New XP Series Piling Machine from Casagrande—Intelligent, Reliable and Performing. . .

Tommaso Carluccio, Area Manager, South East Asia, Casagrande
Following retrograded demand of piling rigs during the past few years, Italian piling equipment major, Casagrande, is expecting demand of foundation and piling equipments to pick up in India. The company identifies itself as a premium solution provider among other manufacturers. Having supplied good number of piling rigs, estimated to be 200+ to numerous infrastructure projects, notably metro railway projects, Coal berth construction projects, Hydro and Irrigation projects, Casagrande expects demand to come from the new government's initiative to award stalled infrastructure projects, and further expediting the expansion of Power, ports and rail/road projects. However, not discounting the fact that, fresh demand of piling rigs will take place following absorption of existing units in the market, the volume of which is sizeable enough, explained Mr. Tommaso Carluccio, Area Manager, South East Asia, Casagrande in an interview to P.P. Basistha adding that there is sufficient room for owening multipurpose, Reliable and cost effective Pilling machines with 'State-of-the-art Technology' by Foundation engg contractors, which will drive the company's future business in India. Excerpts:

What are your expectations of future demand of piling rigs in India?
The market of piling rigs has been passing through retrograded demand phase in India during the past few years. However, we are expecting renewed demand based on fresh enquiries led by the new government's initiative to kick start infrastructure sector. We are quite hopeful of the enquiries getting materialized into actual orders by end of the year 2015.

However, with the Indian market continuing to remain extremely price sensitive, owing to rising pressure on margins, how do you expect demand for your premium end piling rigs to grow?
Based on our business experience in India there was an initial resistance for our high valued piling rigs commanding premium initial investments. However, the perception among our users has got gradually dissuaded following the usage of the machines: the introduction in India of the XP series in 2011 has radically changed the perception of the end users: higher levels of productivity, low fuel consumption and finally much higher resale value.

The Casagrande brand value has proven its reliability and helped our clients to improve during the market recalibration, to have faster and better results.

What about existing oversupply of units in the market?
I agree that the foundation and piling market in India is countering an oversupply of equipment. However, I expect the size of market to grow following the upcoming new projects in India. This is likely to create newer demand pockets, resultantly making the market expand its size. Oversupply of equipment has been in demand pockets for particular range and category of equipment. However, on other hand, there is requirement of technologically advanced foundation equipment for critical applications. We will look to market our valued Casagrande, piling rigs in those areas. Being premium products manufacturers, we will market our products in projects, both being developed by the government and private sector, across the verticals of construction sector, having appropriate quality control over the jobs. Having the distinction of technically competitive products, we have supplied our rigs almost to all metro projects in India involving, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and challenging Chennai Metro railway project. Based on the distinction, we are now looking forward to supply our rigs to another challenging Mumbai metro project for its future expansion.

Casagrande B300XP Piling Rig
How will you be ensuring parity among other premium products manufacturers in India?
There are premium products offered by other European manufacturers in India. However, we differ from them as our entire machinery is made at our plant in Italy based on specified appropriate quality control. Casagrande S.p.A products are standard and suitable for all the global markets, everywhere in the world, the same machine and the same technology. This is in contrast to other European manufacturers, manufacturing their products in China.

To expand business, will you be looking towards buyback options once the utilization of the equipments is complete, given the fact the volumes of piling jobs are not adequate in India? Further, will you be also looking to offer reconditioned and used machines?
We are open to buyback possibilities. However, this will be considered on case by case basis. We are also looking towards the possibility of offering used and reconditioned machines based on the requirements. The possibility of offering used machines is based on the fact that functional life of our rigs is between twenty to thirty years.

What are your product support initiatives and plans to strengthen the same?
Being advanced machines, product support has continued to be a major thrust area for Casagrande equipments in India. We have maintained stocks of one million Euros in India. However, apart from having more parts stocked, our emphasis has been towards getting more numbers of skilled service engineers. We have been investing continuously in India for training our service engineers.

Will you be looking to promote your duty cycle cranes in India?
Yes, we are open to the business. We have sold our 85-90 tons duty cycle cranes in India, C-850 and C-900 in the recent past. Three units were sold to L&T in 2011 and one to B. Seeniah & Co in 2006. The cranes are suitable for multipurpose applications as they can be converted into piling rigs.
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