Powerscreen: Gears Up to Meet CSE Demand

Rajen Khoda
"We have a strong brand, a good product, and a well-trained team that understands the industry requirements and is able to quickly put together solutions. As a market leader, our priority is always to serve best to our stakeholders. Whether it is our customers, sales team, trainers or the operators, we train them since we believe it is important to have knowledge of the products and safety comes first for us. With strong fundamentals at our command, we are well geared to meet demand for CSE," says Mr. Rajen Khoda, Director of Sales – South Asia and Middle East, Powerscreen, during an interaction with S.K.Khanna.

Powerscreen is one of the dominant players in crushing & screening equipment space. What is company's forecast of CSE demand in the next 2-3 years in view of the current slowdown spell?. What products and services are expected to drive the demand?
The past 18 – 20 months have been very challenging for our industry. Mining & Infrastructure are the key demand drivers of our products and these segments were amongst the worst hit. We were also addressing the aggregates market where we are dominant players; however growth in infrastructure is a driver for this segment. The infra projects too have not taken the ambitious route that was envisaged; hence the demand has slackened in this segment too. We don't estimate any drastic changes in the market and expect a flat year in 2014 as well.

Screening Equipment

In a market like CE facing cut-throat competition and buyers overwhelmed by numerous options available to go in for a product; what determines the success or the failure of a brand. How does your company strong brand motivate the retention or addition of the buyers compared to other brands in the market place?
A product or brand is as good as the experience it can provide to its customers. We do not only have a strong brand and a good product, but also have a well-trained team that understands the industry requirements and is able to quickly put together solutions. Our sales are through a dealer network; our dealers are companies that dedicatedly work with the mining, quarrying and construction industry. They are spread across the country and are able to reach out to our customer's whether it is to provide a solution or to provide services and spare parts. Our dealer teams undergo frequent training by our solution experts from India and abroad. Investments like these ensure that we are constantly engaged with our customers.

What is the likely impact on the fall of rupee on your company, import bill for importing critical components for CSE?
The volatility in the rupee has been detrimental to the industry and has negatively impacted all companies that have large value of imports. It has definitely impacted us too. However, we have been manufacturing from our plant at Hosur and over time have been working on localization of components.

What are the issues and problems confronting CSE sector and how are they proposed to be articulated to have an enabling business environment for this sector?
As mentioned earlier we don't expect the markets to see drastic improvements till a clear policy roadmap is put in place. In our estimates, the markets will remain flat through 2014 as far as demand for our products is concerned. Going by what NHAI'S and Road Ministry plans which have announced numerous concessions recently and if it becomes a reality then this will definitely trigger demand for CSE equipment.

Powerscreen Crushing

Financing to small and medium contractors has become an issue as banks and financial institutions have become very selective in lending loans. How are you helping genuine buyers in getting finance?
We are aware that the cost of financing is very high and this impacts both buyers and sellers. The government and financiers are trying to address this issue but don't see any immediate answer to this till overall economy improves.

Unorganized nature of aggregate industry is a big concern for organized manufacturers as trained operators and technicians and preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance; please brief us on your services.
Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (ICEMA) along with Government of India has set up a skill development council. Though this is in a nascent stage but in couple of years, the industry will yield favorable outcomes.

As a market leader our priority is always to serve best to our stakeholders. Whether it is our customers, our own sales team, our trainers or the operators, we train them since we believe it is important to have knowledge of the product and safety comes first for us. We have various training programs each specifically designed for different teams like we provide regular training to operators on machine functioning and we have rigorously classroom and on-site training for our sales team to understand our product so that they understand customer need.

The recent illegal mining of sand at large scale and its hoarding are causing demand –supply problems and has compelled the construction industry to think about its alternatives, including large scale manufacturing of m-sand in the country by setting up plants. Is Powerscreen fully equipped to supply turnkey technical solutions in the shape plants and machineries to the interested parties to undertake production of m-sand in the country?
Yes, we are fully equipped to address this application.
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