Vibrant Gujarat: A global trade show run by local girls


Draped in a gaudy embroidered sari, 21-year-old Puja Patel greets visitors with a smile before she hands out pamphlets of Chhattisgarh Tourism inside the International Tourism dome at the ongoing Global Trade Show in the state capital. Patel, a third-year student, has never been to Chhattisgarh. But a pleasant personality combined with a good communication skill was enough of this Ahmedabad resident to get hired by the visiting client as a representative of their stall for six days.

At 1,000 stalls of 125 companies from across the globe, some 3,000 girls from Ahmedabad are running the show by filling up the requirement of hostesses that the companies could not bring along. They can easily be mistaken as company employees even as many of them bunk classes to make some quick money along with exposure to a world-class trade show.

Ahmedabad has been an emerging source for hostesses for such events, but the Vibrant Gujarat summit, given its grand scale, is kind of a big ticket for them, many of whom have some previous work experience while others are new to the job.Based on complexion, features and communications skills, they are categorised in A and A+. Depending on this and their readiness for modern and short outfits, they earn anything between Rs 1800 and Rs 4,000 a day. Shorter the skirt, higher the remuneration seems to be the norm."There must be around 3,000 local girls aged between 18 and 22 participating in the Vibrant Gujarat summit," said Viral Joshi, who runs VJ event management firm. Event management companies from Delhi and Mumbai participating in the show have relied on locals like Joshi to source hostesses.

"Depending on their looks and how they dress up, they get paid. Besides, outfits also play a role. However, the upper limit for other events, which is Rs 1,800 for 8 hours, is the base price for the Vibrant Gujarat show. So, the Global Trade Show has given a huge boost to their remuneration," said Joshi.

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