From providing tower cranes, passenger hoists, anti-collision systems to the Real Estate sector, Everest is now catering to the mega Infra construction projects. How has the progress been?
We started the company by providing products like tower cranes and passenger hoists and services to the Real Estate sector, cement, power and steel plants. Since the last 10 years we have sold more than 650 units in India.
For the next 25 – 30 years, we see India building metro rails and high-speed rail projects between major cities. This is the reason why we plan to enter the Infra industry with launchers, straddle carriers, and multi axle transporters. In 2020, we had entered the tyre and rail-mounted transporter, but faced a setback due to the pandemic. But we are geared up again and hope to crack many deals in the near future.
We are currently setting up our manufacturing plant in Mumbai and production will start by mid-2023. Our products will be available under the EEE brand.
What are the competitive features of your straddle carriers, gantry cranes, segment transporters, and segment launchers?
Our straddle carriers and launchers are imported from China and there is no local manufacturing. But there are many Chinese manufacturers who are providing cheaper products without adhering to design standards and the necessary strength requirements. Due to this, customers have started facing rampant beam deflection issues.
These Chinese manufacturers providing such cheap equipment do not take responsibility for the failures. However, there are very good manufacturers in China like the HCR, who produce good quality equipment. This is a Chinese government company which doesn’t resort to cheap materials testing, welding etc.
AFCONS and Navayuga Engineering had bought equipment from HCR in 2009 and the machines are still working well. We are also importing from HCR in order to provide high quality equipment to our customers in India.
How has the market responded to your recently launched passenger hoist and the CNC highspeed Rebar processing machine?
Our new passenger hoist has a cage length of 3.6m to 4m, and it has a capacity to transport 24 people or 2 tons of load at a time with a speed of 63m/min. This length is in high demand in India since developers want to transport façades and door / window frames through the hoists.
Our high-speed rebar processing machine is a CNC high-speed stirrup bender. We have two types available: one for up to 12mm rebar, and the other for up to 16mm rebar. In India, mostly 12mm rebars are made, hence the former is more popular. But the 16mm rebar is capable of processing 2 rods at a time if the bars are of 12 mm and below.
These machines are not suitable for feeding straight type rebars, since one rod will get processed within 15 seconds. Coil type rebars need to be fed to the machines, and using coils is the best way because it helps reduce the wastage while feeding single bars. 2500m to 3000m coils can be fed. The machines got about 150 enquiries during their launch at Excon 2022.
There is a huge variation in steel tensile strength and diameter of TMT rods obtained from local manufacturers in the Indian market. The European machines fail terribly in their operation while handling such raw materials, while our machines have been developed after two years of research and can easily handle such variations without failure.
Rebar processing machines are a great option for remote production and for providing a stable supply of rebars. Remote processing can help save on finances by avoiding the need for workers and facilities on site.
How has awareness increased for Anti-Collison devices in the Tower Crane industry?
The government has made the use of Anti-Collision systems mandatory wherever multiple tower cranes are in use, to avoid colliding with each other or with the trees, buildings, and other tall objects.
There is one drawback in the system used in the market; if one of the cranes loses its power while working, it goes out of the radar of the other cranes working in the same area. This is dangerous since the powerless crane can now move in any direction due to the wind pressure, which the other cranes won’t sense.
At Everest, our in-house developed systems have a protection feature which ensures that other cranes get alerted if any crane loses power while working, and they can be prevented from going into powerless crane’s operation circle.
Another important point that I would like to highlight is the illegal frequencies being used in the market for anti-collision systems. These can prove to be very dangerous since they interfere with various communication systems. Everest systems use only the 335 mHz band which is approved by the Ministry of Communication for crane control (unlicensed). I think, site engineers and developers must be made aware of this.
What will be your marketing strategy for the price-sensitive Indian market?
This is a big question for every manufacturer; but we do not want to compromise on quality because of the price sensitivity of the buyers. We will prioritize reliability, quality, power savings and safety in our products.
These days, buildings are being made up to 400m heights, but the locally manufactured equipment can go up to a maximum of 150m. Our standard passenger hoists will be able to reach 500m and they will have a life of 20 years. At our R&D center, we will make products as per international quality standards. We will be developing, documenting, and doing stringent quality control, since we plan to target the export market as well.
What about your rental business?
We entered the rental business in 2015 and in 2020 we set up a new company called Everest Rentals. Currently, we have rented 25 - 30 machines which include passenger hoists and mast climbers. We also provide anti-collision systems to some companies whose project duration is of 5 to 6 months. We don’t plan to rent tower cranes, but we might consider renting out our rebar processing machines in the future.
Do you plan to export your Made in India products?
We do plan to export but only after establishing our brand strongly in the Indian market. We have conducted a survey to study the need gap in the Indian market and the export opportunities. Right now, we are working on manufacturing products as per European standards and only after few years we will start exporting.
What are the value-added support services being offered by Everest Engineering?
Our sales team is present all over India. We have recently expanded our dealer network to Haryana, Punjab, and the Northeast. We can provide service to any machine in any part of India within 24 hours; and this service efficiency has been the sole reason behind our stupendous growth.
Further, we conduct training camps every month for our customers and engineers. We are an ISO 9001 : 2015 certified company by TUV. Our customers are expected to not only maintain the equipment but also maintain its documentation. Our engineers check this periodic maintenance documentation and cross check it with the equipment and if the maintenance is not found satisfactory, we train our staff as well as our customers. We also maintain highest safety standards on our equipment & services as per ISO-45000.
What growth prospects do you envisage for the CE industry in the next five years?
The Indian Construction Equipment industry has been seeing a growth of 25% (excluding the pandemic years), and we expect it to be at 25% growth rate for the next 10 years.
What was the financial performance of Everest in 2021-22 and what is your targeted growth for the next FY?
Because of the pandemic, our turnover was reduced by 20% in FY 2020 – 21, which had a fall-out effect in FY 2021 – 22. But the market has come up well and we expect a 40% growth in the next FY. So, overall, the market looks promising.