"India is one of our biggest investments destination and we are constantly pumping in the funds to strengthen our Indian operations. The phase–1 operation is already over and our expansion plan is going full–swing. Indian plant is one of the biggest plants of Putzmeister. At Excon, Putzmeister will be displaying its latest range of concrete pumps – both stationary and Boom placers. The recently upgraded Stationary pump model BSA 1404HD would be the point of attraction for the RMC pumping contractors and Infrastructure companies. In Boom Pump range, we are going to introduce bigger Booms over our existing range of 36m," says Mr. Schmid-Lindenmayer, Managing Director, Putzmeister Concrete Machines Pvt.Ltd. in an Interview with S.K. Khanna.
At this time of recession, what were Putzmeister's (PM) considered measures to tide over it as far as its Indian operations is concerned?
We focused on localization of non core components of our concrete pumps to give benefits to our customers. We have also started our assembly line for Boom Pumps. We bring in the material from our parent company in Germany and do assembly here in India. This helped us in increasing our market share at this time of recession.
How does PM compare its products and technology with your counterparts in India? Are your products and the technology thereof cost effective for the Indian market. What is your unique selling point, making your products and services as customers’ favorite destination?
Putzmeister being one of the pioneers in research and development of concrete pumping technology, has always strived hard to give the best and the latest to the world. Why should India be deprived of latest technology which is proven all over the world? PM is known for “better value for money.” All Putzmeister pumps have lower operating and maintenance costs. Today, customers are looking for products with latest technology and lower maintenance costs. All our pumps, stationary or boom, are equipped with the latest S-valve technology which is much superior to other contemporary technologies being used. The S-valve technology prevents frequent breakdowns giving uninterrupted flow of work, unlike pumps using any other technology. Best product, Best quality and Best service are the core strength of Putzmeister. Putzmeister bring with them, the best practices in all the industries they work in.
What is the market share of PM within the country (India) and abroad and your focus in the next 2-4 years from now to garner greater share. What kind of competition PM envisages as India market recovers? How does PM propose to strengthen its market efforts to meet this?
In the Boom pump segment, we are currently leading the market in India and expect to do the same in stationary pumps business in next 2 years.
The challenges we face, is lack of trained manpower for operating the concrete pumps and some Chinese copy cats who just eye on our latest developments and bring in the “look alike” product in the market. But you know: the original is always better, since we know “why it is done so.” A copy-cat-company will only know “how to copy.” The current market position shows signs of improvement. As far as Infrastructure is concerned, it was never down during current recession times and now the Realty sector has also started moving forwards. For this sector, we recently upgraded our Stationary pumps range which are now more suitable for RMC pumping contractors and infrastructure companies.
With PM’s first phase of expansion on stream, how near it is to its target of manufacturing 1400 concrete pumps every year?
India is one of our biggest investments and we are constantly pumping in the funds to strengthen our Indian operations. The phase 1 operation is already over, out of the total land of 100,000 sq.m. allotted to us. We have also installed state of the art and one of the biggest paint shops in our factory which is now operational. We are constantly increasing our BSA pumps range and very shortly will become the hub for global sourcing of smaller range of pumps.
What is the status of fulfilling five phase expansion plan at your Goa facility? Will it be on stream by 2012 as planned? What array of new equipment such as industrial pumps, tunnel machines, high density solid pumps and others are proposed to be added to PM’s product portfolio on the completion of five phase expansion programme?
Our expansion plan is in full swing. Indian plant is one of the biggest plants of Putzmeister. We have pumped in lot of investments in this plant and is still going on. In a very short span of time, we started Boom pump assembly for which we also installed one of the biggest paint shops in India. In the current portfolio of equipment, we have already brought Electrical version of stationary pumps and Mobile line pumps. Apart from our concrete pumps, our Industrial pumps are also doing good and we are currently executing a big order. We are already in the process of expanding this division also. Our Mortar machine business is picking up and we are appointing dealers to further strengthen this business.
What are the important technical services including related systems placed in the company to promote greater customization and back up customer support?
Our technical team is trained in Germany for easy and quick adaptability of German technology to our Indian requirements. In a very short span of independent operations in India, we have already rolled out Indian version of MOLI (Mobile Line pumps), Electrical Stationary pumps and assembly of Boom pumps. Our Service team also has specialists for difficult projects, where site logistics and special project management is needed. Such specialists are also working with us in India, much to the satisfaction of our clients. We are currently present in Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jamnagar, Pune, Bangalore, Goa, Cuddapah, Hyderabad, Chennai, Cuttuck, and Vijayawada. We are constantly adding on new locations and all our locations are equipped with trained service people to cater to prompt service support to our esteemed customers.
Following extensive discussion in the country about re-engineering and re-manufacturing obsolete components and parts, the Government proposes to unveil its policy on the subject. What is PM’s take of the subject. Will it land industry into a dumping ground for obsolete products and components from the developed countries? Will it really help original manufacturers and consumers?
Some of our competitors has been using primitive technology till the time we came independently to India. Why India should be deprived of latest technology. We, Putzmeister, bring the latest technology what is being used worldwide, to India such as Free flow Hydraulics, S-valve, Cross outriggers, highly wear resistant steel components etc. Our concrete opinion that India would definitely benefit from this by increasing reliability of concrete pumps thereby increasing productivity in placement of concrete. Indian customers have welcomed our latest technology because of which we got overwhelmed response.
Putzmeister is one of the important sponsors of the forthcoming Excon 2009, mega event for construction equipment industry to be held at Bangalore, November this year. What will be company’s focus on its participation at this event and plans for unveiling new products and services?
Putzmeister will be displaying its latest range of concrete pumps – both stationary and Boom placers. The recently upgraded Stationary pump model BSA 1404HD would be the point of attraction for the RMC pumping contractors and Infrastructure companies. In Boom Pump range, we would be introducing bigger Booms over our existing range of 36m.