Palfinger Positive on India

the manufacture of lifting
"Palfinger fully believes in the growth of the Indian market, and fully committed to invest into a state-of-the-art sales and service network all over the country, together with some selected dealers which the company currently recruit. Palfinger Cranes India Pvt Ltd, as a 100% entity of the Palfinger Group, is importing and marketing Palfinger truck cranes, hook lifts, railway solutions and Epsilon cranes. We maintain a stock of cranes and a spare part stock in Chennai. We also offer technical assistance to customers all over India by specially trained service engineers," says Dr. Christoph Rauch, Managing Director, Palfinger Cranes India Pvt. Ltd, in his Interview with S. K. Khanna.

Palfinger's strength in the manufacture of lifting, loading, and handling system is well–known. For the benefits of our readers, tell in brief about Palfinger’s international operations, its production and assembly sites.
Palfinger has over 75 year old history in developing and manufacturing of state-of-the-art lifting equipment. Since 1954, Palfinger’s core business is in truck mounted cargo loader cranes with lifting capacities from 2mt to 150mt.

Today, Palfinger is the leading company in this market niche with a turnover of about 5,300 crores in 2008, achieved by more than 4500 employees worldwide.

Currently, Palfinger operates 16 factories in the these countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, France, USA, Canada, Brazil, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and China.

Besides a strong and reliable sales and service network with strong presence in each region, the global production footprint enables us to manufacture solutions according to the regional customers need and to produce maximum value for money.

Today, the cranes produced for India are manufactured in Europe according to the highest standards of quality. Due to the large number of cranes that are produced in an industrialized process, we have been able to reduce production costs significantly over the years, a benefit of the scale advantage of a large industry player.

What are Palfinger’s core business areas and core product lines serving these business areas across the globe? What are their efficiency advantages over the available competitive products?
the manufacture of lifting
Palfinger’s core business is the truck mounted loader crane business. We offer over 55 models with lifting capacities from 2mt up to 150mt with dozens of variations (i.e. lengths of the extension booms, Radio remote control, workman baskets, etc).

These cranes can be mounted on any suitable truck in any country of the world; therefore, the local content of the truck crane vehicle is automatically given, thus limiting the price of the solution. The immediate advantage of a truck mounted crane is that the customer only needs to maintain one vehicle for transport and loading. This reduces investment costs, maintenance costs and avoids idle time of either the truck or the pick n carry cranes. Additional advantages we see in congested urban areas, where it will become more difficult to block the traffic for a longer loading/ unloading time. With a truck mounted crane the loading/unloading doesn’t take more than 5 to 10 min.

This additional efficiency enables the customers to do more jobs with the same vehicle on a single day, thus he will earn more revenues as well.

One of our logistic customers has been able to cut his cost by 20–30% while increasing his turnover by 20%.

The second important product Palfinger offers are truck mounted hook lift systems. With such equipment, especially suited for the waste handling industry, the need of a fleet of truck can be avoided. One truck brings the container to the site where waste is collected over a couple of days (no idle time for the truck), picks up another full container from the same site or another site and brings it to the collection yard, unloading the container and loading another empty container that he brings to the next site.

The efficiency the customer can achieve is obvious; therefore in many parts of the world the logistics of waste and debris is done using such equipment. Palfinger offers hook lift systems from 4 to 30 tons.

Besides these core products, we also offer special cranes for loading scrap and logs, railway cranes and aerial work platforms.

What is the nature of Palfinger’s operations in India, product line set to be transferred into India’s industrial stream?
Palfinger Cranes India Pvt Ltd, as a 100% entity of the Palfinger Group, is importing and marketing Palfinger truck cranes, hook lifts, railway solutions, and Epsilon cranes. We maintain a stock of cranes and a spare part stock in Chennai. We also offer technical assistance to all customers all over India by specially trained service engineers. Our local dealer network makes sure that a Palfinger trained sales and service staff is close to our customers.

What has been the response from Indian market so far to Palfinger’s initiative to enter into this market?
The response has been very positive, because many leading companies already know about the advantages of our products, as they saw them in operation at other parts of the world (i.e. Europe or Singapore). Now it is easier for all customers to get a reasonably priced crane, he can be sure that he gets support during the installation of the cranes and he can rely on a professional spare part supply and technical support.

Currently, we address leading customers and discuss the advantages of the truck crane solution for their business. Within a couple of months we will see many more such crane solutions on the street, thus attracting more customers to think about the advantages of such a crane for their business.

India is a vast market for the products Palfinger specializes in. What equipment would be in particular focus for its future operation in India?
We will mainly focus on truck mounted cranes in the high value for money range, mainly in the 6 to 38 mt class. Additionally, we will focus on hook lifts as well.

What are Palfinger’s future plans for India to take advantage of growing market for products and services?
Palfinger fully believes in the further growth of the Indian market, and Palfinger is fully committed to invest into a state-of-the-art sales and service network all over the country, together with some selected dealers which we currently recruit.

Although I cannot disclose any details about our strategy, our more than 75 years history has shown that we are always a first mover in new markets and new products. Therefore, I can tell you that you will hear a lot more about Palfinger in the near future.

Palfinger’s Indian operation has launched an ambitious program for dealership. What economic and technical attributes would qualify for dealership network the company is aiming at?
the manufacture of lifting
Yes, in fact we are currently recruiting dealers in all states of India for sales and service support in their respective region. We are looking for dealers who have experience in hydraulic equipment or are somewhat close to the truck or construction machinery market. Ideally the candidate should also have some experience in selling high value investment equipment and a certain regional sales network.

We offer very attractive discount schemes and a long-term partnership. Some of our European dealer friends are working with us for over 40 years, some already in second generation.

We would be pleased about any proposal from companies which are committed to extend the Palfinger business in India with us and take part of the many opportunities in the near term driven by the infrastructure investment programs launched by the government and by the further growth perspective of the Indian construction market.

My dream is to show my children many wonderful red "daddy" cranes on the streets of India in 10 years from now and to be in touch with many satisfied Palfinger customers, where we have been able to exceed their expectations.
NBMCW July 2009
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