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New UFI president assumes office in a first for India

Anbu Varathan, director general & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) and Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) has assumed office as president, UFI for 2020- 21. He becomes the first Indian to head the global association of the exhibition industry

Mr Varathan, who has been an UFI board member since 2011, formally took up office as the baton was passed to him by outgoing president, Mary Larkin at the 87th UFI Global Congress closing ceremony, 18 November.

The appointment is a historic occasion for the Indian exhibition industry as Anbu Varathan is the first Indian ever to occupy the top post of UFI in its 95 years of existence.

In his acceptance speech Anbu said he was “extremely happy to assume the presidency of UFI…It is a daunting task but also an opportunity for me to enable the Indian exhibition industry to be vibrant and stronger and get its due recognition at the global level.”

An UFI statement said Anbu’s elevation as UFI president “provides significant opportunities for third world countries to uplift their exhibition industries and narrow the gaps with industries in developed nations. As governments create a well-structured exhibition industry ecosystem, trade and economy in these countries will flourish”.

Anbu Varathan is a metallurgical engineer from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with a work experience of around 30 years. Prior to joining IMTMA, he was with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) heading various key areas of Technology/IPR activities.