Final report

Overwhelming response from visitors to new ideas and initiatives at IFAT India 2023

October 20, 2023

  • Key conferences on Circular Economy, bioCNG, solar panel recycling, and Women in Sustainability
  • 14,100 visitors and 400+ exhibitors from 25 countries
  • Six country pavilions from Germany, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, UK, and the Netherlands

Messe Muenchen India concluded the 10th Anniversary Edition of IFAT India on a successful note with many new initiatives to enable meaningful handshakes and unlock business opportunities. IFAT India 2023 was held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, on 17-19 October 2023.

This edition witnessed a 50 per cent growth in exhibition space, with the addition of a second hall dedicated exclusively to solid waste management solutions. This edition brought together 400+ exhibiting companies from 25 countries and six international pavilions. This edition attracted 14,100 visitors over three days.

The inauguration ceremony was graced by dignitaries from the government as well as foreign missions from the participating country pavilions.

Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, said, “The 10 year journey of IFAT India almost coincides with the Swacch Bharat Mission which was announced nine years ago by the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. In 2021, this mission adopted a second leaf which is to ensure a garbage-free India. This mission focusses not only on visible cleanliness but on circular economy and scientific waste management for a complete sustainable future integrated with LIFE – lifestyle for environment. I congratulate IFAT India for bringing together close to 400 companies and six country pavilions to showcase their talents and technologies as well as their commitment towards real sustainable development.”

Pravin Darade, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Climate Change, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Our state has been facing unprecedented challenges like floods and droughts for the past few years. Therefore, we are working dedicately to ensure water security for the entire 120 million population. We are also confident of achieving Net Zero by 2070 as envisaged by India at COP26. Today, Maharashtra has 43 Smart Cities that are competing on various environmental parameters. I am delighted to see active participation at IFAT India and I wish great success to all the companies who are exhibiting and visitin this trade fair.“

Knowledge-sharing platforms

Some of the new initiatives this year included the Speaker’s Corner, an interactive space where exhibitors can present their innovative products to interested visitor groups. Like every year, the Buyer-Seller Forum and Live Demonstration Areas continued to attract large visitor footfalls and business discussions that culminated in equipment purchase orders.

The two parallel conference platforms at the Innovation Water Forum and Innovation Waste Forum witnessed over 50 eminent speakers including – amongst others - environmental scientists, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, think tanks, or government authorities. Some of the key topics at the conference sessions included circular economy principles for wastewater, fashion, and used oil, solar panel recycling, construction & demolition waste, and many others.

The Open Forum Conference featured the University Challenge, organized in cooperation with the German Association for Water, Wastewater, and Waste (DWA) and offered practical guidance to young professionals in the field of effluent treatment and water technology. Likewise, the Young People’s Group (YPG) was organized by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) to encourage the youth to take up careers in waste management. For the first time there was a round-table organized by the German Consulate with high-ranking participants from municipalities and companies discussing the ongoing and upcoming projects for the development of sustainable cities.

Focus on Startups

Another key highlight at this 10th Anniversary Edition of IFAT India was the Startup Pavilion, an exclusive space for young entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to exhibit their environmental solutions, test their ideas, and receive real-time feedback from buyers and investors.

Participant at the Startup Pavilion, Shriram S, Director, FluxGen Technologies, said, “Today small and mid-sized companies are delivering powerful solutions for industrial needs in India’s water-stressed regions. Hence, I am happy that IFAT India is providing a platform for startups to demonstrate our solutions and share our success stories with a wide audience. I am looking forward to a larger participation next year too.”

On the successful conclusion of this edition, Bhupinder Singh, CEO, Messe Muenchen India, said: “We are delighted at the overwhelming response to this milestone edition of IFAT India. The art installations around and inside the exhibition halls created using seven types of waste materials have resonated with our environment conscious visitors. The exciting conversations between innovators and user groups initiated at the Speaker’s Corner and Startup Pavilion, the two new initiatives at this edition, encouraged more meaningful partnerships within the environment technology ecosystem in India. The international participation has been truly encouraging, and we are sure that the ideas and networks emerging from IFAT India 2023 will catalyse growth in the industry in the coming months.”

Exhibitors Speak

Michael Kuhn, Managing Partner, Kuhn GmbH, said, “I have been participating in IFAT India since its inception 10 years ago. I am happy to see the growth of this platform in the Indian market. This trade show has expanded significantly to include water treatment solutions, waste management, sewage treatment, recycling, and many other solutions for sustainability. IFAT India is a good place to meet new and emerging companies in the water treatment sector and collaborate with them for win-win solutions.”

Masood Mallick, CEO, Re Sustainability Ltd, said, “What a great turnout at this edition of IFAT India! I have been participating in conversations on circularity at this platform for a few years, and I am happy to see the growing awareness among all stakeholders. As an environment partner to the industry, we focus not merely on individual technologies but complete circularity solutions. Therefore, IFAT India is a great platform for us to showcase our thought process and align with the various other stakeholders.”

Tanmeet Singh Gulati, Commercial Director – APAC, DuPont Water Solutions, said, “We have good relations with IFAT India as it helps us meet new and existing clients. This year we are promoting special membrane technologies for wastewater treatment, and we are delighted to see demand from various application sectors. The footfall at this edition has been quite inspiring.”

Thierry van Helden, Deputy Consul General, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mumbai, said, “India and the Netherlands face similar challenges in water and waste management. Therefore, we can work together to develop integrated waste management solutions. We are happy to see the growing awareness about waste as an important resource here at IFAT India and we are looking forward to participating again.”

The next edition of IFAT India will be held on 16-18 October 2024 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, India.