Spread over 32,00,000 sqft of display area, CII Excon 2023 attracted over 75,000 visitors, 1,021 exhibitors, including more than 100 from overseas (as per preliminary figures; final will be revealed post-UFI audit), and participation by 15 countries, including 5 exclusive country pavilions of France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and UK. Excon once again displayed cutting-edge machines tailored for low emissions and optimal energy efficiency. The OEMs' zeal to support the Prime Minister's vision of achieving net zero by 2070 was clearly evident, as several unveiled Electric and Hydrogen combustion engine equipment, demonstrating their readiness for the future. A pavilion dedicated to Sustainable Power Solutions put the spotlight on green and Innovative technologies, ranging from electric, hybrid and alternate fuels to equipment specifically designed to curtail emission and bolster energy efficiency. Also highlighted was Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Automation that are driving innovation in the industry.
“The construction sector in India currently ranks as the world's third largest. By fostering collaborative endeavors among stakeholders and corporations, and through substantial government support, we have the potential to further propel it to the top spot within the next five years,” said Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, during his inaugural address at the 12th edition of CII EXCON 2023 - South Asia’s largest construction equipment trade fair organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Shri Gadkari said that the construction sector can make a significant contribution to the Prime Minister's vision to make India a carbon neutral economy. To achieve this, the government is embarking on major infrastructure and industrial projects that implement sustainable fuels.
“Construction and mining operations consume 400 crore liters of diesel per year, which is detrimental to the environment and the country’s economy. By using alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen, the construction and mining sectors can effectively reduce emissions. We advocate for industry collaboration to bolster the capabilities of construction through use of sustainable materials and alternative fuels, and construction technologies like precast concrete, which has emerged as a commendable substitute for traditional concrete,” said the Minister.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, informed that India's construction equipment industry is exporting to over 140 countries. To enhance sustainability and efficiency, private players in the construction sector should focus on automation, adoption of advanced technologies, global best practices, use of alternative fuels, and innovations in utilizing waste as raw material for construction projects. Such an approach will reduce both the cost of construction and environmental pollution.
Vivekanand Vanmeeganathan, President, ICEMA, said the in the coming years, the industry will strive to become not only the most sustainable but also the world’s topmost innovator.
Excon 23 was marked by a series of conferences and sessions on topics like Atmanirbhar Bharat (CE Manufacturing); Women in Infrastructure; CEOs Roundtable; a seminar on Components; Italy Meets India; a session on Academia; and a conference by BAI. An exclusive Finance Plaza focussed on the financing needs of customers. CII launched the “Women Building India” – Equal Opportunity Awards that aim to recognize companies that are encouraging a women workforce in the construction sector.
The Vikram Kirloskar Memorial Lecture SeriesAt the inaugural lecture on ‘Future of Green Mobility and Green Fuels’ (instituted by CII in memory of Mr Vikram Kirloskar, its past president and erstwhile Vice Chairperson, Toyota Kirloskar Motors), Shri Nitin Gadkari, paying tribute to the late Mr Vikram Kirloskar, called him a ‘statesman of the automobile industry’ who had supported innovation and new technologies for clean and safe transport systems. The minister said that India can become the biggest automobile producer within the next five years and an exporter of flexi-fuel and green hydrogen engines, and it was time that India’s agriculture sector also diversified into energy and power-based solutions.
He informed that import of ~Rs 16 lakh crore of fossil fuel was not only an economic problem but was also causing pollution in major cities and creating health problems. His ministry was working towards pollution reduction especially since the road sector was responsible for 40% of air pollution.
Geetanjali Vikram Kirloskar, Chairperson & MD, Kirloskar Systems, said that both her husband and the honourable minister had a passion for new technologies, especially in the mobility space, and that the CE industry must strive towards creating a seamless and sustainable mobility landscape.
Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative to make India global manufacturing hubThe conference, ‘Towards Making Indian CE Industry Atmanirbhar & Global Manufacturing Hub’ focused on ease of doing business in India and positioned the industry as an attractive investment destination. Guest of Honor Sanjeet Singh, Senior Advisor, Niti Aayog, said that the construction equipment industry witnessed a historic milestone last year by surpassing the one lakh sales volume mark for the first time. In the coming years, led by continuous infrastructure development, the industry can achieve a 20% increase in sales. He informed that while India ranks amongst the top seven global FDI destinations, the country can also be positioned as a manufacturing FDI destination. “The construction equipment industry emerges as a major growth driver, propelled by government-led manufacturing initiatives. Niti Aayog's strategic focus on infrastructure development aligns with the need for bankable projects to attract investments, with an added emphasis on sustainability,” he said.
Gunjan Krishna, IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development & Director, Industries & Commerce, Government of Karnataka, informed that Karnataka has emerged as an economic powerhouse, recording a remarkable growth rate of 12% over the past decade. Bengaluru, its capital, stands as one of the few cities globally to attract significant FDI, given its excellent manufacturing capabilities and its strategic location. Notably, Bengaluru supplies 50% of infra construction machinery and hosts 40% of research and development activities, which has given a big fillip to the construction sector.
Sandeep Singh, Chairman, Excon Task Force, underscored the need for India to touch 30 trillion by 2040, emphasizing sustainable growth and world-class infrastructure. Karnataka's exemplary performance, particularly its emphasis on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), positions it as a pivotal player in attracting investments to fuel India's economic ascent.
Conference on Construction Industry Issues by BAIIn partnership with CII, the Builders Association of India (BAI) organised a conference on 'Construction Industry Issues,' to enlighten builders and contractors on the recent advancements, reforms, and provisions being made for the construction sector.
At its inauguration, S.N Reddy, President - BAI, emphasised the need for maintaining environmental quality as an important challenge for builders. He said that India's construction machinery market is growing at a fast pace, and lauded the supportive government reforms and policies. Reddy also appreciated Excon as a significant platform for highlighting investment opportunities in advancing India's infrastructure development, as envisioned by the Government.
BAI is fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within the construction sector and is contributing actively to India's economic growth by driving transformative changes within the sector. Through facilitation of open dialogue and sharing of valuable insights, BAI aims to steer the industry towards innovative and sustainable solutions and construction practices.
Round Table on Components for Global CE MarketsSrivats Ram, Vice Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director - Wheels India, opined that there is a notable contrast between India and other countries in the raw material costs of construction equipment. The government is addressing the logistics costs through initiatives like Gati Shakti. Being the fifth largest auto manufacturer, India predominantly sources components locally, and there's a strong likelihood of replicating this success in the construction sector.
Rajesh Bhandari, Senior Managing Director - Gates India, said that while the country exports less than one-fifth of China's scale, our progress reflects a steady journey marked by an 8% increase in equipment manufacturing. Manufacturers cannot compromise on the quality of the components used in the equipment.
Nilanjan Das, Vice President & Head of Supply Chain Management, Tata Hitachi, said that India's infrastructure sector relies heavily on imported components, leading to increased costs, prolonged lead times, and a critical need for timely deliveries. In response to this, the government is actively supporting construction initiatives, which include skilling, and creating a favourable environment for cost competitiveness within the country. The PLI for construction equipment will be a game changer.
Puneet Chandhok, Vice President – Purchase at JCB India, emphasised that to boost regional exports, the industry should prioritize nearby countries. “The initial step involves meeting domestic demands of various players, including OEMs. Subsequently, a resilient supply chain should be established with a focus on tier-3 and tier-4 markets.”
Sitaram Ganeshan, President - Wipro Hydraulics India, said that the Indian equipment suppliers industry has stringent standards for procuring high-quality equipment, making it favourable for OEMs. While the workforce primarily engages in the final assembly stage, the essence lies in manufacturing technologies. To facilitate this, the government's role should extend to providing land and streamlining regulatory processes.
Celebrating 'Women Building India - Equal Opportunity Awards' to foster gender inclusivity in Construction IndustryThe CII Excon witnessed a significant milestone with the 'Women Building India - Equal Opportunity Awards,' a platform dedicated to recognizing and promoting gender inclusivity in the construction industry. The award ceremony brought together industry leaders, experts, and distinguished guests to address the imperative of empowering women in the sector.
Chief Guest R Dinesh, President, CII & Chairman, TVS Supply Chain Solutions, said, "Gender parity needs to be driven at the leadership level. Companies not only need to become inclusive in hiring and recruitment but also take steps in gender responsive procurement. Let's redefine success beyond numbers and ensure that our collective growth is also due to our focus on gender diversity, breaking barriers, and fostering an economy where women flourish as leaders,” he said.
Kamal Bali, Chairman, CII Southern Region, said, "The awards celebrate the strides made by women in real estate and construction, and acknowledge their potential in addressing the skills gap and contributing to the industry's advancement. CII remains committed to fostering inclusivity, as demonstrated by initiatives like the 'Indian Women Network' and the newly launched 'CII Centre for Women Leadership,' reflecting the industry's collective dedication to creating a more diverse and equitable workforce."
V G Sakthi Kumar, Managing Director - Schwing Stetter India, was recognized as ‘Committed Leader’ for fostering gender diversity. Cummins India was acclaimed for fostering an inclusive workplace, and commitment to diversity and equal opportunities. JCB's initiative for the shopfloor was acknowledged for the company’s efforts in creating a more inclusive and dynamic work environment.
Arvind K Garg, Chairman - Taskforce on Women in Infrastructure, CII Excon, and VP- Larsen & Toubro, and Rumjhum Chatterjee, a jury member for the Awards, shared their perspectives on the importance of gender inclusivity in the sector. The awards not only commend exemplary achievements but also inspire further progress toward a more diverse and equitable construction industry.
MES, BRO & CE collaborate for efficiency in infra developmentAt a session on ‘Exploring Opportunities in Defence & Border Roads Projects’, Lt Gen. Raghu Srinivasan, Director General - Border Roads Organisation (BRO), said, that by engaging with our industry partners, BRO is meeting its evolving requirements for advanced engineering and construction equipment that significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the infrastructure development process.
Lt. Gen Arvind Walia, Engineer -In- Chief, MES, Ministry of Defence, said, “As we navigate technological innovations, construction equipment plays a crucial role in reshaping the world we live in. With a focus on defence infrastructure and an allocation of almost 3.3% of our GDP (~125 billion US dollars), we are poised to contribute to the nation's growth and technological prowess and meet the evolving demands of a rapidly growing economy."
Participants at the session included Sandeep Singh, MD-Tata Hitachi, and Anand Sundaresan, MD - Ammann India.
CEO Roundtable on ‘Infrastructure Growth Story – Driving Sustained Demand’Prominent industry leaders gathered for an in-depth conversation on the challenges and opportunities in India's construction equipment sector. The session highlighted sustainable development, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, safety at sites for users of aerial work platforms, etc. The participants recognized the importance of private-sector funding to supplement government initiatives in infrastructure advancement; digitalization, minimal Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), and collaboration between industry and academia to tackle skill shortage in the construction industry.
Vivekanand Vanmeeganathan, President, ICEMA, said, “The industry acknowledges the importance of ESG. Our commitment to sustainable practices is not only for current operations but also for ensuring a sustainable future for the industry.”
Jaswinder Singh Bakshi, Chairman – Taskforce on User Industry Excon 2023, said that the government's focus on infrastructure is evident in increasing budget outlays, and flagship initiatives like NIP, NLP, and GMP that are driving steady growth. “Optimism is high due to a pipeline of projects, indicating sustained and growing demand for the next five years."
Other speakers at the session included Sandeep Singh, MD - Tata Hitachi, V G Sakthikumar, MD-Schwing Stetter India, Munish Sharda, Group Executive & Head (Bharat Banking), Axis Banking; Ramu Ravuri, MD - Sree Raja Rajeswari Constructions (India), and Dhruv Sharma, Founder, Reach International.
CDP, UNACEA, and IICCI Workshop and Digital B2B MeetingCDP, in collaboration with UNACEA and IICCI (The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), hosted a workshop and a digital B2B meeting that aimed to bridge the gap between Italian and Indian companies in the construction and infrastructure sector, and foster international partnerships for mutual growth and development.
The workshop commenced with a brief introduction to the CDP Business Matching platform by Alfonso Tagliaferri (Consul General of Italy in Bengaluru), Riccardo Honorati Bianchi (Head of Country System Initiatives at CDP), and Claudio Maffioletti (CEO & Secretary General at IICCI). The Indo-Italian business opportunities in the construction sector featured insights from industry experts such as Corrado Serrentino at UNACEA, Deepak Garg at ICEMA, and Aniruddha Nakhawa at BAI, on the vast potential for collaboration.
Manuela Galante (Managing Director - Metalgalante SpA), Federico Furlani (Chairman - Simem SpA), and Gianni Cardoni (Sales Manager - Sicoma OMG), gave presentations on their company's technologies and highlighted opportunities for collaboration.
The digital B2B meeting conducted on the CDP Business Matching platform also offered post-Excon opportunities for ongoing collaboration, ensuring that businesses could continue to engage with potential partners in the future.
NBM&CW, the official publication of Excon ‘23, is India's premier magazine for construction equipment and machinery and it has the largest readership in the infra construction sector. During the trade event, our strong editorial and marketing teams were stationed across the venue for in-depth interviews with the exhibiting companies and to cover the numerous conferences and OEM meets, as can be seen in our comprehensive post-Excon report.
Our stall saw a significant turnout, with a visitorship of over 7,000 contractors, builders, developers, and rental companies. Interacting with such a diverse audience over the course of five days was a truly enriching experience, providing us with valuable insights into the construction industry. What delighted us the most was the visitors' eagerness and enthusiasm to learn about innovation and the latest technologies. We distributed several thousand copies of NBM&CW to technology enthusiasts, including delegates representing builders, OEMs, government bodies, and industry associations.
NBM&CW takes pride in being at the forefront of reporting new technological innovations, equipment launches, and the latest developments in the infra construction sector.