The young women, who will manage stalls at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show 2015, can’t be trusted with the cash and valuables, if a clause on temporary staff requirement form for hostesses and public relations personnel, signed by exhibitors, is to be believed.
K&D Communications, an Ahmedabad-based event management firm that has been awarded the contract by the Gujarat Government to manage and run the international business summit in Gandhinagar, is providing domestic and foreign clients with hostesses and security guards. However, the trust deficit rider is only a condition in the requisition form for hostesses, accessed by this paper. These women — clad either in saree or skirt and with fluency in English, Hindi and Gujarati — will help exhibitors set up stalls at the trade show to be held between January 7-13.
The demand for temporary hostesses is likely to go up compared to earlier Vibrant summits, given the several hundreds of stalls spread over 15 pavilions, covering 25 sectors. Spread over 1,25,000 sq meters, it is touted to be India’s largest exhibition. The organisers had asked the participants to put up requisitions for both, temporary hostesses and security guards. The trade show is an integral part of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2015.
The Requisition Form (Number 4) in the manual for the show put out by K&D, along with rates for temporary hostesses (Rs 2,000 per day plus 12.36 per cent service tax), states under “important” note: “The hostesses/public relations must not be entrusted with handling of cash or valuables. Exhibitors will be responsible for hostesses/public relations whilst in their stands and the show organisers will not be responsible for any loss or damage caused by such personnel.”
However, Form Number 5, for requisition for security guards (Rs 2,000 per day), has no such important note. It only asks for date and number of shifts. The organisers, along with human resources, have also been providing a host of things – from furniture, communication equipments to decorative plants – on rent.
A top-level official from K&D told The Indian Express that Ahmedabad cannot cater to the need of trained hostesses in large numbers, who are required as all clients will not be able to travel with large number of staff. Usually during such shows, temporary hostesses are given crash training sessions so they can manage the show and become the face of the company whose stall they will manage. “We had asked clients to submit requisition forms before December 15 as we will also have to source temporary hostesses from Delhi and Mumbai,” said one of the official.
Fresh women graduates between 18-22 years say that such a practice has become commonplace. “We dress and talk according to the requirement of clients. And, at some shows, we are also made to sign contracts with various clauses,” said a 22-year-old commerce student.
According to her, local event management companies, who take sub-contracts from main organisers, have been calling her and some four other girls from her group for the same show. Mostly, they register themselves with several event management companies and take up assignments as and when they come.
She says that she finds such clauses that question their integrity derogatory. She adds yet another grouse: “The remunerations offered (Rs 2,000 per day) have hardly gone up since the last VGGIS in 2013. Despite the fact that this time, the show has been organised at a much bigger level.”
The Industrial Bureau Exchange(iNDEXTb), an arm of Gujarat Industry Department and the nodal agency for VGGIS, has outsourced the entire event to K&D. The K&D management, however, refused to comment on the issue. Despite calls and a couple of text messages, Kamlesh Gohil, managing director, did not respond.