Putzmeister in India with "Full Power Ahead"

Mr. Andrej Hropot, Putzmeister
"In India we are going through expansion phases. We have completed phase–1 last year. . . We are now gradually running up our production facility and introducing one equipment line after the other. As we need more build up space we will increase the facility. . . Also in India we market the entire range of our products. Our Unique selling proposals are Best Technology, Best Quality and Best Service. . . This is our credo and we will do everything that is necessary to keep this USP valid for our customers," says Mr. Andrej Hropot, Managing Director, Putzmeister Concrete Machines Pvt. Ltd. in his Interview with SKK & S.A.Faridi.

Please tell something about Putzmeister (PM) global operations, its manufacturing facilities, their locations, international product range and important business areas.
Construction Equipment
Putzmeister (PM) is a great company now in its 50th year of operations. We have three manufacturing plants in Germany, then plants in France, Italy, UK, Spain, USA, South Africa, China, and India. All these facilities are up to the mark and the latest equipment and quality procedures are implemented. PM is growing at high pace and so are our plants. In Germany, we have just established the largest paint shop in Europe. It is really impressive and gives us a great throughput as well as unmatched paint quality. All our three German plants are constantly going through upgradation process. As we are talking about another factory is being built in Germany for our Mortar Machines Business Unit.

In Turkey, last year, a completely new plant on green field was completed. In China, we are going through the 4th phase of factory expansion. Unfortunately, entire available area was built up, so now we bought another land outside Shanghai. That is a plot of 150,000m² which will add to the already existing huge facility.

In India, we are going through expansion phases. We have completed phase–1 last year. We have a build up area of approx 13,000m² on a plot of 100,000m². We are now gradually running up our production facility and introducing one equipment line after the other. As we need more build up space, we will increase the facility.

We are present in all major countries either with our own Sales & Service network or through dealers.

Also in India we market the entire range of our products.

How is PM keeping track of stateof- the-art developments in concrete pumps, tunneling quipment and machinery and other products and how these developments are integrated into PM product stream globally and locally?
Construction Equipment
Putzmeister is setting the benchmark for the developments in our industry. We are always ahead simply by taking up the biggest challenge which is there. Let us take the Burj Tower in Dubai as an example. The world record in highrise pumping set by Putzmeister was just slightly above 500mtrs. Now we have developed the machine which is pumping for the highest building in the world and we have surpassed the height of 600 meters and we are still going up. The equipment design and systems to take up this challange were developed on the project. Another example is the largest truck mounted pump for the world which is our BSF M70. Again this development was triggered by the need expressed from our customers. The M70 is really an impressive machine which comes on a 12 axle truck.

Our R&D department based in the head office in Germany is constantly getting feedback from the international markets about the needs and demands from sites. This is the basis for our product development. A lot of focus is kept on this activity because it is the key to our high performance machines. Of course the demands on the job sites and thus also for our machines vary from country to country. That is also why our R&D team is adapting the machines and the specifications to the locally prevailing requirements.

Over the years, Putzmeister has recorded many achievements in pumping concrete in various prestigious projects. What are latest milestones, including awards in skill innovation conferred at Bauma recently?
It is true that Putzmeister has recorded many achievements. It would be too much to list all the milestones and records because they run into pages. Interested readers may check our home page where all those records are listed. What I would like to mention herethat recently at the Bauma, we were awarded for safety and also for innovative technology.

What really prompted Putzmeister to start its manufacturing operations in Asia, first in China and now in India after testing waters in India for over twenty years? How different would be PM Indian operation marketing focus as a manufacturer distinct from its traditional direct sale role from Germany?
Putzmeister set up the manufacturing plant in China 10 years ago, this plant has grown and flourished and has become one of our main manufacturing plants. It is obvious that any global player, who is focused on growth and global leadership has to be present in China and India. The Chinese as well as the Indian plant form part of Putzmeister’s global sales and manufacturing network. All our plants and operations are interlinked and form synergies which we can exploit for our global growth. Regarding our marketingin India, it is similar to the Putzmeister approach in other countries. We are very close to our customers. We give the best service support possible to the owners of our machines, and thus minimize the downtime on our equipment.

Will the new facility be an assembly line operation through imported components or actual comprehensive manufacturing operations? Do you have further plans to add new facilities in the country, using them and the one in Goa as export hubs, apart from meeting the domestic requirements?
Our plant in Goa is the main plant in India. We have a lot of land for expansion and will have enough space to grow over the next decade. We have a lot of sub suppliers who are delivering parts and components and obviously we are also utilizing our international sales and manufacturing network to bring in parts from abroad. Our Indian plant does export of parts and sub assemblies. Also certain machine ranges will be exclusively manufactured in this plant and then exported abroad.

What market share PM is looking for in the next two-three years through its Indian manufacturing operations?
The Indian market is booming. It has a huge need for pumping equipment. All major players are already in India or are just about setting up their base. It is hard to say how the market share will be finally distributed but one thing is clear. Within the next 3 years this market will be completely shaken up and the cards will be redistributed.

India is a vast market for construction equipment of heterogeneous nature and applications; how the new set up add new muscles to your network of dealers, distributors, after sales service support systems to render your client ever efficient service PM is widely known for.
Our biggest challenge and our main focus lies in providing best service for our customers. We are constantly increasing our man power in service as well as the number of service stations and spare parts depots. Due to the vast expansion of construction and activities and numerous sites in remote locations it is a big task to have a good response time. To our customers in remote locations, we provide resident service engineers.

Let me again point out the Unique Selling Proposal of Putzmeister.
  • Best Technology
  • Best Quality
  • Best Service
This is our credo and we will do everything necessary to keep this USP valid for our customers.

Indo-German trade and economic relations is one of the most successful stories between the two countries. How the entry of world leader like Putzmeister with its new manufacturing facility in India would further benefit, strengthen and cement this relationship?
Indo-German trade and economic relations are indeed a success story. We are taking part in this by strengthening those relations through increased trade in both ways and through internal cultural developments. We are employing a lot of young Indian engineers and sending them out to our facilities all over the world to learn and bring back this knowledge to India. These engineers don’t only bring back something from abroad but they also take something to those countries that is their unique Indian identity and culture. We also bring expats with diverse international backgrounds to India. They also bring their know– how and obviously also their culture to India. This is creating a multi cultural highly creative atmosphere in our company which is helping us to prosper and grow according to our motto: FULL POWER AHEAD!!
NBMCW May 2008
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