G20: Glimmer for M!CE and sustainability

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The G20 Presidency has put India in focus for its MICE potential, but the various meetings in different states also impacted the corporates in many ways. While some see the positives, for others there were challenges as well.

By Janice Alyosius

The recent G20 Summit held in India has stirred discussions and debates across various industries, particularly in the corporate and MICE sectors. Few key industry experts share insights into how this global event has impacted their businesses and its potential influence on future prospects.

Impact on corporate and MICE business

Pradeep Kumar Jayaprakash, Regional Travel Manager, PayPal, believes that the G20 Summit has had a significant positive impact on the MICE sector. He stated, “Definitely impacted MICE in a positive way, for a corporate, but it’s too early to comment.”

Chaitanya Thakker, Head – Commercial, CAD Ventures (Cadila Pharma Group), shared how their business travel and events had to be postponed due to the G20 Summit. He added, “Post the G20, we faced challenges mainly in Delhi as hotel rates were still high due to spill-over, and travel opened post-restrictions along with availability.” Khadija Bagasrawala, Sr. Manager Travel & MICE, Qure Ai, said, “The G20 Summit offer a unique platform for global networking and collaboration among leaders of major economies, benefiting corporate entities seeking global expansion. Host countries’ investment in cutting-edge event infrastructure bolsters the MICE industry. Participation in G20 events elevates global visibility.”

On the other hand, Jigar Joshi, Director, Samsara Capital, located in Mumbai, mentioned that the G20 Summit did not have a direct impact on their work. Aditya Gupta, Sr. Manager HR and GA, Panasonic, highlighted that their business adapted to the changing circumstances brought about by the G20 Summit. He said, “Our business hasn’t been significantly impacted by the G20 Summit. The main challenge we encountered was the need to adjust the dates for hosting our partners and dealers. Additionally, for FITs, we had to secure higher-category rooms. However, we effectively managed this situation by rescheduling our events either before or after the G20 Summit dates.”

G20 prospects within India

Regarding whether the G20 Summit has opened up more MICE prospects within the country, Jayaprakash noted, “Not really, India’s MICE was already growing phenomenally, so it is a collateral benefit that is helping to boost MICE prospects of the country.” Thakker expressed hope for increased prospects but mentioned that a better understanding would come with time and processing further MICE requirements.

Joshi, however, was optimistic about the impact of such summits on tourism and MICE prospects in India. He emphasized the potential growth, stating, “Summits like the G20 can have a profoundly positive impact on tourism and MICE prospects in India. It’s anticipated that the G20 Summit in India will catalyse the growth of the tourism sector, attracting approximately 15 million inbound tourists by 2024, resulting in earnings exceeding $30 billion. This vision also aims to create a staggering 140 million jobs within the tourism sector and generate a foreign exchange revenue of $56 billion by 2030. The potential impact on job creation and earnings is bound to be monumental, and it’s poised to astound observers with the rapid growth of the tourism industry.”

Gupta agreed with this view, highlighting the positive image of India’s ability to manage important events and the growth of the hospitality sector, he said, “I concur with this perspective, considering that the world has witnessed our ability to effectively manage significant events within our country, implementing stringent safety measures. Furthermore, the global community is recognizing India’s robust growth across various sectors, with the hospitality industry experiencing a significant boom. This positive momentum suggests that regions once deemed less conducive to MICE activities could become viable options in the future.” Bagasrawala added, “The influx of delegates and attendees during the summit will contribute significantly to the local economy. This will encourage businesses to consider India as a host country for their corporate events and conferences due to the potential for substantial economic benefits.”

Incorporating sustainability initiatives

One of the core focuses of the G20 Summit was sustainability. Jayaprakash stated that sustainability has always been a high priority for PayPal, “We would remain close to our processes and policies globally. The G20 initiative helps us further drive our sustainability goal further with suppliers such as airlines and hotels.” Thakker acknowledged the importance of sustainability but indicated that they are still working on strategies to implement it effectively. Joshi emphasised on few key areas like reducing carbon footprints, supporting destinations in need, and focusing on emissions reduction, energy efficiency, and waste reduction as key priorities. He said, “Before delving into how companies can integrate sustainability into their travel programs, it’s crucial to grasp the essence of sustainability in travel. It simply means a way of exploring the world without harming the environment, the local communities, or the cultural heritage of the places you visit. It means being mindful of your impact, choosing ethical and eco-friendly options, and supporting responsible tourism practices.”

Gupta highlighted their commitment to sustainability, and said, “With the G20 Summit emphasizing sustainability as a central theme, we are actively integrating this initiative and mindset into our travel programs and corporate events. Sustainability has been a prominent topic of discussion even before the G20 Summit, and this global event has provided a clear direction and heightened ambition for the entire world. Prior to the summit, we initiated conversations with our travel partners to emphasize the importance of reducing single-use plastic to the lowest feasible level throughout our travel programs. Additionally, within our organization, we have embarked on a journey towards ESG practices. We are actively transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) and exploring various measures to help us achieve our climate goals. Our commitment to sustainability aligns with the broader global effort sparked by G20 Summit, and we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and society through our events.”

The G20 Summit has left its mark on the corporate and MICE business sectors in India. While its direct impact varies among businesses, the focus on sustainability has provided a framework for companies to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into their travel programs and corporate events.

With optimism for increased MICE prospects and a growing emphasis on sustainability, these sectors are poised for further growth and positive change in the post-G20 era.

“The G20 Summit has had a significant positive impact on the M!CE sector”
Pradeep Kumar Jayaprakash, Regional Travel Manager, PayPal

“Our business travel and events had to be postponed due to the G20 Summit. Post the G20, we faced challenges mainly in Delhi as hotel rates were still high due to spill-over, and travel opened post-restrictions along with availability”
Chaitanya Thakker, Head – Commercial, CAD Ventures (Cadila Pharma Group)

“The G20 Summit did not have a direct impact on our work”
Jigar Joshi, Director, Samsara Capital

“Our main challenge during G20 was adjusting partner and dealer meeting dates”
Aditya Gupta, Sr. Manager HR and GA, Panasonic

“The G20 Summit foster global networking, investment and M!CE advancements”
Khadija Bagasrawala, Sr. Manager Travel & MICE, Qure Ai