Interviews

Raj Petro Optimistic on Lubricant Deman...

N.C. Sekharan
"Raj Petro manufactures and markets the entire range of engine crankcase oils, transmission oils, hydraulics, greases and coolant required for on- and off-highways construction equipment segment. We keep launching new products on a continuous basis, depending upon technology changes and future trends, keeping in line with market demand. We have the capability to serve customers across the country using our nationwide distribution and sales network. With the high level of optimism being witnessed due to formation of stable government, we expect a sturdy increase in mining output and new infrastructure projects, creating a strong demand for lubricant," says N. C. Sekharan, Vice President - Direct Business, Raj Petro Specialties Pvt. Ltd. in an interview of S.A.Faridi.

How does Raj Petro see demand of lubricants from the construction and mining equipment segment in the wake of stable government at the centre and what could be major growth drivers?
With the high level of optimism being witnessed around us, one should reasonably expect a sturdy increase in mining output, particularly in coal output, as well as the announcement of a spate of new infrastructure projects. These drivers are bound to increase the demand for lubricants significantly from these two segments.

Please provide an overview of Raj Petro's Indian and overseas operations. What is your complete product portfolio for on-and off-highways construction equipment?
We are currently operating throughout the country after establishing a nation-wide distribution and sales network. We have the capability to serve customers across the country using this network. Our export department caters to requirements of overseas customers. For the sake of serving the Middle East and African markets, we have already established a sales office and supply source at Dubai. We manufacture and market the entire range of engine crankcase oils, transmission oils, hydraulics, greases and coolants required for this segment.

What is the USP of your offerings? How well is the company positioned to provide customized solutions? A word about your R&D Wing and tie up with OEM.
We offer the most advanced types of high performance engine oils across our product segments. These products are formulated with high quality Gp 2 and Gp 3 base oils and specially selected additive technologies. We have secured approvals from the leading global OEMs for our premium products. In India, we have conducted monitored Field Tests totalling about 2 million kms, in order to demonstrate the real capabilities of our products. We have been able to demonstrate extra long drain intervals with our oils with increased levels of engine protection and wear control.

Could you please elaborate on Raj Petro's newer advancements in lubricants offerings and approach behind offering valued products?
As India continues to advance towards higher levels of exhaust emission control and lower CO2 emissions, new engine technologies are being deployed by the OEMs. These advancements require specialized high performance oils that cater to the new design engines and also offer protection to the sensitive exhaust after treatment devices. Also, in pursuance of the new fuel economy norms now being stipulated, we perceive new opportunities to develop energy efficient engine and transmission oil technologies working in close collaboration with the OEMs.

Raj Petro Lubricant

What is the nature of support rendered, precisely for used oil testing, on site condition monitoring analysis as preventive maintenance tools for higher equipment uptime and cost efficiency?
We manage a comprehensive used oil condition monitoring system for our customers, which assists them in changing oils at prescribed service intervals and is also capable of predicting engine malfunctions which can then trigger rapid preventive maintenance initiatives. These initiatives help the fleet and mining machinery operators to reduce their downtime and also the total cost of ownership. More importantly, this support also helps the fleets to achieve higher levels of operating efficiency.

What is Raj Petro's prime strategy towards ensuring brand promotion of its lubricants?
We conduct technical seminars and workshops for our direct customers. We have recently started media advertising in selected trade magazines. We also participate in industry exhibitions and technical seminars in order to promote the Zoomol brand.

A word about your distribution network and strategic stock points.
We now operate in about 13 states of India with fully equipped warehouses and distributors. We also have placed dedicated sales staff at all key locations, in order to lend more customer focus to our marketing efforts.

Do you have any expansion program in terms of product launch and capacity expansion?
We have sufficient manufacturing capacity right now to take care of our short term growth plans. New products are launched on a continuous basis, depending upon technology changes and future trends, keeping in line with market demand.

NBMCW July 2014

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SKF Bets Big on Higher Demand Scenario

Rajesh Thantry
"With the new government at the Centre, we are expecting a renewed focus and attention towards Mega infrastructure projects in sectors like roads, irrigation, and power. Substantial infrastructure investment will drive higher demand for construction equipment and we, at SKF, are well equipped to cater to the higher demand. Close cooperation with equipment manufacturers and end users has given us a unique understanding of the industry demands scenario which help us to cater to the changing industry requirements with our comprehensive, high quality, reliable and energy efficient solutions improving productivity and reducing the total cost of ownership," says Mr. Rajesh Thantry, Head Off-highway & Railway Business, Strategic Industries, SKF India, in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

How do you see the business outlook for Indian off-highway construction and mining equipment in general and SKF Bearings business in particular in the wake of new government?
Infrastructure development is a key driver of India's economic growth in this decade. Substantial infrastructure investment will also drive higher demand for construction equipment and SKF is well equipped to cater to the demand. Backed by deep construction vehicle application experience and a wide range of products and solutions, SKF is able to deliver fully integrated, optimized solutions.

Key to infrastructure development will be for the government to create a favorable policy environment that will revive and bring speed to several long pending infrastructure projects. Rural demand due to irrigation projects, state government sponsored road projects, Metro projects across the country which promises to create demand in cities, dedicated freight corridor, centre's announcement of river connecting project amongst other positive developments should augur well to create higher demand for construction equipment.

We at SKF are ready to serve our customers drawing on decades of expertise in bearings, seals, lubrication and more and helping construction equipment OEMs and end users achieve higher reliability, safety and environmental goals for a range of machinery applications. Whether it is a complete, integrated unit with less maintenance and re-lubrication, or a centralized lubrication system that automates time-consuming greasing tasks, SKF solutions are meeting the industry's expanding application demands.

Please provide us an overview of SKF India's operation briefly touching upon its various segments and important milestones which enable the company to reach on the current stature.
SKF's roots in India can be traced back to 1923, when a trading arm of SKF Group was set up in Kolkata. Since then SKF has been serving the Indian market with high quality products and solutions.

Bearing Assortement
Today, SKF has 6 manufacturing facilities across India with Ahmedabad facility manufacturing industrial bearings and the Mysore facility manufacturing Sealing solutions for Industrial and Automotive applications. In 2010, SKF acquired Lincoln Group which is represented in India as Lincoln Helios India Ltd, an SKF Group entity. With a supplier network of over 300 distributors, SKF continues to serve the varied markets with reliable solutions. SKF's products and services range across 5 platforms, namely: Bearings and Units, Seals, Lubrication Systems, Mechatronics and Services. To make full global resources of SKF accessible to our customers, we have created SKF Solution factories which bring people, services and technologies together to deliver custom solutions. The services at SKF solution factory range from engineering consultancy for original equipment manufacturers to bearing remanufacturing and cloud-based remote monitoring and diagnostics. SKF inaugurated state-of-the-art Global Technical Centre India (GTCI) in Bangalore in December 2011, reinforcing its group strategy to open engineering hubs to work closely with customers.

SKF is taking a more holistic approach that includes and considers the needs of both equipment makers and the users of the equipment. By taking the SKF Lifecycle Management approach, we utilize the knowledge of both our design teams and our field application specialists to create next-generation designs that reflect real world conditions, and to recommend maintenance practices that maximize the equipment's life and reliability. This is what sets SKF apart and has helped us surge forward.

What is the role of your Global technical centre in India?
SKF's Global technical center in India drives innovation by developing products and solutions for local and global customers in a faster and in an effective way.

The-state-of-art centre located in Bangalore focuses on testing and on providing advanced technical knowledge for design, process and supplier validation. In addition, the Centre conducts bearing analysis and has a fully equipped laboratory for metallurgy and chemistry, mechatronics and product investigation centre in order to:
  1. Develop significant critical mass in engineering knowledge where the market is growing
  2. Develop the ability to quickly analyze and support the needs in the Indian markets
  3. Design components (to SKF Global Design Standards) for local market
Synchronizing our global capabilities and expertise, GTCI conducts testing, optimizes and manufactures innovative products and services to meet the needs of off-highway customers.

With the establishment of GTCI, more locally adapted products are developed in lesser time. More Knowledge Engineers are deployed to prioritize the requisites of the local market as per industry needs. Currently, GTCI has a fully functional engineering and leadership team working on various local, regional and global projects. The state of the art laboratories at GTCI ensures reliability, accuracy and speed in each project.

SKF hydraulic seals cylinder
SKF sealing solutions for hydraulic cylinder

What are the products and services being offered by SKF to the off-highway segment?
Close cooperation with equipment manufacturers and end users has given SKF a unique understanding of the industry demands. SKF is geared up to cater to the demands of construction segment right from the design stage to the service requirements of the end users; by leveraging on its strengths of – GTCI and Solution Factory in India along with the global expertise and proven solutions based on Life cycle management approach.

We provide complete solutions by way of bearings, sealing solutions, central lubrication systems, condition monitoring and design engineering for the off-highway, construction and agricultural machinery.

SKF has a broad range of bearings types like standard cylindrical roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, plain bearings, slewing bearings. Also, we have world-class unique offerings like Y-bearings for agricultural applications, SKF Explorer class spherical roller bearings and application-specific sensorised bearings; all of which ensure reliability and energy-efficiency to OEMs and end users alike.

We also provide comprehensive sealing solutions for all parts of off-highway machines ranging from engine and transmission, chassis and suspensions, drivelines, undercarriages, hydraulic cylinders and sealed for life products like SKF Agri Hub for agricultural applications. With SKF sealing solutions, customers can reduce weight, noise and simplify installation.

By integrating mechanical, electronic and information technologies, we help customers design smart products through mechatronics that provide high reliability in harsh environments and reduce maintenance cost. We also provide extensive range of customized lubrication systems which optimize efficiency, reduce maintenance and enhance reliability.

The opening of GTCI is part of SKF's technology strategy to develop a global product development and engineering organization. Our customers in India will benefit from "closer to home" availability of SKF's global knowledge and expertise to address the growing need in India by incorporating latest technology in their new product development.

Thus, SKF offers a full range of services to both OEM and aftermarket customers at each phase of the asset life cycle which improve productivity and reduce the maintenance cost.

Metallurgy and greasing play a big role in the performance of maintenance-free bearings; how does your R&D Centre ensure minimum wear-free performance of bearings in the Indian conditions where, in many cases equipment are either over used or rather abused?
Motor encoder units
SKF motor encoder units
Off-Highway vehicles are expected to work in challenging and demanding environment where maintenance and repairs are often inconvenient and potentially costly. SKF has looked at ways of making life easier for Off-Highway vehicle operators. Applications have been targeted where the effects of contamination from harsh conditions can take their toll. These include critical applications for the axle pivot joint and the kingpin, oscillating articulation joints and boom applications.

The result is innovative offerings components that combine SKF's expertise in materials knowledge with advanced lubrication and sealing concepts. The solutions offered are lubrication-free and environmental- friendly.

These maintenance-free bearings from SKF offer a number of advantages for OEMs and end users alike, like minimal maintenance and reduced lubricant consumption. Also, the impact that maintenance-free bearings have on the environment is an added benefit.

SKF manufactures maintenance-free spherical plain bearings in a variety of designs and a wide range of sizes which help to eliminate the need for relubrication, and reduce the total cost of ownership.

SKF maintenance-free spherical plain bearings incorporate special sliding layers of modern materials which have very low friction. They are used for applications where long bearing lives are required without maintenance, or where operating conditions are such that the use of steel / steel bearing is inadvisable.

SKF also has a unique and novel solution in form of Extended Life plain bearings. Featuring high-grade, carbon chromium steel to minimize the risk of corrosion, SKF Extended Life Plain Bearings offer a relubrication-free alternative to frequent re-greasing. Non-toxic grease fills the bearing, which is then sealed with steel-reinforced SKF LS heavy duty triple-lip seals for high performance over long periods.

Aftermarket is considered to be the most important segment for the brand recall. How is SKF positioned to address the client's needs significantly, timely availability of its offerings and competitive pricing which are precursor towards brand recall?
Effective management of assets throughout their lifecycle can deliver significant value and reduce total cost of ownership. Building on SKF Life Cycle Management approach, SKF has developed advanced services and technologies to maintain, monitor, repair and optimise the assets throughout their operating life; providing the optimum replacement parts at the right time and helping our customers to optimize their asset efficiency.

We channel our end user knowledge back into the specification phase of next generation equipment. Technologies, such as condition monitoring, can be designed into new OEM assets or retrofitted, constantly improving and providing differentiation in competitive markets, adding value, and extending the possibilities for aftermarket services and enhanced machinery maintenance.

At every stage of the asset life cycle, SKF products, advanced services and solutions help our customers improve productivity, reduce maintenance costs, improve energy and resource efficiency, and optimize designs for long service life and reliability; ultimately helping to make the end users more successful, sustainable, and profitable.

SKF's network of over 300 distributors is an essential part of the company's supplier ecosystem. Given their geographical proximity to customers and a sound knowledge of the market demand, distributors can effectively service the end users. SKF also has strategically located regional warehouses which stock products based on customer needs and make them readily available as per requirement and location of the customer.

Thus, through extended partnership, SKF can offer value based solutions for total product lifecycle optimization and lower operational costs for the customers.

Would you please elaborate on SKF integrated sensor solutions for off-highway? How does it help in increasing the performance of equipment?
Innovative, reliable and well proven, SKF sensor technology is state of the art and based on SKF's extensive knowledge and experience of bearings and surrounding machine parts. SKF knows how to apply this technology to help customers meet the ever increasing demands in the off-highway vehicle industry. Thoroughly tested and proven to perform in rough off-highway conditions, the integrated sensor solutions are hard at work around the world in applications such as sensor bearings on motors, cabin rotation and angular position of joints.

SKF sensorised solutions consist of various offerings like sensorised bearing units for speed, position and directions; drive by wire for improved equipment performance and efficiency; motor encoder & roller encoder units for forklift and other construction equipments; electronic parking brake; all of which improve productivity.

When it comes to integrating sensors into bearings, resulting in the optimal position for accurate measurements, SKF offers unmatched capabilities. SKF has the capability to offer customized solutions to meet the customer's specific needs. The integrated sensors are more robust and compact due to built in sensors. It is also able to measure at the optimal position-the bearing or shaft- for better precision.

SKF sensor solutions are truly integrated and hence fewer components are required. This contributes to reduced size and weight, while also helping to reduce costs. The integrated design also helps protect the sensors in demanding work environment, which the off-highway machines are subjected to.

NBMCW July 2014

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Terex– Upbeat on CE Sector's Growth P...

Rajesh Srivastava
"The next few years are expected to bring good business growth for the CE industry. We expect our sales to record over 15-20% growth. A mix of agile marketing strategy coupled with visionary leadership of our management team is helping us move forward in this direction. We are currently implementing a major overhaul of our distribution network by adding dealer sales, service points to serve our customers across the country. Besides, we are also coming up with new product line that includes 3-5T wheel Loaders and new models of Skid Steer Loaders. Moreover, our new product introduction plan of new Backhoe loader models is expected to be a game changer in backhoe segment. Our USP is the low maintenance costs of our machines vis-à-vis our competitor's models in the same category," says Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, General Manager, Terex Equipment India, in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

Industries' wish to have stable government at the centre to attract more investors is fulfilled now. How do you see the growth of construction equipment industry in the wake of new government in general and your company business in particular in the next few years?
Ground level forecast by our sales team suggests that the demand curve has bottomed out, and we can expect an uptrend. We are optimistic about state and central projects pulling up demand provided land can be acquired for such projects. We will watch how things unfold over the next 6-9 months. In the eventuality of a weak monsoon, quick government action to launch counter measures would pull up activity in the short run. But the consequential fall in rural incomes could be a cause of worry. However, the next few years are expected to bring good business growth for the CE industry. We expect our sales to record over 15-20% growth. Managing our bottom line is an altogether different challenge.

India is a land where there is an ample scope of infrastructure development which can result in demand for construction equipment. But for this, we immediately need good governance. What are your expectations from the new government in terms of policy reforms, project clearances, financing and transparency in the system?
Terex Backhoe Loaders
The issue of land and its acquisition and declared land use coupled with fair compensation & rehabilitation of land owners is a very tricky issue. Besides, sorting out technical issues arising from the above, the Govt is expected to act in a much more ethical & transparent manner. Acts / rules & regulations related to land and related issues need to be carefully drawn out by taking in views of all stakeholders. We hope that the new Govt will be sensitive to the needs of the industry & will take decisions in time under a clearly defined and stable policy framework. This in itself will be good enough for us to firm up business plans for the next 3-5 years.

Terex has targeted to achieve 10-12 percent share in backhoe segment. What are your plans and strategies to achieve the targeted growth?
We are not only motivated to get there but also are standing on firm footing and in line to hit the target of >10% market share by 2015. A mix of agile marketing strategy coupled with visionary leadership of our management team is helping us move forward in this direction. We are currently implementing a major overhaul of our distribution network by adding dealer sales, service points to serve our customers across the country. In 2014 we have added 6 new dealers in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh & Chhattisgarh.

Besides, augmenting the dealer network, we are also investing heavily in training of manpower and dealer business development and helping them become more responsive to the fast changing profile and needs of our customers. Our new product introduction plan of new Backhoe loader models is expected to be a game changer in this segment.

Terex Dealer in Himachal Pradesh
New Dealer Opening in Himachal Pradesh, Dist Mandi

It has been observed that Terex is continuously busy in adding new products in its basket such as Skid steer, Light tower etc and also in upgrading existing products. What are new on card?
Our new product line-up includes 3-5T wheel Loaders and new models of Skid Steer Loaders. These products will offer to the market the latest innovations and applicability required for the varied earthwork / material handling challenges. The feasibility of the tracked Excavator is also being studied and we may soon announce our plans for this segment.

What is the USP of your products portfolio?
Our USP is the low maintenance costs of our machines vis-à-vis our competitor's models in the same category. Over a period of 2-3 years none of the major sub-assemblies of our backhoe (axle, transmission etc.) need to come in for any major overhaul, whereas almost each component of the power train and the engine of our competitor's models require either an overhaul or complete replacement in the same time. These days a Transmission or Engine overhaul can be expensive, esp if, spare parts and service capabilities are not available in the open market.

How are you engineering a fuel efficient and green product which, on the other side, is also comparatively priced?
Engine development is a technically challenging exercise. This requires high degree of collaboration with key players in this business. We are constantly in discussions with all major manufacturers, to bring in the latest developments in this field. We have a fairly good understanding on this subject, thanks to the market feedback from other Terex companies doing business in different countries of the world. Fuel efficiency is a buzzword, slightly overrated in our industry. The game is,making power available at a point to do ajob, under unique set site conditions. It is the entire powertrain that needs to work as a synchronized unit for a machine to accomplish its task safely and efficiently.

A word about your engineering and manufacturing strength.
We draw our engineering strength from a dedicated & highly experienced team of engineers at TIRC (Terex India Research Center) Bangalore. This team of motivated design and engineering professionals work on varied engineering, design problems put forward to them by various Terex Group companies from around the world. They provide cutting edge solutions to not only our product development teams, but also for our manufacturing and vendor development teams across different product platforms and business verticals. The manufacturing team at TEPL is focused group of professionals committed to a lean manufacturing environment. Our team employs the latest technology and Industrial Engineering principles to reduce non-value added activities and cut down heavily on re-work and wastage. This has yielded substantial savings over the past few years. Alongside, the manufacturing team our Vendor development, Purchase and Quality teams also work as a cohesive unit to deliver what our customers need, "A Reliable, safe and efficient machine"

After taking over the reign as new General Manger at Terex India; what has been your initiatives to strengthen your pan India presence through developing innovative dealership system?
The main thrust area of my work, besides network expansion, has been to help & make the distribution network more responsive to the customer needs. This means, not only, to have Dealer Distributor points at strategically important locations, but also to encourage them to invest in their human capital, processes and systems which will help them to serve the customer in a better and efficient manner.

We have launched several innovative Dealer support programs on manpower skill developmentand overall management skills up-gradation. We have also helped Dealers to design their own region specific marketing, sales promotion campaigns. Today, no two markets are alike &each market or region has its own set of peculiarities which need to be appropriately addressed by marketers. We are now implementing a very unique on line, social media marketing strategy for Terex India. This will help us to efficiently connect with the changing buyer profile of our products and services.

NBMCW July 2014

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ICS Group – An Integrated Player in R...

Kunal Premnarayan
ICS Group, founded in 1998, was initially focused on heavy infrastructure like roads, power, water etc., but over the years, it has strategically shifted its focus to real estate, hospitality and financial services. "Our vision is to be an integrated player in this sector and to create value for all its stakeholders. We aim to institutionalize the process of development and management of real estate. With a strong base created, our focus is to consolidate and to fast track growth by capitalizing on the synergies offered by our complementing businesses," says Mr. Kunal Premnarayen, Group CEO, ICS Group, in an interview with Maria R.

Could you please start with a brief note on the evolution of ICS Group including the inspiration behind the launch of this group?
ICS Group was founded in 1998 by Mr. Deepak Premnarayen, Executive Chairman. He saw that the infrastructure development was lagging far behind the exponential growth India has witnessed post 1991. The need was to develop and strengthen the physical infrastructure in the country. ICS Group was initially focused on heavy infrastructure such as roads, power, and water etc., but over the years, it has strategically shifted its focus to real estate and hospitality. ICS’ vision is to be an integrated player in this sector and to create value for all its stakeholders.

ICS Group companies are involved in real estate, hospitality, assets management, and financial services. What are the services being offered by your various verticals? Please tell us about some of the prestigious projects executed by your Group?
ICS Group has interest in real estate, asset management, financial services and hospitality.

Thane One Mumbai
Thane One– Developed and managed by Pioneer Property Zone, Designed by Bentel Associates,

Real Estate:

  • Pioneer Property Zone– is the property development and management business of the Group. PPZ is unique in its offering of complete end-to-end property solutions, with the objective of creating successful assets and providing a comprehensive experience to the end customers.
  • Bentel Associates Realty Design Consultants Private Limited – is the architectural design and development division. It offers a host of services including master planning, project concept and development, architectural design and development, interior design, graphic design and store planning.
  • Secure Parking Solutions – is the car park management division. It provides end-to-end solutions, right from the conceptualization or design stage up to the actual management of car parks. Secure also provides parking equipments.

Financial Services:

  • Asset Management - ICS asset management arm provides investment management/ advisory services to institutions/ funds focused on the Indian real estate sector.
  • Corporate Finance - provides comprehensive and wide range of financial services to its clients. It has a dedicated team of senior professionals who bring forth a combination of strategic, operational and corporate finance skills.

Hospitality:

  • Ayana Hospitality– ICS has forayed into the luxury boutique hospitality segment. Currently Ayana has operational and upcoming properties in Goa, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
    Some of our prestigious projects are:
  • Bentel Associates: Oberoi Mall - Mumbai, South City Mall - Kolkata, U B city - Bangalore, D B Mall – Bhopal, Pacific Mall – Dehradun, Thane One - Mumbai (LEED Platinum certified and Asia Pacific Property Awards winner in 2013)
  • Pioneer Property Zone: Trillium Mall – Amritsar, Capital City – Delhi, Pacific Mall – Delhi, Majeera Mall – Hyderabad, Bailey Square - Patna
  • Secure Parking: Inorbit Mall- Mumbai, High Street Phoenix - Mumbai, Lulu Mall – Kochi, Orion Mall – Bangalore, Viviana Mall - Thane, Trident Hotel - Mumbai.
  • Asset Management: ICS has partnered with Prozone Capital Shopping Centre to develop 3 large mixed use developments in Aurangabad, Nagpur and Coimbatore. The total investment is Rs.375 crores and the total developable area is in excess of 6 million sq ft. Aurangabad Mall is operational from last 3 years while the Nagpur and Coimbatore projects are in various stages of development.
  • Ayana Hospitality: Safira River Front Resort – Goa, Ekaant the retreat - Lavasa
Is the Group looking to spread its horizon in other sectors also? If so, please shed some light on this new development and its progress so far.
Currently the Group is not looking at diversification. It is focusing on consolidating and growing its existing businesses.

High Street Phoenix Mumbai
High Street Phoenix, Mumbai – Car park management and valet service by Secure Parking Solution
Why does ICS believe in collaborating mainly with the leading global players? Please enumerate on your various partnerships and their contribution toward the development of your firm.
Yes, ICS has partnered with international domain leaders for its businesses.

The key reasons for allying with these specific partners are that they have the functional expertise and deep domain knowledge of the respective businesses. ICS has been successful in setting up businesses with these partners, which have truly Indianized and are adding significant value to projects across the country using the technical expertise and ICS’s deep understanding of the local market.

Our partners are:

  • Property Management & Development and Asset Management – Old Mutual Property (part of Old Mutual Plc listed on FTSE)
  • Architecture – Bentel Associates International, South Africa (has more than 50 years of designing experience)
  • Car Park Management - Secure Parking International, Australia (largest car park operator in Australia, SE Asia, India and Middle East region)
  • Hospitality - Mantis Group, South Africa (owns and operates a diversified global portfolio of 73 properties)
Real estate market has witnessed a marked business spurt in recent past. How do you expect it to grow in the next two-three years?
Real estate business is cyclical in nature. The way we see it now, is that with a stable majority government which is pro-development the sector will get the right impetus. Overall economic growth and development, will also spur demand for quality residential, commercial and retail space will increase.

Safira River Front Resort Goa
Safira River Front Resort, Goa managed by Ayana Hospitality
Currently, the realty sector is recording a brisk business in tier II and tier III cities. Do you have any future plan to extend your building business to these areas?
We hope for an all inclusive and balanced growth. Tier II cities have not developed to their full potential and there is opportunity. We have a number of projects across our businesses in tier II cities such as Nagpur, Ranchi, Vadodara to name a few. The key challenge is not with demand and prosperity in these markets, but the need for a cultural shift in mindset of people, particularly in some micro-markets, to embrace more ways of living, working and recreation.

What are various business values the Group cherishes and how are these being translated into practice to deliver assured end results to the clients?
ICS aims to institutionalize the process of development and management of real estate. Each business follows a regimented process with due governance and transparency so as to deliver projects on a timely basis, the ultimate objective being to create value for all stake holders.

How do you rate your current business growth? A word about your strategic market plans to stay ahead in the business.
We have been quite fortunate in being able to capitalize on our early entrant advantage in different businesses. With a strong base created our focus is to consolidate and to fast track growth by capitalizing on the synergies offered by our complementing businesses.

NBMCW July 2014

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Omaxe Group: ‘Nurturing, Growing &...

Mohit Goel
Omaxe is known for quality homes and architectural brilliance. With footprints across 30 cities in 9 states, today, it has in its repertoire a wide range of projects that caters to all income segments. "From developing homes, to office spaces, Hi-tech townships, entertainment zones, hotels and world-class malls, our every project is conceived with a thought that encompasses safety, quality and superiority. Through seamless integration of latest technology and innovation in construction, our every project has uniqueness attached to it. In the last few years, post making a strategic move to diversify into Tier II and III cities, we have not looked at entering new markets but instead focused on expansion at its existing project locations. Nurturing, growing and adding newer facilities each day remains our endeavor," says Mr. Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Ltd in an interview with Maria R.

What are the milestone developments in the transition of Omaxe Ltd from Omaxe Builders, reaching its present position to be the front line player in the real estate and construction space and building world-class residential and commercial projects?
Omaxe Builders was incorporated in 1989, although the as brand Omaxe came into existence 2 years earlier. Construction contracting was what the group started off with and created some of the most astounding properties in this segment. Carrying forward its expertise and competence, the group made inroads into real estate in 2001. In 2007, the group got listed on BSE and NSE and has been consistently creating value for its shareholders.

In the first half of last decade, the group conceived the first integrated township in Greater Noida "NRI City". Even as the concept of integrated township was new to the city, the overwhelming response to the project propelled the group's recognition and credibility across the buyer and investor communities. It was then that the company undertook a luxury project "The Forest" in Noida. Along with Omaxe Residency, Noida and The Nile, Guragon heralded a new era in real estate in NCR.

In the latter half of last decade, the group made a strategic foray into tier II and III cities such as Vrindavan, Bahadurgarh, Lucknow, New Chandigarh, Rohtak, Palwal, Faridabad, Ludhiana and so on, and has consistently launched and delivered homes that are synonymous with quality and modernity. While continuing to launch and deliver projects in NCR market like Grand Omaxe, Noida; Twin Towers, Noida; Omaxe Palm Greens, Greater Noida and a slew of commercial projects like India Trade Centre and Omaxe Connaught Place in Greater Noida, Omaxe today has in its repertoire a wide range of projects that caters to all income segments. The company has also been developing Hi-tech townships, entertainment zones, hotels and world-class malls across its various projects.

Omaxe Heights Lucknow

What are Omaxe's important business areas, and subsidiaries serving these areas? Please touch upon briefly their functional areas in infrastructure ambit.
Omaxe specializes and concentrates all its energy and resources towards building and delivering quality real estate projects. With footprints across 30 Cities in 9 States, the group has already delivered approx. 90 million sqft. in both construction contracting (31.8 million sqft.) and real estate (58.3 million sqft.). The company has been developing largescale hi-tech townships one thousands of acres, integrated townships one hundreds of acres, residential projects, commercial malls, office spaces, hotels, entertainment zones and so on.

As a civil construction and contracting company Omaxe has successfully executed a number of projects in the country. Can these be quantified in numbers for the information of industry? What are Omaxe Ltd's important projects in hand?
The company has successfully executed over 120 construction contracting projects since 1987.

Presently, the company is focused only on real estate after having made a strategic exit from this vertical in FY2013. The important construction contracting projects delivered earlier include Modern Jails at Kapurthala and Faridkot, Residential Township for Hindustan Zinc at Dariba, Amity Noida Campus, Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, Delhi High Court etc.

Omaxe Ltd was the first construction company in north India to receive an ISO 9001: 2000 certification. What are the various systems placed in the company integrating technological and design innovation, assuring timely completion thus giving its clients value for money?
Omaxe is known for quality homes and architectural brilliance. Every project is conceived with a thought that encompasses safety, quality and superiority. Through seamless integration of latest technology and innovation in construction, every project has a uniqueness attached to it. Through a committed workforce and in-house construction, the company is able to provide to its patrons value for money products and ensure delivery. The landscaping, facilities, clubs etc add value to the offerings.

What is your view on low cost housing?
Low cost housing is an unviable proposition. Delay in project approvals, difficult financing environment; rising interest rates and increasing cost of raw material including land and labour have made such project unsustainable. However, a policy focused in this direction, by way of either PPP or tax breaks, and cheap credit may see more developers entering into this segment. The buyers, too, find it difficult to source loan from banks and finance companies. Looking at the rising shortage of homes, a thrust from the Government in this direction is the need of the hour.

Currently the real estate sector is recording a brisk business in tier II and tier III cities. Omaxe too is aggressively pursuing its projects in these cities. What are plans at hand to extend and further promote your business in these cities?
Omaxe has today created a niche market for itself in Tier II & Tier III cities.

Omaxe is present in 30 cities across 9 states. In the last few years, post making a strategic move to diversify into Tier II and III cities, the company has not looked at entering new markets but instead focused on expansion at its existing project locations. Nurturing, growing and adding newer facilities each day remains its endeavour. And as a result of this strategy, the company, in its city of presence, is today known for its modern homes at an affordable cost and providing facilities that metro cities have – from sufficient open and green spaces to clubhouses, parks, designated play area, sports facilities to name a few.

Omaxe's unique marketing strategies, varied options of residential offerings coupled with affordability and strategic locations have enabled the company gain ground in these cities.

Today, in cities like Bahadurgarh, Rohtak, Sonepat, Vrindavan, Lucknow, Allahabad, Faridabad, Palwal, Ludhiana, New Chandigarh, Patiala, Bathinda etc. Omaxe has created a name and has aggressive plans going forward. Expansion of existing projects, adding new lifestyle facilities is an endeavour the company is working towards tirelessly.

Omaxe Twin Towers

The spiraling input cost is currently causing concern. Added to it is the shortage of construction labor contributing to cost spiral. How is this going to impact the real estate business and what is the way out to contain costs?
The infrastructure and real estate sector has perennially struggled with rising cost of land, labour and input thereby slowing growth in this segment and decelerating overall GDP growth. However, with a stable government in place and the policy fastracking that the industry expects in the coming months, the scenario is likely to improve.

Companies have been adopting new technologies like pre-fabrication etc to contain such rise in cost and save on the time.

How would you rate your current business growth and its projection in the next 2—3 years after the formation of stable government?
The company has clocked sales bookings of Rs.2107 cr. in FY14 and it's expected to increase by 20% in FY15. In terms of area, we expect to sell 8-9 million sqft.

NBMCW July 2014

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"Not Just Real Estate; Brys Group ...

Navneet Gaur
"Real estate has been a serious business for us, but along with that we also forayed into hospitality, healthcare, advertising and will soon foray into full scale Medicare business. So, the Brys Group is collectively evolving as a serious corporate entity. We, at Brys Buzz are currently focused on bringing world's top–end luxurious living experience to India which will redefine the concept of luxury with incomparable features & amenities never before seen exclusivity. Our flagship project 'Brys Buzz' North India's tallest residential tower is the result of this research which strives to push boundaries in luxury living and eco solutions; be it maximizing use of renewable energy sources and conserving resources, from rainwater harvesting to solar efficient street lights, nothing has been compromised at any level in making Brys Buzz planet friendly. It is not about spending extra amount on the project but getting the exclusivity and at the same time being responsible towards your environment also," says Ms Navneet Gaur, Director, Brys Group in an interview with Maria R.

At the outset, kindly brief us about the evolution of your group, its milestone achievements and expertise.
Bryz Buzz Tower
When we first branched out of our parent group to carve this brand called Brys Group our vision was pretty clear. We did not want to be positioned as another real estate company with same kind of project portfolio to compete in the very same over crowded market. This was not something displayed just in terms of our brand statement or market positioning but also as a business philosophy. Obviously real estate has been a serious business for us, but along with that we also forayed into hospitality, healthcare and advertising.

Furthermore, as an organization we always believe in the natural evolution and organic growth and hence as a corporate philosophy, we do not want to spread thinly and get into series of launches here and there. That is the reason we have concentrated ourselves to the company's flagship project, 'Brys Buzz', North India's tallest residential tower, which surely going to create enough buzz to take the group to the next level of growth.

In addition to that, under Brys hospitality division, the group has two operational luxury hotels, 'Brys Fort' at Jaisalmer and 'Brys Caves' in the salubrious environs of Jim Corbett National Park. The next in the pipeline is 'Brys Elan' slated for the inauguration shortly in NCR. In our advertising vertical we command premium among the top-end clientele. At present the Brys group is into the business of international trading and import of medical care equipment, and will soon foray into full scale Medicare business as well. So, we are collectively evolving as a serious corporate entity.

The name of Brys Group is associated with several iconic projects. What is the concept and inspiration behind launching Bryz Buzz Tower?
Brys is a French name that reflects legendary. According to the French belief, people with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. They tend to be courageous and creative. As far as we are concerned, even though our corporate profiling has been that of an aggressive go-getter group, we do believe that when a name translates into a brand, it carries a number of identities and images. So, it is not just about the name but what we are going to deliver with this Brys Buzz that will define us and be our market differentiator.

After having travelled all over the world and seen best of luxury projects, we decided to bring world's top–end luxury in India which will redefine the concept of luxury with incomparable features & amenities and never before seen exclusivity. A sense of providing true luxurious living experience of international standards has goaded us to conceptualize the luxury living, which this part of the world has not been exposed so far. We wanted to create a destination address and hence preferred Noida than Gurgaon, which is known for luxury living. That itself indicates our level of trust in the project. Moreover, this project and its positioning also clearly reflect that the urge to launch a super luxury project has not been the peer pressure, but our own research. Brys Buzz is a result of this research at three levels—research on the market, the buyer and the product.

Brys caves

India is now the land of many high-rises; what are the USPs and high-end features of this project and by when do you expect to complete it?
I think high rises and ultra luxury are an over-used and abused terms in the Indian market; this part of the world is yet to see a project that aims to emerge as India's answer to Burj Dubai. We are positioning ourselves into that slot and hence do not feel competition or peer pressure from other high rises or luxury projects. As far as Brys Buzz is concerned, it boasts of unmatched design elements that ensure maximum utilization of area. It has been designed to provide maximum flexibility for internal space planning. One can get the desired customized home with the choice of preferred facilities and a promise of rarely seen before super luxurious experience in this part of the world.

Some of the features include; home automation, integrated entertainment system, high end finishes, huge balcony space and temperature control. The iconic tower is uniquely designed to enjoy the great scenic view. The Sky villas have unique rooms designed to offer panoramic views of the Noida Expressway and the city. All units face the golf course/expressway with 270 degree view.

The prominent features of the building are 6 levels at the top for all social activity needs, wide sundecks, terraces and balconies attached to living spaces, private plunge pools and terrace gardens are available in all residences with luxurious low-density complex (360 degree Open). 5 Star luxury services would be managed by hospitality division of Brys group. Highest observatory deck in North India, plush lounge and jogging track with a perfect viewing gallery perched at the top of Brys Buzz. All areas of the project are accessibility compliant for elderly and differently-abled residents. 111 lifts with 11 high speed elevators, 1 lift for each duplex apartment, high speed elevators with efficient and state-of-the-art vertical transportation system for travel within the building with key card access system. We aim to deliver the project by 2018.

For this unique project, who are your associate partners for design, interiors, and engineering? What led you to join hands with these giants?
The interior designing will be done by globally benchmarked designer Tonino Lamborghini CASA of Italy and some of the other associates of Brys Buzz are H-AO Architects, Principal Concept Architect, Innowaves Design, Chief Architect, Arabian Construction Company as engineering consultant & contractor, MEP Consultant as Electrical System Synchro Energy Consultants, PluMech Solutions as mechanical & plumbing services, Bureau of Engineering Studies Consulting Engineers as structural consultants, Universal Consulting FZE as strategic consultant, Design Confidence as fire & life safety consultant, and Lerch Bates Inc. as vertical transportation consultant.

To deliver the best, it is always important to work with the best names in the industry who have proven records to their credit and have delivered architectural marvels world over. Their involvement at various stages of the project becomes very important because they are the ones who had the expertise to execute the required project with their master stroke.

I must make it clear at this point of time that we have been pretty selective in choosing the right partners for the project. We have travelled across the world, seen their delivered portfolio and then awarded the contract.

Going for green means investment of more initial cost; do you think that Indian clients are giving you the flexibility to spend extra amounts on the project?
Everything about Brys Buzz strives to push boundaries in luxury living and eco solutions; be it maximizing use of renewable energy sources and conserving resources, from rainwater harvesting to solar efficient street lights, nothing has been compromised at any level in making Brys Buzz planet friendly. It is not about spending extra amount on the project but about getting the exclusivity and at the same time being responsible towards your environment also.

BRYS FORT at Jaisalmer

Moreover, I look at the concept of green buildings from a different perspective altogether. It may be costly at the initial stage, but in terms of sustainability and long term maintenance, it is a wise step to opt for green buildings. In the high rises, it is all the more necessary since these structures have to comply with certain additional safety and environmental norms.

The challenge has not been from clients' side, but from the perspective of creating the green elements in the true sense of the term, instead of just making tall claims. After all, green building requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and even the occupiers at all project stages. The green building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water, and other resources; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.

What type of landmark structures/projects are you willing or looking to work on how? Also tell us about your other future plans and agendas such as expansion in the international markets?
As mentioned earlier, we as a corporate philosophy believe in the organic growth and natural evolution and hence we are firmly grounded with the execution part of the project. But at the same time we are also conscious of the fact that we have to move forward now without losing our core focus from execution. We have already some plans working out for hospitality division. And as a part of expansion strategy, the company plans to construct landmark structures all over the nation and even in international market in future.

Would you like to share with our readers some of your experiences that have inspired you the most?
More than the experiences inspiring us, these experiences have rather humbled us. For example, when the critics wanted to write us off as Noida market is not known for such kind of luxury projects, some of the prospective buyers came forward with offers to get the entire floors customized as they could generate trust in us. Then, some of the recent reports suggesting that the investors in the elite club are now moving to Noida after exiting saturated market of Gurgaon have further made our conviction strong. Similarly, when we wanted to make some changes in the initial plan to add to the luxury quotient, which could actually delay the project a bit, our existing customers supported us and said that they have full faith in us. All of these experiences have not only been a source of inspiration but have actually humbled us.

NBMCW July 2014

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