MICE AFFAIRS 2019 AWARDS
A visionary, a leader, and a great entrepreneurial mind, Mr. Om Prakash, Director, InOrbit Tours Pvt. Ltd., is a pioneer in promoting India’s participation in international trade fairs. With his objective to encourage medium and small-scale industrialists to get exposure about technology, raw materials, and product designs, he has played an instrumental role in promoting Indian participation as visitors and exhibitors at international trade fairs.He has a solid contribution of 44 years to his credit towards upgrading Indian trade and technology. Engineering Review had the privilege to speak to him and understand his inspiring entrepreneurial journey, the milestones achieved, and future vision
The pioneer of the concept of international trade fair tours, Mr. Om Prakash has been at the forefront of raising awareness among Indian companies regarding international trade fairs. He has been instrumental in providing exposure to Indian businessmen and small-scale industrialists regarding several opportunities that open up by participating in international trade and technology exhibitions.
It started in 1972, when Mr. Om Prakash visited one of the biggest exhibitions of printing technology in Germany. He was alarmed to notice abysmally low participation from Indian industries at the event. “During my visit to one of the biggest exhibitions of printing technology in Germany, I found thousands of visitors of all nationalities, but a very few Indians.
Despite India being one of the most nations, it being virtually absent from the event gave me the idea of business travel tours. The thought was purely in national interest as I wanted to provide exposure to Indian businessmen and small-scale industrialists to visit international trade and technology exhibitions,” shares Mr. Om Prakash.
Just as with any innovative business idea, this one too had to go through initial struggle and skepticism. Talking about the initial struggle, Mr.Om Prakash says, “As this was a new concept and not very much conversant to Indians, hence it was a difficult job to convince Indian industrialists to visit International trade fairs. Secondly, there was no travel company to market this concept.
On top of this, I was not established as a ‘travel agent’.” Apart from this, Indian government’s discouraging foreign exchange policy was also a huge drawback. “After independence, our country was facing acute shortage of foreign exchange. This did not encourage foreign travel. The business visitors had to apply to RBI for grant of foreign exchange and such applications were considered on merits. The priority was defense related industries and medical or lifesaving drugs imports,” updates Mr. Om Prakash.
Despite these challenges, Mr. Om Prakash managed to ensure that the first tour to German Exhibition in 1978 was a success. He then ventured into other industries such as plastics and textiles for the next 2 years and went on to establish InORBIT Tours.
“As the response from all industries was encouraging, I established into a company instead of my individual name. I had encouraging response from Indian Trade Associations, who came forward with their support. The German Exhibitions Organizers recognized my efforts and honored me with Indo-German Award by the Prime Minister of the industrial State of Baden-Württemberg, Federal Republic of Germany. This award helped in the progress of my company and was repeated for three times in 15 years.
The news of my specialized industry tours spread in other countries too. I started promoting similar industry tours to USA, Japan, Korea, China, Israel, Thailand etc.” shares Mr. Om Prakash.
Today, INORBIT Tours Pvt. Ltd., has established itself as a reliable and well-known business travel provider. However, the company had to address several business challenges to reach its present position. One of the key challenges was getting access to data for every individual industry.
“The biggest challenge was to collect a sizeable group from one individual industry. To counter this, I had to promote every exhibition on all-India basis. The collection of individual industry data was a great challenge. Hence, I had to contact national, regional, city wise trade associations and Chambers of Commerce to ensure message reaches the target companies.”
Further, ensuring the entire group was ready to travel in the given time was cumbersome due to lengthy and tardy process of obtaining passports and visas.“During those days a large number of people did not have passports. It would take almost three months to obtain a passport. So, fulfilling the group within the stipulated time was a challenge,” updates Mr. Om Prakash.
Mr. Om Prakash is highly respected by trade fair organizers across the world. During the course of his career, he has achieved significant accomplishments. Some noteworthy ones include his contribution towards promotion of China’s trade exhibitions of industries like chemicals, packaging & printing, refrigeration, power & electricity,plastics, wire, and tubes etc.
Mr. Om Prakash has also been at the forefront in his efforts towards upgrading India’s agriculture and dairy technology. He organized tour of India’s first group of 350 members to Agritech in Israel with many Indian States Agriculture Ministers in the group. Similarly, Mr. Om Prakash has been organizing dairy technology tours to China where more than 10 States Ministers of India for Dairy and Animal Husbandry have participated.
He has also organized factory visits in Germany, China and USA to compare their working style and to educate Indian industrialists. In appreciation of his contributions, Mr. Om Prakash has been rewarded several awards. He was the recipient of Indo-German award in 1985, 1995 and 1999 for his contribution towards the development of Indo- German Economic Relations. He is also the Ambassador of Messe Dusseldorf, Germany in India.
Other key notable recognitions include‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by India International Tourism Council; ‘Most influential person in the Travel Industry award’ by NDTV Profit & OTM; and ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Exhibitions and Events Industry of India and other international Awards. He is also the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award by MICE Affairs and Israel Tourism Ministry Award, as well as has received appreciation from Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres.
Speaking on the achievements, Mr. Om Prakash says, “I am highly satisfied of my journey of last 44 years. Throughout my journey, I have received several awards and these awards did provide encouragement and inspiration. However, I have never really worked to get awards. My dedication and passion drives me to keep on contributing for the good cause of helping businessmen grow through their visits to trade fairs abroad.”
Being a great leader and innovator, he is committed to the cause of encouraging young talent and entrepreneurs. He stresses that Indian industrialists must be provided sufficient support by the Indian Leadership to expand our markets worldwide.
“If we can multiply Indian exports, we can provide mass employment, which is the need of our country. This would also help to increase Indian foreign exchange reserves. Today, if we peep into the Chinese industries & export policy, their manufacturers feel that world is their market. Hence due to mass production, their unit cost is reduced,” asserts Mr. Om Prakash.
He is also committed to Make in India and asserts that companies should Make in India, for the world. He says that to ensure success, young leaders should focus on manufacturing their products for the world and not merely for India market. “The successful industry leaders were those who found opportunities to sell their products world over by identifying markets suitable for Indian products.
The initial focus was for the third world countries and later to the developed countries,” he emphasizes. The way forward Mr. Om Prakash plans to remain committed to his vision to providing mass exposure to Indian businessmen and show them the industrial progress of other countries. After witnessing significant growth over the years, the company has now taken a leap ahead and started organizing corporate tours abroad.
“My company INORBIT Tours Pvt. Ltd., has now expanded to organize corporate tours. These tours are offered to dealers, distributors and franchisees by corporates as rewards for achieving higher productivity and sales. We have been expanding this business of corporate travel and look forward to establish INORBIT as the most sought after corporate & business travel company in India,” concludes Mr. Om Prakash.
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