Interviews

Atlas Copco Focuses on Products Innovat...

Nitin Lall
“Atlas Copco strongly believes in strategically timed innovations based on genuine market needs/demand. In today’s high pressure competitive environment coupled with the current economic slowdown, the company continues to innovate for sustainable productivity. We have introduced new products in the market, especially for the demolition industry and are also focusing at localisation of a select few products which will give us the desired growth, both in short & long-term. We hope to double revenues in the next 3 years through continuous product innovations, new product launches and empowering customers through value additions and stronger partnerships,” says Mr. Nitin Lall, G.M, Atlas Copco Construction Technique in an Interview with S. A. Faridi.

At Atlas Copco end, what are the measures initiated by it in the present slowdown spell to tweak its business models, business areas, exploring new growth avenues to dispel the prevailing pessimism in and around their businesses?

In today’s high pressure competitive environment coupled with the current economic slowdown, Atlas Copco continues to innovate for sustainable productivity.

Generator
Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area which provides construction and demolition tools, portable compressors, pumps and generators, lighting towers, and compaction and paving equipment, is highly customer focused, product driven and committed to delivering high quality solutions at all times. To tide away the present economic downtrend, we have been aiming at improving our territory coverage to reach new markets. We have also introduced new products in the market, especially for the demolition industry and lastly, we are focusing at localisation of a select few products which will give us the desired growth, both short & long term.

Recently, government has cleared/announced a number of new infrastructure projects and taken necessary steps to fast track their implementation as well. How do you link it with the revival of the CE industry in spite of the Parliamentary election due early next year?

There have been various projects which have been declared in the last 12 months. However, we see there is a huge time lag between projects getting announced & actually started getting executed. I feel this speed will continue to be very similar till the elections are done & the new government is in place. However, the Metro Rail Projects, the Freight corridor, both east and west will give a boost to the CE industry as the financial closure for them has already been announced.

Financing to small and medium contractors has become a big issue as banks and financial institutions have become very selective.How you are helping genuine buyers in getting finance?

Atlas Copco Construction Technique has a strategic tie-up with one of the leading financers in the industry. We are also launching various regional schemes which are designed in such a way that the end customer benefits via credit days or similar as long as the payments are secured.

The equipment market has reached at that critical point where key competitive differentiator would be after market and innovations; how you are looking on this aspect?

As mentioned earlier, Atlas Copco Construction Technique strongly believes in strategically timed innovations based on genuine market needs/demand. This year, we have extended our reach in at least 6 different states of India, via direct & dealer participation.

Atlas Soil Compactor
You are absolutely right, after market is going to be one of the key differentiators. Last year, Atlas Copco created a dedicated Business Line focused wholly on After Market. Almost 50% of our work force is focused at post sales activities. We are offering tailor made solutions, entering into long term service agreements, offering high quality spare parts at India Centric prices, extended warranty programs, toll free number to register customer queries/complaints, regular equipment health checkup service camps etc, to enable Atlas Copco Construction Technique to enhance its offering to the end customer.

Trained operators & technician and preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance.Please brief us on your services.

Atlas Copco Construction Technique Service has a strong team of highly skilled and trained service technicians. These technicians play a key role in preventive maintenance as well as resolving equipment breakdowns. The Construction Technique service team successfully conducts over 30 service camps every year where free inspection of equipment is done and parts are offered at special discounted rates. Service is a core strength of the Atlas Copco Construction Technique business and is a key contributor in creating customer delight.

What kind of growth do you expect in next two-three years for your company and innovative strategies to stave off toughening competition scenario?


Atlas Copco Construction Technique is a growing business area in the Atlas Copco India group. We hope to double revenues in the next 3 years through continuous product innovations, new product launches and empowering customers through value additions and stronger partnerships. We are also ably supported with our own competent sales force coupled with our 50+ strong distributors and growing each year.

How are you planning to participate in the forthcoming CE industry mega event Excon to be held in November this year at Bangalore? What would be the focus of your projection in this mega show?

We are participating as an “Associate Sponsor” in Excon 2013. We will be showcasing key products from our Construction Technique Business Area such as Hydraulic Attachments, Portable Compressors, Road Equipment, Lighting Towers and products for Light compaction & concrete. Excon 2013 will also be a platform to showcase our new products in the demolition equipment segment and new Road Equipment from our Dynapac range.

Our focus will be to heighten the customer experience in a unique and impactful manner. The live demos will result in innovative customer interactions which will contribute towards increasing the flow of prospects/customers.

Atlas Hydraulic Breaker
Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had 39800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90.5 (BEUR 10.5). Learn more at www.atlascopco.com.

Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area provides construction and demolition tools, portable compressors, pumps and generators, lighting towers, and compaction and paving equipment. It offers service through a global network. Construction Technique innovates for sustainable productivity in infrastructure, civil works and road construction projects. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, China and Brazil.

Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It provides hydraulic, pneumatic and petrol-driven breakers and drills and of hydraulic breakers and silent demolition tools attached to carrier units. The products are marketed under the brand name Atlas Copco. The equipment is fabricated in Sweden, Germany, India, Bulgaria, China and South Africa and sold via a worldwide operating sales and service organization.

NBMCW November 2013

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"At Sandvik, our Focus is on Long-...

Raghavan Ramaswamy
"Sandvik's strategy is to focus on the construction and mining sectors as these areas have been identified as sources of major potential growth, which will make significant contribution to the company's top line. Our new manufacturing facility, which will come up in Chakan, Pune, is expected to be up and run by 2016. Although due to global slowdown,there is a pressure on the company to retain its market share in order to maintain momentum which is a tough challenge but as a world-leading company we are geared up to overcome this too. At Sandvik, our focus continues to remain on long-term growth and profitability," says Mr. Raghavan Ramaswamy, Vice President, Global Markets, Sandvik Construction in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

At Sandvik's end, what are the measures initiated by it in the present slowdown spell to tweak its business models, business areas, exploring new growth avenues to dispel the prevailing pessimism in and around their businesses?

Due to the global slowdown and the government's instability, the positive signs from the first two quarters unfortunately did not continue as was anticipated. Demand remains in some segments, but has weakened further in some other as a result of reduced investment activity across the industry. This has increased the pressure to capture market shares in order to maintain momentum even in weaker business climate. At Sandvik, our focus continues to remain on long-term growth and profitability. This is a tough challenge but as a world-leading company, we are geared up to overcome this too.

In its attempt to target the focused area of business, Sandvik Asia, has decided to manufacture India-specific construction equipment as part of its strategy to focus on the construction and mining sector. How is the progress in this regard so far? When the manufacturing unit is expected to go on stream?

Sandvik in India has recently announced the acquisition of 50 acres of land located at Chakan, near Pune (India). This facility has been acquired for the purpose of manufacturing equipment as part of Sandvik's strategy to focus on the construction and mining sectors. These areas have been identified as sources of major potential growth, which will make significant contribution to the company's top line and the facility is expected to be up and running by 2016.

Financing small and medium contractors is becoming difficult these days as the banks as well as the financing companies have become very selective in their financing approach. How can financing to the genuine buyers be eased and ensured?

It is true that financing small and medium contractors is a challenge as institutions have become very selective. In order to ease financing to genuine buyers, it is important to include certain features in the deal that will attract buyers. For example, good discounts or subvention, introducing loss pool or buy back option in the deal. Having said this, financiers could in turn work toward providing certain riders like Guarantee or Warranty Terms, which can have an impact on positive decision making. Promotional Schemes can also be floated for limited period with financers and credit policies can be introduced to customers who are interested.

Tata Hitachi Excavator

Unorganized nature of aggregate industry is a big concern for organized manufacturers as trained operators and technicians with preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance. Please brief us on your services.

At Sandvik, our equipment are engineered for maximum productivity. We offer advanced, rational solutions in an integrated package, able to meet the changing needs of the industry for many years to come. Some of our customers only want sound technical advice. At others, they require concrete technical support, delivered swiftly, competently and cost-effectively. Whatever their needs, we at Sandvik are here to help them. Sandvik has a wealth of experience and teams of experts spanning the globe to help our customers solve equipment-related challenges.

Operating cost plays a big role while buying a machine. Please tell us about fuel/energy efficiency of your machines. Also brief us on the USP of the other inbuilt features of products like reduce vibration & noise or dual power system etc.?

Our (Sandvik's) range of equipment has been developed to take advantage of the industry's trends towards fully autonomous operation. Our equipment (drill, crushers, breakers) have been developed to meet the ever changing industry needs, as well as future requirements as the industry moves towards automated and ultimately, fully autonomous operations. For example, our drilling equipment offer efficiency and precision in drilling, increased safety and comfort in its operating interface, while reducing emission levels and environmental impact. All this clubbed with other features and technology that reduce engine load, save fuel and reduce carbon emissions - as well as ensuring longer service intervals and service life, increased performance and productivity, higher safety and truly 'green' features unmatched by other drill manufacturers. As for crushing and screening, Sandvik can proudly boast that we have some of the most eco-friendly machines to offer and our carbon footprints are the lowest in the crushing and screening industry compared to our peers. Continuous efforts in R&D are being made to offer solution that can set our benchmark even higher in the industry.

30992-Sandvik Crusher

A word about Sandvik 24x7 services programme.

In our continued effort of going that extra mile for our customers, and in order to improve upon our existing aftermarket services, a 24x7 service programme was launched recently that includes customized service offering for customers. This new aftermarket service includes customized offering for customers, as well as the "Sandvik Solitaire Club" providing customers with priority service based on two types of account - Premium or Classique - dependent on their specific requirements and the orientation of their business.This new initiative in aftermarket will provide a strong impetus to the Construction business within India. The initiative will be a game changer which will help us to achieve a paradigm shift in growth in the years to come.

NBMCW November 2013

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Caterpillar® - Active in India on All ...

Ajay Shankar
"Caterpillar® continues to be active in India on a number of fronts. The country represents a tremendous opportunity for Caterpillar, with increasing focus on infrastructure investment and on urgent need for efficiency and higher productivity. Excon is a great stage to display our world-class machines along with many road construction and utility equipment. Also on display will be customers support offerings that Caterpillar and our dealers (GMMCO & TIPL) can deliver. We will be showcasing our product support solutions, rental & used equipment solutions, and Cat Connected Worksite offerings apart from a Cat merchandise stall," informs Mr. Ajay Shankar, Country Head, Caterpillar in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

In the present slowdown spell in India, CE companies are under great pressure; how is Caterpillar with its strong fundamental meeting the challenge through its innovative managerial, technical, and financial measures?

India represents a tremendous opportunity for Caterpillar, with increasing focus on infrastructure investment and an urgent need for efficiency and higher productivity. Some projects may be slowed or delayed due to the current economic circumstances, but our long-term commitment to serving our customers and growing our business is strong. Caterpillar is investing in the Asia Pacific Region, with offices and factories located in over 10 Asia Pacific countries including the Company's regional headquarters in Singapore. Our employees and suppliers have done a great job taking care of our customers, but we have to be prepared for recovery in the developed world beyond 2013-14 and continuing growth in emerging markets. Caterpillar focuses on partnering with the customer, through dealers, to help them understand the options available, and the capability of the machines. What we offer are integrated solutions, right from the kind of purchase that is possible [outright buy, finance option or rental] to the support services needed. Furthermore, technology additions such as machine control and guidance system has clearly demonstrated greater productivity and increased the efficiency of the customer.

Please take us through Caterpillar products development activities, ramping up of operations across the product lines and new products populated in the Indian market during the last 1-2 years.

Caterpillar continues to be active in India on a number of fronts. Some of the significant developments over the past two years includes Caterpillar investing in a $62 million expansion in 2011 of its existing off-highway truck manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Chennai. At Excon [Nov 2011], Caterpillar launched the 770G and 772G off-highway trucks which were manufactured at Thiruvallur and are targeted at the Quarry and Mining segments across India. Perkins is scheduled to start manufacturing its 4000 Series engines in Aurangabad, India, following Caterpillar decision to invest $150m in a new plant. In April 2012, Caterpillar launched the company's new backhoe loader manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Chennai. Most recently we launched the Cat 320 D2 which is an upgraded version of its predecessor 320D.

How is one of Caterpillar's flagship programmes-REMAN progressing? What is the current status of your efforts with various stakeholders and government bodies in identifying a viable plan to scale up remanufacturing activities?

Caterpillar's commitment to sustainable development, and the Company's expertise in manufacturing technololgy and processes, promise a bright future in this area for Cat Reman. As the world leader in remanufacturing, Cat Reman is finding new ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and reclaim materials which once would have been considered waste. Remanufactured goods have the same appearance, performance and life expectancy of new products and carry the same warranty as new parts. The only practical difference to the consumer is that remanufactured parts cost approximately half as much as new parts.

The government of India approved the import of Reman parts in the third quarter of 2012 and Reman imports started in October 2012. We expect Reman part sales to grow in the coming years as customers realize the value in using them. One significant area of opportunity is the mining industry which is already seeing good usage in this segment.

A word about Cat Connected Worksite initiative. How does it ensure higher productivity, better equipment availability and other related benefits to the users?

We understand that productivity and the Customer's bottom line depends on moving material accurately, quickly, and safely. CAT® CONNECT SOLUTION is a solution with site positioning systems, construction asset management services, powerful wireless and Internet-based site communications infrastructure. With the use of this technology, contractors can gain greater insight into their operations, enabling them to lower operating costs and improve accuracy, safety and productivity. This will offer them a significant competitive edge in the market.

cat excavator

AccuGradeTM Productivity solution which supports both 2D (Dimensional) and 3D (Dimensional - GPS based solution) is our primary offering within the CAT CONNECT SOLUTION space and is available on Track Type Tractors, Excavators, Motor Graders and Compactors. The AccuGrade Grade Control System brings to the customer an increase in productivity by up to 40% while reducing their site costs dramatically [savings in fuel consumed were in the range of 40-45%]. The revolutionary Caterpillar solution is factory integrated, sensor-independent, and features a suite of products, which includes cross slope, sonic, laser, GPS, and ATS technology.

There appears to be some forward movement in fast tracking road, port, and airport, metro and mining projects in the country. Inventories of equipment and placement of orders are being finalized.Equipment orders by CIL alone may amount to billions of dollars. Many CE companies are in this race, including Caterpillar. Do you think that this will lift some gloom in the CE market till it breathes easy?

cat compactor
We anticipate tremendous growth opportunities primarily driven by infrastructure needs in India and across the Asia Pacific region. According to Business Monitor International (BMI) the FY2012/13 growth forecast is 6.0 per cent for the Indian construction sector. This has been attributed to non-conducive monetary conditions, policy inertia and lacklustre infrastructure activity which have continued to dampen construction activity for the rest of FY2012/13. However, the outlook for the construction sector beyond FY2012/13 is getting better. Not only are monetary conditions likely to improve for construction companies in FY2013/14, but the government is also making pertinent efforts to remove bottlenecks that are delaying infrastructure projects in India. The current forecast is for real growth for India's construction sector to reach 7.6 per cent in FY2013/14.

What are Caterpillar's plans to participate in the CE market event-Excon 2013, New products and services likely to be unveiled at this mega event?

The message for the Excon 2013 is "Built For It". From our Caterpillar dealer network to the services offered by Caterpillar Financial Services, along with our employees and stakeholders who go the extra mile, to our machines and engines that stand the test of time, Excon is an excellent opportunity to tell the Caterpillar story. Whatever the job, we're up for it, and whatever the challenge, you're ready for it. Together, we're built for it. Excon is a great stage to illustrate this point.

Our world class machines would be on display along with many road construction and utility equipment. Also on display will be Customer Support offerings that Caterpillar and our Dealers (Gmmco & TIPL) can deliver. We will be showcasing our Product support solutions, Rental & Used equipment solutions, and Cat Connected Worksite offerings apart from a Cat merchandise stall.

NBMCW November 2013

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JCB - Blazing New Trail of Success

Vipin Sondhi
JCB India is counting on its positive. . . understanding the need to continually innovate, keeping its existing products line abreast with latest technology and therefore, manufactures and designs products which help the customers in growing their business. "Over the years, our product offering has increased from 7 machine models in 2005 to 25 machine models in 2013. Our upcoming facility in Jaipur will be JCB's fourth manufacturing footprint in India and JCB plans an investment of Rs. 500 crore in the span of next 5 years. We will have 2 plants wherein one will manufacture the fabrications and components. The company plans to start the first phase from March / April 2014 and will keep on scaling up in the years to come to enable JCB India as 'one-stop CE solution' company in CE market within the country and overseas," says Mr. Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, JCB India, in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

It is indeed creditable that JCB India despite facing strong economic headwinds has been showing very robust business and technical performance, pouring new investment in its manufacturing facilities and introducing innovative products and services and moving towards a sustainable long-term growth. What has gone into it enabling it to navigate successfully through choppy waters?

JCB believes in manufacturing India centric products for its customers and that is among the prime reasons we have the largest base of satisfied customers across India which have been loyal to us for years.

JCB India understands the need to continually innovate, keeping its existing product line abreast with latest technology and therefore, manufactures and designs products which help the customers in growing their business.

Over the years, our product offering has increased from 7 machine models in 2005 to 25 machine models in 2013. All JCB products are manufactured on the company philosophy of "One Global Quality". Our products are backed by world class facilities, technology and people, therefore, are unmatched in quality and performance.

The current economic scenario is witnessing a slowdown at the moment but we are confident about India's long-term growth prospects and even in these uncertain times, JCB has been successful in expanding its market share across multiple product lines.

In the interim, we have seen a considerable increase in the exports of our machines. It was about 85% in 2012 over 2011 and we expect a similar increase this year too.

JCB India is in the process of setting up its fourth Greenfield manufacturing facility in Jaipur with a sizeable investment. What is the extent of investment planned for this venture and the timeframe chalked out for its commercial operation to enable JCB India as 'one-stop CE solution' company in CE market within the country and overseas?

The upcoming facility in Jaipur will be JCB's fourth manufacturing footprint in India and JCB plans an investment of Rs. 500 crore in the span of next 5 years. JCB has acquired 115 acres of land.

We will have 2 plants wherein one will manufacture the fabrications and components. The company plans to start the first phase from March / April 2014 and will keep on scaling up in the years to come.

Recently, JCB India launched some of its new products-Tracked Excavators and Wheel Loaders. What has been the market response to this product line and company long-term, market assessment for these as market situation improves in the near future sets?

jcb excavator
The excavators market has gained popularity in the past few years and it is expected grow in the future as demand for specialized machinery is on the rise. JCB offers an unmatched range of Excavators suitable for all kind of excavation work, starting from 8T operating weight (JS81) to 22T operating weight (JS 220LC) to serve the plant hirers, earthmoving and quarrying customer base.

Our latest entrant is the rugged and reliable JS205LC - the 20 tonne Excavator. The new machine will be well suited for applications such as earthwork, quarrying, road construction etc., it offers outstanding cycle time and has a rugged and robust structure which makes it highly durable. JS 205LC provides fuel savings worth Rs. 5.2 lacs in 4 years.

jcb wheelloader
Like all our other machines, JS205LC design is based on the feedback received from our customers.

The New JCB 432 ZX provides exactly what the customer needs - world class loader profile, unmatched operator comfort, best-in-class productivity and improved safety features.

It has the ability to dump at the centre of Wagon & High Bodied Trucks. JCB 432ZX Wheel Loader exhibits exceptional performance in all kind of applications such as roadwork, mass excavation, pipe work and other underground installations, highway maintenance, foundation work, waste/ recycling, crushers etc.

JCB India has a strong pan India presence as far as its dealership network is concerned. What are the systems placed to ensure fast track technical services response to its customers?

JCB India provides the best after sales support to its customers through its largest distribution network. JCB has 555 outlets and 59 dealers spread in every corner of the country.

Like us, our dealer principals are extremely committed to provide unparalleled support to its customers and therefore, run a dealer service van which offers 24x7 assistance to our customers incase of a machine breakdown across India.

We have over 7000 dealer employees who are trained by JCB for selling and servicing these machines.

In a market like CE marked by cut-throat competition with customers overwhelmed by numerous options available to choose a product; what determines the success or failure of a brand? How does JCB's brand delight the customers vis-a-vis differentiated brands available?

JCB is a pioneer in the industry and in the past few years, we have launched machines which are known for its cutting-edge technology and versatility. At JCB, all products' design, production, distribution and marketing have only one central focus i.e. Customers. Focusing on the customer centric approach in business, all product innovation, and improvement is based on the feedback received from the customers.

With the best team in construction equipment proudly in place, JCB will continue to retain its leadership position and create the best value propositions for our customers. Further, we have the most extensive distribution network in the industry with over 555 outlets and 59 dealers.

Over the years, JCB has established some of the finest engineering facilities across the globe. In India, JCB has established centers in Pune and Ballabgarh which cater to the India centric requirements. A dedicated "India Design Center" has also been set up in Pune which caters to the JCB Group global design requirements.

At JCB India, our aim is to provide the most fuel efficient, most productive & safe machines and our team of experts continuously works on achieving this goal.

As the prime movers in organizing Excon 2013, what are company's plans to unveil new products and services and business deals at this mega show?

Excon Trade Fair, South Asia's largest Construction Equipment exhibition is a platform where innovation and technology goes hand in hand. It is a platform for the industry to understand the latest technology that is available for accelerating India's accelerated Infrastructure progress.

As always, JCB will also participate in a big way in South Asia's largest Construction Equipment exhibition - EXCON 2013. We will be the biggest exhibitor in 2013. JCB will unveil many of its much awaited technologically advanced and made-in-India, made-for-India machines.

NBMCW November 2013

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iCEMA Articulating Industry Viewpoints ...

Amit Gossain
"iCEMA's top agenda is to attract government attention to help industry in this tough economic condition. We are also looking at setting up independent facilities for the industry in collaboration with the government - for e.g. setting up test facilities with the Dept. of Heavy Industry and skilling manpower in India. We will also ensure alignment of industry with Government norms and policies, introduce new technology and best practices enhancement through iCEMA panels. The upcoming mega event, EXCON 2013 will help in setting a positive tone for the industry," says Mr. Amit Gossain, President iCEMA and EVP - Marketing, Business Development & Corporate Affairs, JCB India Ltd., in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

Coinciding with Excon 2013, iCEMA organizes conferences on the frontal issues confronting the CE industry. What is the agenda of such conferences this year and their participation profile?

Excon is one of the most popular exhibitions for the Construction Equipment industry in Asia. The event is a perfect platform to exchange information with domestic as well as international players. On the sidelines of the exhibition, we also planned a two-day conference.

The central theme for this conference is "Propelling Sustainable Infrastructure Development." This conference will focus on tabling the challenges and discussing ways to achieve accelerated growth and utilise the opportunities that lie ahead. The discussion will mainly be focused on current scenario and future trends, market opportunities and gaps in key end use sectors of Earthmoving & Construction Equipment (ECE) - Roads & Railways, Urban infrastructure, Irrigation, etc.

Equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, industry end-users, service providers and financiers etc. will be part of this conference.

How over the years the deliberations of such conferences have helped articulate CE industry's concerns in various government and industry foray?

During these conferences and CEs meets, there are senior Government bureaucrats, senior executives from large organisations and other think tanks of the industry who dwell on issues confronting the industry to create an enabling environment for the growth and well being of the industry and its stakeholders.

Ideas are collated and then put forth in a format. There is a Q&A and open house discussion with the large audience as well.

What are the CE industry issues on the iCEMA's top agenda to attract government attention to help in this tough economic condition?

Our primary objective is to work closely with government and project authorities to drive infrastructure development. We are also looking at setting up independent facilities for the industry in collaboration with the government - for e.g. setting up test facilities with the Dept. of Heavy Industry and skilling manpower in India.

Other than this, we will also ensure alignment of industry with Government norms and policies, introduce new technology and best practices enhancement through iCEMA panels.

We are also working with the government to include certain products under Focus Product Scheme (FPS). Currently, we are only utilizing 50% of the total production capacity of the industry and through FPS, we aim to incentivize export and reduce India's current account deficit, both are good for the country and industry.

Certification of Equipment like definition of performance, safety and operation is a big issue as there is no specific/unified guideline, and everyone interprets it as per their own preferences and understanding, hence there is a lot of confusion among end users; what are your suggestions on the same?

A certification body for the Construction Equipment industry will help in solving these issues. Currently, we have CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules) certification given by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) for all the wheeled equipment. For tracked equipment, as they do not ply on roads, we do not have an industry authority to provide any kind of certification - be it in terms of product, safety, emissions etc.

iCEMA has been closely interacting with the Department of Heavy Industry and other organization for setting up an independent test centre for construction equipment industry. This test facility will also serve as a training ground for service engineers thus, improving the overall customer support.

There is a dearth of skilled manpower/operators in the industry. Don't you think there is a dire need of a collective approach from the CE industry to address this issue?

Lack of skilled manpower is one of the prime concerns for the industry. According to the ICEMA-CII- Accenture Vision 2020 report, by 2020, the industry would require over 2 million skilled personnel for the maintenance and operation of equipment which is over and above the workforce employed at present.

To meet this burgeoning demand, iCEMA has submitted its proposal to National Skill Development Corporation for setting up Sector Skill Council for the Construction Equipment Industry. The National Skill Development Council (NSDC) facilitates the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through skill training programs.

icema meeting

Once we have an approval from NSDC, we should have lot of centres for training of operators and mechanics which will enhance the safety, productivity of the operator and quality of infrastructure. It will help in generating employment and thus, it will be positive for the industry, infrastructure and economy.

There is a view that both government as well as industry is worrying too much on the fall of the rupee, current account deficit, external borrowings etc. In such situations, don't you think that all need to focus on manufacturing and rejuvenating supply and demand to offset these problems which are more driven by speculations?

Our concentration should certainly be on reviving the manufacturing and demand supply scenario however, weak rupee, high interest rates, drop in investments do play a critical role in deciding the next course of action.

Government's help with Export for e.g. through Focused Product Scheme will go a long way in setting a positive tone in the industry.

The upcoming mega event, EXCON 2013 will help in setting up a positive tone for the industry. This year edition will focus on ensuring inclusive growth for the economy apart from focusing on the national imperatives of energy efficiency, containing pollution emissions, encouraging localization, promoting exports for the sustainable industrial growth.

NBMCW November 2013

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Hyderabad Metro Project on Track Ensuri...

n v s reddy
Hyderabad Metro Rail is a completely elevated Metro Rail project, with several innovative technical features ensuring better economies of the elevated system. It is being developed as a unique project with emphasis on inter-modal integration, Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities, a good feeder bus service and pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity. It is the world's largest Metro Rail project being executed on PPP mode, with minimum burden on the tax payers. The first stretch of 8 km (Stage-I) will be opened for passenger traffic by March, 2015, said Mr.N.V.S.Reddy, Managing Director - Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

Congratulations for moving fast on your Metrorail project. Kindly enlighten our readers on the current status of Hyderabad metro project including phases ready for operation and stages for which construction and engineering work is in progress.
Thanks. Phase-I of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project covers 3 corridors spanning over 72 km. Corridor-I: Miyapur-LB Nagar 29 Kms; Stations: 27; Corridor-II: JBS-Falaknuma 15 Kms; Stations: 16; Corridor-III: Nagole-Shilparamam 28 Kms; Stations: 23. This is the world's largest mass transit system being implemented on the public private partnership (PPP) mode. Though the entire 72 km is covered in Phase-I, yet for construction convenience it is divided into 6 stages and works are going on in full swing in 5 stages.

What is the total length it would cover when hits the final phase and the targeted deadlines for the completion of the entire project?
Phase-I of the project covers 72 km. The project began in June 2012 and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by June 2017. The first stretch of 8 km (Stage-I) will be opened for passenger traffic by March, 2015.

What is the estimated cost of this project and funding arrangement arrived at?
The project cost per se is Rs.14,132 crore, out of which Rs.1,458 (10%) is being given by Govt. of India as one time capital grant under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme. The remaining Rs.12,674 crore is being financed with 20% Equity [Rs.2,768 crore and 70% of debt (Rs.9,906 crore)]. This Rs.12,674 crore is being entirely raised by the Concessionaire M/s.L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd on their own. They are also spending another Rs.2,243 crore for development of 6 million sqft of property in the 1st phase, whose lease rentals will cross subsidize the losses from passenger operations. Government of Andhra Pradesh is spending an additional Rs.1,980 crore (which does not form part of project cost as per VGF guidelines) for land acquisition, R&R, utility shifting, etc.

Hyderabad Metro

What are the important design and construction features of the project negotiating difficult terrains and crowded areas? What would be the underground and elevated portions of the metro corridors?
It is a completely elevated Metro Rail project. We have not gone underground due to the tough rocky terrain conditions of Hyderabad city, energy efficiency, cost considerations and better economics of the elevated system. We are able to negotiate the difficult terrain and crowded spaces with better engineering solutions and fine tuning of the alignment. The construction method is PSC segmental method and 70% of the construction is through pre-casting. The station design is unique as it is a cantilever type station based on central piers with spine and wings. This avoids portal structures and tunnel effect over the road at Metro stations.

Is there any plan to go in for monorail system as feeder services to compliment the metro system in the city?
We will achieve inter-modal integration through feeder buses ("merry-go-round" system) in the traffic catchment areas (residential colonies & commercial centres); inter-linkage with main rail stations and bus depots; skywalk connectivity from elevated stations to nearby commercial, educational, office complexes (Bangkok model); bicycle stations and tracks; and other pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity.

What about the various important construction and engineering agencies associated with the project?
The following are the construction & engineering agencies associated with the project:

Civil Structures - L&T construction
O&M operator - Keolis, France
Rolling stock - Hyundai Rotem, South Korea
Power - L&T Construction
OETS - L&T Construction
Signalling & TC - Thales, Canada (French Company)
Communication - Thales, Portugal (French Company)
Track Construction - L&T Construction
AFC (Automatic Fare Collection) - Samsung, South Korea

Metro Rail Systems Metro Rail
Additional Information
  • Making use of latecomer advantage, we have studied different Metro Rail systems in the world and are avoiding their mistakes, while adopting their good practises at the same time.
  • Hyderabad Metro Rail is being developed as a unique project with emphasis on inter-modal integration, Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities, a good feeder bus service and pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity. This is not a simple urban transportation project. We are viewing it as an opportunity to redesign an Indian city as a people-friendly green city by weaving several innovative features into it.
  • The financial model for the Hyderabad Metro Rail project is unique. It is the world's largest Metro Rail project being executed in PPP mode, with minimum burden on the tax payer. The 90% of the project cost is financed by the private sector partner and 10% is being financed by Govt. of India. The state government is bearing the cost of land acquisition, R&R, utility shifting, etc. As per our revenue model, 55% of the revenues will come from passenger fares while 40% will be from property development at Metro stations and depots and 5% from advertisements, parking charges, etc. Without increasing the land requirement for the project (269 acres of land requirement was identified by DMRC which prepared DPRs for our project which was originally envisaged as a government project), we have allowed the private sector Concessionaire to go for commercial exploitation of air space at/over the Metro Rail facilities through engineering innovation. The private sector Concessionaire cannot sell the property so developed but can enjoy the lease rentals from property development during the Concession Period.
  • The Concession Period for the Hyderabad Metro Rail is 35 years (including 5 years of construction), it is extendable by another 25 years, if the Concessionaire fulfils all the conditions of Concession Agreement.
  • We have ringfenced the Project with a well drafted and bankable Concession Agreement. The private sector Concessionaire is fairly protected from political and bureaucratic interference with several features like pre-fixed tariff, pre-defined price escalation formula, strict penalties for both the government and the Concessionaire if their respective obligations are not fulfilled, etc. Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., a fully owned Government PSU acts as the single window agency to coordinate with all government departments and agencies and to facilitate the required permissions from different government departments/agencies. It plays a very pro-active role in a business like fashion to facilitate speedy execution of the Project.
Hyderabad Metro Rail

NBMCW October 2013

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