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A look back at LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA

LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA took place in Bangalore from September 13 to 15, 2023. In an interview, LASER Exhibition Director Anke Odouli from Messe München describes her impressions on site and contextualizes the steadily growing importance of the trade fair for India’s photonics community since its premiere in 2012.

What role does photonics play in India and what makes the local community tick?

Anke Odouli: India, now the world’s most populous country, has a huge domestic market. The economy is growing by a good six percent a year. Last year, almost 26 million vehicles were manufactured there; there is a strong automotive supplier industry, a growing mechanical and plant engineering sector, and chemical and pharmaceutical production are also on the rise. There is also a medical technology market which, according to market analyses, has much potential left to tap, with sales of just under twelve billion US dollars. Last but not least, renewable energies and the production of green hydrogen are on the rise—and that’s without even mentioning the globally active IT sector and digital networking. This diverse production landscape calls for the entire spectrum of photonic solutions. Our exhibitors tell us that their business in India is now picking up speed. Numerous trade visitors from the user industries attend LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA in person. Many of them are in search of concrete solutions to their production-related challenges. Laser processes for production, imaging for quality assurance, biophotonics, efficient lighting systems—everything that our eleven exhibition focal points have to offer. In light of the changed geopolitical situation, cooperation with Indian partners is increasingly coming into focus. Many companies want to integrate them more into their global supply chains. As such, we are welcoming more and more first-time exhibitors from Europe and America to LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA. They are using the fair to get a feel for the market there, to make contacts and to prepare for their market entry.

How does LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA help to network the region’s players with each other and with international companies?

Odouli: The community is very friendly. It is already very well networked. Messe München has strong partners there in the Laser Industries Association of INDIA (LIAI) and the Additive Manufacturing Society of INDIA (AMSI). And associations such as SPECTARIS, ILA and OSI, as well as the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) are also part of the network. The buyer-seller meetings are a special and very popular format for networking. Buyers and developers from user industries share which specific photonic components and systems they need and in what quantities, or for which problems they are looking for solutions. These search queries are transmitted via WhatsApp to the exhibitors, who can get in contact with the inquirers directly on site and offer their solution. At the September show, we brokered more than 500 of these highly focused buyer-seller meetings.

That brings us to LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA 2023. How did it go?

Odouli: Very good! With 109 exhibitors from 15 countries and over 7,000 trade visitors from a wide range of user industries in India, we were well above the 2022 figures. The fair is always held alternately in Bangalore and Mumbai. In Bangalore, we organize the Indian editions of electronica and productronica in parallel. This co-location is well received among trade visitors. India’s industry has a clear roadmap towards Industry 4.0. To implement them, photonics, electronics and cutting-edge production solutions must work in harmony. We are firmly convinced that LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA, as the youngest offspring of the LASER family, has a lot of potential left to fulfill. That is why we are already working on preparations for LASER World of PHOTONICS INDIA 2024 from November 7 to 9 at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai—and on the dynamic development of photonics in India.