Kochi : The 5th edition of India Boat and Marine Show (IBMS), the premier industrial show in the boat and marine sector in the country, was inaugurated by State Motor Transport and Water Transport Minister Antony Raju at the Marine Drive Ground in Kochi on Friday, 27 January.
Naval Ship Repair Yard Admiral Superintendent Rear Admiral Subin Mukherjee, Indian Coast Guard Kerala Region DIG N Ravi, Kerala Travel Mart president Baby Mathew Somatheeram, FICCI Kerala Task Force Export Committee chairman Alex K Ninan, Adv. V J Mathew, Nandita Joseph and Joseph Kuriakose, director of the organizers Cruise Expos, spoke.
The fair has 115 stalls of more than 65 companies displaying various products and services including different types of boats, speed boats, engines, unmanned remote-controlled watercraft for weed removal and rescue, underwater unmanned inspection equipment, navigational systems, ancillary service providers, water sports equipment, etc.
The show is open from 11 am to 8 pm. Joseph Kuriakos said that more than 5000 business visitors are expected for IBMS, the only boat show in the country.
One of the attractions of the show is the Artificial Intelligence-powered unmanned Clearbot that can be used for removing algae, collecting and disposing of waste like oil and plastic, and transporting goods of up to 200 kg. Siddhant Gupta, founder and CEO of the startup, said that Clearbots, which are being built in Bengaluru's Jigani Industrial Area, have huge potential in Kerala. The company is proposing to mainly rent out the machine for Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per month which include the cost of operation and maintenance, apart from selling the machine.
There are a lot of enquiries also for the remotely operated vehicles of EyeROV based at the Kerala Startup Mission in Kalamassery. The company founded by Johns T Mathai and Kannappa Palaniappan P have completed more than 50 projects within six years.
The ROV (remotely operated vehicle) named Tuna can reach depths of up to 2 nautical miles and can be used for various unmanned underwater experiments using remote control. Tuna has under-water for bridges, dams, large ships and in defence. It costs between Rs 25 Lakhs to Rs 80 Lakhs.
The life-saving device called Life made by the firm Saif Seas from Visakhapatnam also has huge potential in Kerala. Company spokesperson Moiz Calcuttawala said that people who are in danger in the water could be saved without human help with Life, which can be operated remotely.
The aluminum boats, crafts, canoes and an electric boat called Synergy 58 made by Kottayam Chingavanam-based Kelachandra Precision Engineers are also attracting visitors to the fair. Priced Rs 25,000 and beautifully designed, Kelachandra's aluminum vanchi (traditional Kerala boat) has been the star of the fair for the past few years.
The Kochi-based Yesen Sustain's IRS-approved liquid-cooled batteries and electric motors are gaining attention by electrifying boats and watercraft that currently run on conventional fuels. They are available in capacities from 2 to 2000 HP.
The technical sessions held as part of the fair had lectures on infrastructure development in the sector, marine craft equipment including pleasure craft and small craft, marinas, seaplanes and the need for trained manpower. The fair will conclude on January 29.
The organizers and sponsors of IBMS pointed out that the state has been the maritime gateway to South India with a very long coastline and with its major port Kochi being an all-weather port strategically located on the east-west trade route. No other Indian port enjoys the proximity to the maritime highway as Kochi port. All these factors fuelled the growth of Kochi as a maritime hub.
Considering these, this year’s IBMS is a meeting point for a wide range of stakeholders in the recreational and leisure boating market including speed boats, marine engines, navigational systems and other supply and service providers. “The event is not just about boats and marine equipment, but covers all water sports and activities.” said Joseph Kuriacose, Director of Cruz Expos, organisers of IBMS 2023.
The event is supported and endorsed by the Department of Industries, Govt of Kerala, KMRL, IWAI, Cochin Port Authority, Kerala Tourism, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, DTPC, Mariners Society-Kerala, KUFOS & CIFT. K-BIP has also put up an Industry Pavilion that showcases Kerala-based SME’s especially boatyards, equipment manufacturers etc. KUSUM(Kerala Start-Up Mission) is also having a KUSUM Pavilion showcasing start-ups from this sector.
The organizers also said people of Kerala are increasingly getting attracted to enjoy recreational time on water and with KMRL’s Water Metro to be commissioned by this month end, will now be focussing on developing the district’s inland boating and marine facilities into a world class facility. The project is a step forward in India’s self-reliant initiative of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and represents the collective efforts of CSL, KMRL and IRS.
Well-equipped marinas and marine recreational and sports activities need to be encouraged by the both central & state governments. With proper infrastructure and equipment, India as well as Kerala can quickly become a first-choice destination for cruising and inshore water sports for the local and international tourists.
The event is organised by Kochi-based Cruz Expos who have been conducting the boat shows in Kochi and also have been regularly organising the popular FoodTech Kerala & HotelTech Kerala series of B2B trade exhibitions in Kerala for the past 14 years. Within a short span of 15 years, Cruz Expos has become one of South India’s foremost professional exhibition organisers in the B2B segment.