Sanjay Aeron
GEO Constech: Mr. Sanjay Aeron, Director, GCPL, discusses the company's transition from an import-based sourcing organization to a research-based product organization, and the immense growth potential ahead as infrastructure development across the country gathers steam.

Please shed light on the establishment, growth and evolution of Geo Constech Pvt. Ltd. (GCPL).
To quote Mr. Churchill: "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." Keeping this in mind, we at GCPL, have evolved from an import-based core sourcing organization to a research-based product organization. While we worked our way with the leading manufacturers from around the world, we observed that only standard products were offered to all their clients, including in India. This was a situation where round packs were supplied to fix square holes, which normally doesn't work as we have varied temperature zones within India, whereas, most of the imported products designed in Europe or America were developed keeping in mind the atmospheric conditions there. India, as a result, was not getting the desired value.

As always, the most critical decision for any enterprise is to know when to stay the course and when to change direction. Our then M.D., Mr. Sandeep Agarwal decided to change the course, and set up a R&D center for providing customized solutions to clients in India. In the last few years, we have been providing value engineering solutions to our clients, along with timely deliveries and services.

What are the important application areas of Geo Constech products?
Geo Constech's prominent application services cover ground control & stabilization by customized chemical grouting, concrete admixtures, strata support by bolting & geo-synthetics products. Under our specialty chemicals for construction grouting services, we handle situations such as water ingress control in railway & road tunnels, sealing water seepage in bunkers, basements of mega structures & buildings of strategic importance, sealing water seepage in underground works of mining & civil infrastructures, soil & sub-surface strengthening, and leveling for railways tracks, airports, highways & other civil structures.

Under our strata control & support services, we offer super special bolting services, with products that include yieldable arch support systems, lining stress controllers, self-drilling anchor bars and many more for usage in underground mines, sub-ground railway & highway tunnels. Under our geo-synthetic services, we provide products & services for railway track stabilization, strengthening of railway tracks & roads, slopes stabilization of canals and open-pit mines, RE walls and a lot more.

Our strong and varied product range includes specialty construction chemicals, geo-synthetic grids & meshes, bolts and specialized product systems for underground operations, some of which we manufacture in India and the rest are being developed & sourced through strategic international alliances. A majority of our products are highly specialized, customized to particular projects, and are patented products from global leaders in the industry.

What control systems has GCPL put in place to ensure that its products meet the expectations of its users?
We follow stringent international ASTM BIS, EU codes and references for quality control. We have a well-developed physics and chemistry laboratory for raw material testing. We follow quality procedures and analysis as per ISO9001:2015. Our well qualified technical team of chemical and mechanical engineers track both inward or outward shipments, we have applied internal codifications for all raw and finished goods including packaging materials, and finished products are always placed in fumigated wooden pallets with specific codes and in a controlled environment. We have process flow sheets, standards, SOPs, and a preventive maintenance schedule. All equipments are calibrated as per standards. Internal audits followed by training programs are run on a monthly basis. Housekeeping services are contracted to a reputed organization for the laboratory and production floor.

Geo Constech Ground Control Products

What is the core strength of Geo Constech?
One word: our people! We work with people and for the people. Our core values are care and compassion. The major difference between organizations is not the products or service, but the people behind it. At GCPL, we understand that everyone has a unique thought process, which needs to be carefully listened to and understood, and then collaborated with, for creating our customized products. This focused approach helps us in strategic thinking and gives us the agility to respond with the right solutions. Our colleagues, clients, consultants, partners, collaborators, and suppliers, are the only asset we have. GCPL is a people-centric organization, moving ahead through the right processes.

What is the company's presence in the country and distribution network, and its plans for market expansion?
GCPL has a wide network of channel partners, own offices and warehouses pan India. We directly engage with clients to understand their issues, following which, products are customized and shipped either directly or through our channel partners. Growth begins with consolidation, so we have beefed-up our network in our current markets. Secondly, we have tried to measure how transferable our company's competitive assets are in the international markets, so GCPL has initiated exports so that international sales will bring some advantages of scale to us. However, adapting to local preferences in foreign countries is also important. As per research: "For every rupee spent retaining an account, it takes six rupees to close a new one." No wonder, it's more profitable to retain customers, so we strive to resolve problems so that they will continue to buy from us 75% of the time. The more value a business offers to its customers, the stronger will be the bond and customer loyalty (as well as dramatic shifts in sales and profitability).

We organize webinars and study talks for our new customers, who typically need to be welcomed and educated about our wide range of products and services. Current customers, who have bought our products and/or services in the past, benefit more from cross-selling messages. Similarly, a portion of customers who are at risk of switching allegiance to a competitor, are being served some sort of retention intervention, while others who remain devoted to GCPL regardless of competitive forces, are rewarded with a loyalty program.

What are GCPL's promotional activities to create awareness of its products and services to the end-users?
Geo Constech GrippHold
Every customer segment has its own unique set of experiences, expectations, needs, and desires from GEO Constech. In order to fully maximize the revenue potential, we divide the market into segments such as civil infra, mining, tunnels, sub-ground level constructions, and so on, and then carefully examine what each of it holds for GCPL. Following this, specific sales and marketing strategies are developed and applied to each of the customer types. We have acquisition strategies that encompass sales and marketing ideas designed to acquire new customers. The goal behind acquisition efforts is to encourage potential buyers to try our product/service and become first-time buyers, and then progress to regular buyers.

How did 2016 pan out for GCPL, and what growth prospects do you see for the sectors you're dealing with?
Infrastructure has been a critical growth element in India's growth story. With a strong but volatile outlook for the sectors we serve, viz mining, civil infrastructure and sub-ground construction including the metals industry, we are focused on future growth through expanded production, and without losing sight of operational efficiency and cost optimization. Like other industries, our sector is also faced with the increased challenges of upgrading operational efficiencies, skill shortage, effectively executing capital projects, and meeting government revenue expectations. However, we understand that the infra sector has been given center stage attention by our government, and we are gearing up to meet the opportunities that this will throw up for us.

Of the many segments, mining, tunneling and civil infrastructure is a major part of our projects. Tunnels are necessary for most infrastructure projects, be it hydro power, water transport tunnels, roads or metro rail projects, or mining. Coal production during April-November 2016, was a staggering 46.90 million tons, steel was 60MT (finished alloy & non alloy) between April 15-November 2016, while cement saw 22,865 tons in the first half year, indicating a recovery mode.

Our major markets are India and Africa, which are extremely promising for our products. We see tremendous business coming from the metro projects across India and MENA regions, as also from the newly allocated mining sites with exploratory possibilities, lots of railway connectivity and capacity enhancement projects. With the government's plan to build 30km of national highways on a daily basis, we see a huge market potential. In 2016 we got associated with prestigious, high stake projects such as USBRL rail link, NFR's dream to take railways to farther parts of the north-east, road projects along costal India, and mining at eastern & central western parts of India. I believe our journey has begun!

NBM&CW December 2016