By Rakesh Kumar Managing Editor, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Journal
The 19th edition of ACREX India in 2018 symbolised the upbeat performance and optimism of the HVAC industry, and a watershed in the growth of the Cold Chain industry. Organised by ISHRAE at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) from February 22 to 24, ACREX showcased the state of the art of the industry for the entire world to view and admire. Under the umbrella of Build Fair Alliance (bfa) forged last year at the initiative of ISHRAE, ACREX 2018 was one of the three giant events held simultaneously at the same venue – the other two being ISH India powered by Indian Plumbing Association (IPA), and Fire and Security India Expo (FSIE) organised by Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI).
In recognition of the stellar role being played by ISHRAE in promoting environmentally responsible technologies, Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Union Minister for Science & Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Earth Sciences) flew down from New Delhi to inaugurate the event and to encourage ISHRAE to continue its good work. Several industry leaders from all over the world signalled their support with their presence, including Eric Solheim (Executive Director – UN Environment, and Under-Secretary-General of the UN), Bjarne Olesen (ASHRAE President), Frank Hovorka (REHVA Treasurer and Vice-President), Peter Ottmann (CEO, NuernbergMesse), Vishal Kapur (ISHRAE National President), C. Subramaniam (ISHRAE President-Elect), D. Nirmal Ram (Chair, ACREX 2018), Pankaj Dharkar (President, FSAI and Past National President, ISHRAE), Verghese Joseph (Johnson Controls) and Gurmeet Singh (President – IPA). ACREX is South Asia’s largest exhibition in this field, and one of the largest globally. The event was held this year in the backdrop of a TechSci research report, which says that the Indian HVAC&R market size is heading from the current US$ 4 billion towards US$ 7.7 billion by 2022. And the government has given the Cold Chain – growing at a breakneck CAGR of 19-20% – the status of an infrastructure sector. The theme of the exhibition – Rising India: Enterprising & Cool – supports domestic manufacture of equipment.