Although, FY2008-09 was flat, till the year 2007-08 we enjoyed a CAGR of 20%. Going forward we expect to be back on the original growth trajectory by the current financial year. We have come out with new products to address new segments. We would continue to do so. This with our commitment to offer the best value for money products and excellent after sales service, will help us in retaining the leadership position. Our company is quite excited about the upcoming Excon 2009. We plan to showcase some of our new product offerings during this event, says Mr. Asit Patel, Managing Director, Gujarat Apollo, in his Interview with S.A. Faridi.
What are your company’s plans to participate in the forthcoming Excon 2009 and what will be prime the focus of participation there?
Our company is quite excited about the upcoming Excon 2009 and looks forward to all around participation from all the industry leaders after coming through one of the worst global economic crises in the recent memory. We need to show the clear signs of the India story being alive and well. We plan to showcase some of our new product offering during this event.
Do you think that with renewed focus on infrastructure development and the timing of Excon 2009 soon after the focus, the event would pep up the sagging market for construction equipment, products and services?
We are looking at Excon like other manufacturers to showcase our products and services to prospective customers. Excon helps us in taking this effectively to a wide spectrum of customers in India and abroad. I do not think that an exhibition like Excon can pep up the market in our industry. This would entirely depend on the awarding of the contracts by the Government and the general mechanism of project management.
What has been the response of the market about the Track mounted mobile crushing plant launched by Gujarat Apollo last year based on the feedbacks from the users?
Our mobile crusher has been well appreciated by the users, both present and prospective, as a well engineered product. The users are especially impressed by the crushing size range, output and fuel efficiency as compared to the competition. We have several new products in the pipeline to enhance and complement our existing range.
What are the national projects on which the equipment was deployed? What are its technical attributes different from those already in the market?
Our current users are commercial aggregate sellers to the road contractors for state, national highway projects and building contractors. Being mobile, the user keeps shifting the location to optimize the reach between the mine and their customers. The unique technical attributes of our jaw crusher is the wide range of setting which delivers fairly accurate particle size distribution enabling direct use of crusher run material for applications like GSB,WMM etc. Our impact crusher can also work as primary crusher to deliver the final output sizes in many applications. This reduces the number of mobile crushing stations in such applications.
What is company’s other range of products serving country’s infrastructure requirements?
We offer a very comprehensive asphalt road making product range for the customers in India and elsewhere. We may be one of the companies in the world offering such an extensive range of road construction equipment under one brand/roof. We start from important equipment for basic raw material production (rock) to process plants for making quality asphalt mix to paver finishers and other important machines to complete the project. This gives our customers winning edge and ease of relationship management.
What is company focus on R&D and attain world class technology through JV/ technology transfer offering state-of-the-art construction equipment through its efforts as well as through strategic tie-ups?
R&D is an ongoing process at Apollo. We continuously look for improvements based on customers' feedback. In the case of new products, Apollo has always believed in taking world–class technology and offers equipment to suit the tough working conditions in India. We always like to invest in the products of tomorrow.
What is the market share enjoyed by the company in the domestic as well as overseas market and future plans including marketing to garner greater share of the market in the next 3-4 years?
Our market share is product specific and ranges from 25–65%. We will continue to lay stress on marketing which includes pre and after sales and are also going closer to the customers by opening new offices in places like Guwahati, Raipur etc. We believe that close and regular contacts with the customers combined with a value for money product will help us in improving our market share to a range of 30–70% in the next 3 – 4 years.
What has been the performance of the company during the last 1-2 years and measures taken to beat recession to retain leadership position prior to recession?
Although, FY2008-09 was flat, till the year 2007-08 we enjoyed a CAGR of 20%. Going forward we expect to be back on the original growth trajectory by the current financial year. We have come out with new products to address new segments. We would continue to do so. This with our commitment to offer the best value for money products and excellent after sales service, will help us in retaining the leadership position. Recession has not really affected the road construction industry in India and going by the plans of the Government, we are looking at a good growth for the next 5-7 years. In fact, the recent market conditions have given us a good opportunity to carry out product enhancements, internal process improvements and whole array of small measures which should come very handy in the times to come.