"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.
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.
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.