Show (MIBS) ended on a high note this year. MIBS offers a unique opportunity to participate in a well-established and trusted platform and caters to arguably the last large untapped leisure boating market in the world! This year; MIBS was a well-attended yachting event with a rise in both exhibitors and visitors from all parts of the globe when it was held between 23rd to 26th February. MIBS, now in its sixth edition; reinforced its top position in India’s Boating Industry as India’s largest boat show with an increase in the number of old companies coming back to participate in the show.
- 90 + Brands (view exhibitor list)
- 25% increase on last year’s exhibitors
- 10,000 sq. m of land exhibition area (air-conditioned) (view images)
- Over 5000 visitors
- Exhibitors give positive feedback, report strong leads from serious buyers
What is truly unique about this event is that MIBS has become more than a boat show. With its association with the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), the MIBS works towards bringing an effective change to the many discrepancies in the boating industry in India. The CII Boating Conference alongside MIBS is a much anticipated event and attracts a sizeable audience. The one-day conference attended by over 200 delegates with key speakers from India and abroad; has become an excellent platform to voice concerns and arrive at solutions.
The opening day of the show witnessed an exciting fashion show hosted by leading luxury brand, Gitanjali Lifestyle. Club Torque, displayed Audi and Ferrari super-cars; leading real estate firm, Ahuja Construction hosted the VIP Preview evening, Mantri Builders, Bangalore hosted the Networking Dinner organized to bring together exhibitors and the lucky draw to win free yacht charters was sponsored by Blue Bay Marine. These surrounding events made MIBS a spectacular luxury and lifestyles how that promoted the boating culture in India.
Analysing the Market and Demand:
The boat show now attracts an experienced audience. Almost 30% of the visitors had visited other boat shows around the world and India. Guests at the show were more interested in sailboats, sailing programs and club memberships as compared to buying and chartering motor yachts. There has been a healthy demand for pre-owned boats and second-hand water sports equipment as small time businesses are beginning to crop up at holiday destinations along the coast. This season overall has been slack in terms of inquiries and the boat show succeeded in turning the situation around. The feedback from the exhibitors was positive and they look forward to sales resulting from the show. They were happy with the quality of visitors and inquiries and managed to bag many potential leads.
Apart from the annual boat show, dealers and manufacturers are looking outside of the city for potential sales leads. The fast paced city of Mumbai is home to many high net worth individuals who have the power to purchase but do not find the time to enjoy their purchase. Mumbai may well remain the heart of boating but the limbs are extending towards other cities in India. Pune in Maharashtra for example, just a few hours away from Mumbai, is home to many retired CEOs and has the largest student community. Gujarat is developing in a big way and its State tourism board has taken a keen interest in promoting marine tourism. Gujarat is also home to the country’s first Special Investment Region (SIR). An SIR is different from an SEZ (Special Economic Zone) —it is bigger and is not merely export-oriented; instead offers a residential city that grows vertically based on digital planning coexists with industrial estates, a hub of financial and banking services and educational institutions. Other cities like Goa, Kochi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Delhi and Chandigarh are key targets for potential sales leads. Majority of the demand stems from the government and is yet to gain consistency with individual potential buyers all over India.
With the continued efforts of MIBS and CII, boating in India is sure to grow. Those who have sincerely appreciated the boating conference want it to become a multi-city affair, for they believe it is sure to make a bigger impact! The timing of the annual Mumbai International Boat Show in February works against it as the boating season ends within two months of the event. By the time follow-ups and deals reach the stage of fruition; monsoons arrive and the season ends. This dissuades buyers and causes them to postpone their purchase. However, it is a sizable annual show and a catalyst to the industry. Although the current scenario of infrastructure development and overall progress is slow, the boating industry is moving. Every season sees new entrants in the market. International brands are setting up shop in India every year. Industry players believe in the potential of boating in India and this dream or vision of the future is what is keeping them afloat. www.IndiaYachtPage.com congratulates MIBS on another successful show and looks forward to being a part of it again next year.