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SHAILESH SANGANI – CONVENER, NATIONAL EXHIBITION, GJPEC, FOUNDER, PRIORITY JEWELS, CONVENER OF THE YEAR: EXHIBITION (NATIONAL)

Retail Jeweller India

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As the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s convenor of national exhibitions, it was Shailesh Sangani’s Herculean task to keep trade sentiment buoyant at a time when the nation was trapped indoors by the unrelenting COVID-19 lockdowns. Across the country, every manufacturing, cutting and polishing centre was closed.

Mr. Sangani worked without pause, strategizing every facet of IIJS Virtual 2020, the online version of the India International Jewellery Show. His ideas helped keep the virtual exhibition relevant, fruitful and profitable for participators and visitors. A success in its first edition, IIJS Virtual’s second edition did even better. Both were held in the calendar year 2020.

In 2021, Mr. Sangani faced a fresh challenge. By popular request, the GJEPC decided to revive the in-person IIJS trade show, while shifting it from Mumbai to Bengaluru because of the pandemic. This was a high-stakes operation: the biggest-ever national exhibition, not virtual, held in the shadow of COVID-19. Given the conditions, there were extraordinary demands on the GJEPC.

Recreating the magic of NESCO, the longstanding Mumbai venue for IIJS, in Bengaluru, was of critical importance. Mr Sangani ensured that the familiar spirit came alive at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, where IIJS Premiere was held on 29 July 2021. With over 77,000 square metres, the BIEC had space for visitors and participants to socially distance themselves and to follow all the Central and state governments’ health protocols.

Mr. Sangani’s high standards and tireless effort ensured zero infections at the event. In fact, IIJS Premiere 2021 has become a template for safe and successful in-person exhibitions during the pandemic, especially among regional trade shows.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India

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