Delivering his welcome speech at the CERA conference held at bauma India CONEXPO-18 in Gurgaon, Satin Sachdeva, Founder & Secretary General of Construction Equipment Rental Association (CERA) and CMD of Equipment Planet, informed the gathering that CERA has been successful in bringing many stakeholders, including equipment manufacturers, hirers, dealers, contractors and financers, on a single platform to voice their concerns and form a consensus to resolve the issues. CERA is also striving to increase penetration of rental equipment, which is very low at 7% in India, as against 65% in Japan, 55% in USA and 35% in China.

CERA
The biggest road block in the smooth functioning of the rental business is delayed or stuck payments, which has led to distress and resulted in the collapse of several construction giants like IL&FS and ERA Infra Engineering, among others. The failure of many projects to take off has been attributed to an acute cash crunch faced by contractors and project executors who could not achieve financial closure for their projects awarded under the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) within the stipulated timelines. In such a scenario, CERA has emerged as a ray of hope as it is engaging government agencies, equipment manufacturers and others involved to hammer out a mutually beneficial resolution of the members’ pressing problems.

As a matter of fact, the increasing investment in the country towards building roads and highways, high speed rail corridors, metro rail networks, smart cities, urban infrastructure, airports and ports, etc, have opened up huge opportunities for the CE industry. This, in turn, has offered brisk business avenues to the rental industry, and to cash in, it is important for the rental companies to address the challenges confronting them.

On its part, CERA is going all out to standardize the rental sector and make it more cohesive and organized. It has, to some extent, managed to address many issues relating to work orders, delayed payments, hiring rates, and lack of skilled manpower. It has roped in equipment manufacturers and contractors and is imparting training to operators. It is working towards creating a certified, skilled pool of trained workers in cooperation with manufacturers like ACE, TIPL and Aman Apollo.

CERA works with government agencies on policy related matters in order to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry and to also explore fresh business avenues in the domestic and international markets. It has a separate wing to provide specialized and strategic services for rental companies by establishing linkages with offshore players in the international arena.

CERA
Sachdeva exhorted the rental players to become CERA members and explained that once a company becomes a member, it automatically gets connected with other members of the association across the country. This wide network helps in quicker mobilization of equipment from one project site to another with minimum cost, and leads to faster execution of projects, thereby benefitting the contractors, equipment manufacturers and the hirers.

CERA has drafted a model hiring agreement to create a legal framework, which will help members to avoid recurrence of any payment related issues, including confiscation of equipment, and active support from a battery of legal experts. CERA has expanded its ambit to many states and has members in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It is in the process of launching chapters in more states and has regional chapters in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and in the Delhi NCR region.

In his presentation, the Chairman of Changsha International Construction Equipment Exhibition 2019 (CICEE), Gao Tai Tao, thanked CERA for offering yeoman service to the rental industry. He informed the audience that the upcoming exhibition in Changsha, China, to be held from 15 to 18 May this year, is aimed at creating China’s largest and full-fledged international exhibition and trading platform for the construction machinery industry.

The 2,13,000 sqm exhibition area will house 8 indoor and 3 outdoor pavilions and is set to attract 1,50,000 Chinese and international visitors. Over 20 enterprises of the world’s top 50 machinery manufacturers and top 20 e-commerce platforms are expected to participate. There will be a special pavilion for the world engineering construction enterprises, 5 state-owned and 8 from Hunan. Apart from this, a summit on Aerial Work Safety and International Standards 2019 will be organized by the International Powered Access Federation for which about 35 companies and IPAF members including USA JLG, France Monitou, USA Terex, Japan Aichi, Germany Veedon, Sinoboom, Dingli and other AWP companies have been invited.

Other CERA members including Rajesh Agarwal, Rishi Aggarwal, VV Rai Singhania, amongst others, also addressed the gathering.
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