SCHWING Stetter India Bullish on its Growth
We are bullish about the growth of the company, as well as the sector. Keeping the existing market scenario and the constantly evolving needs of our customers in mind, SCHWING Stetter has plans to launch new products in near future. The turnover of the company in India, in 2008 stood at Rs. 850 crores and the company also maintains a positive outlook for the coming years. Our commitment to ensuring utmost customer satisfaction has been constant and this has helped us tide over the recession wave in a healthy way, says Mr. Anand Sundaresan, Managing Director, SCHWING Stetter India.
In the 11thFive Year Plan, Government of India would like to spend $500 billion in the areas of Power, Road, Irrigation, Railways, Water Supply, Ports, Airports etc. Excon timing is perfect as all of us know for executing Projects of such magnititude, we need bigger, faster machines and construction techniques which will be addressed by Excon 2009. This year, our focus will be to launch products for speeding up the construction and giving flexibility to the users at the site, says Mr. V.G. Sakthikumar,Chief Operating Officer, SCHWING Stetter India.
How has SSIPL’s product range improved the technological status of the industry. How does the company blend its global manufacturing policies into Indian market place beneficial to Indian conditions and maintains a preference to its products and services to offset the price difference, given the fact that Indian market is very price sensitive?
Sundaresan: The construction equipment sector in India has evolved over the years and is now poised for a vital stage of maturity. The industry is trying to bring in international levels of technology, as demand and the scale of operation increases. Bringing in the latest technology is vital to any industry, as it gives tremendous operational cost advantage to customers. Technology plays a pivotal role in today’s world, where highrise constructions, have become the norm of the day, due to paucity of space.
Over the last decade, there has been a remarkable shift in customer preferences, in terms of their choice of construction equipment. In order to ensure that the projects are completed in the earliest possible time and in the most efficient manner, customers now prefer equipment that are mobile, fuel cost efficient, long lasting, demand minimal maintenance and have faster and optimum rate of production.
SCHWING Stetter India has been the one-stop-solution for ready mix concrete (RMC) companies by addressing their production, quality and transporting requirements and by effectively integrating them with the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system of the company. Besides this, our products (vertical plant, concrete pumps, transit mixers etc.) come with foolproof electronic control. SCHWING Stetter India has a flawless monitoring system to offer to its customers, whereby the complete fleet is monitored from the production headquarters.
SCHWING Stetter India has also been recognized internationally for the world record set by the company in pumping concrete vertically up to a record height of 715 meters for the Parbati Hydro-electric project in Suind village, Himachal Pradesh. The project is being implemented by the National Hydro-electric Corporation. The Parbati Hydroelectric Project Stage-II is a run-of-the-river scheme, proposed to harness hydro potential of the lower reaches of the river Parbati. SCHWING Stetter India supplied BP 4000 super concrete pumps to Gammon India, which is executing the project for pumping concrete from the bottom of the tunnel to the top of the tunnel, which had a total length of 1500 meters and an inclination of 30Ú. The record set as part of the project was recognized on August 7, 2009.
SCHWING is not in a hurry to introduce all the models of machines that are successfully performing in developed markets. Factors like availability of chassis, level of mechanization in terms of manpower requirement, raw material availability etc. make an important contribution in choosing the right technology for the country. In the past one decade, we have led the market in an appropriate way and we have introduced from the entry level to the most advanced machineries, depending on the site requirement and customer affordability.
RMC business in the country is under stress. While some of the leading players are opting out of this business, other have held their expansion plans at bay with the result that application of RMC has not reached the desired level despite its technical, economic and quality advantages. What are the inhabiting factors adversely affecting its growth in the country and what needs to be done to promote RMC in India to the level obtaining in abroad?
Sundaresan: The Government should insist on the use of RMC for all projects, which will scale up the industry as a whole and also help source quality concrete for construction. Uniform taxation throughout India is another aspect; introduction of VAT and further refinement of VAT may bring this change. Entry tax, road permit, way bill are some other issues, which have to be abolished for the growth of RMC industry. Free movement of Truck Mixers and Pumps should be permitted by Traffic Authority to help RMC companies plan their work more efficiently. Further, towards the growth of the industry, government bodies, private builders, architects/engineers, contractors, and individuals are required to be made fully aware of the advantages of using ready mix concrete.
How do you envisage the pace of growth of SSIPL in the next three-four years from now capitalizing on the current focus on massive infrastructure development in the country?
Sundaresan: We are bullish about the growth of the company, as well as the sector. Keeping the existing market scenario and the constantly evolving needs of our customers in mind, SCHWING Stetter has plans to launch new products in near future. SCHWING Stetter India’s turnover in 2008 stood at Rs. 850 crores. The company maintains a positive outlook for the coming years, as well.
Slowdown has put many companies in a difficult stress situation. When market is down, image and brand power loses its sheen causing pessimism in market place. To counter this, how SCHWING Stetter India Pvt Ltd (SSIPL) has managed to keep in sharp focus its image and brand power to stay afloat in the market place and within the company including exploring new market routes so as to emerge stronger as the market recovers?
Sundaresan: The ongoing financial meltdown resulted in a rough phase for the construction equipment sector. This scenario, coupled with high interest rate regime, definitely took a toll on the RMC equipment business segment, as there was a significant fall in demand from customers. However, growth of infrastructural projects, across the country made up for the loss.
We are continuing to ensure that our products meet the highest possible quality standards and are made available to our customers, in the most cost-efficient manner. At SSIPL, we deploy the latest technology and design in our products, which add a lot of value when these products are deployed for various projects across the country. Such constant innovation and use of state-of-the-art technology in our products also ensure that the projects are completed in the earliest possible time, in the most efficient manner.
Our commitment to ensuring utmost customer satisfaction has been constant and this has helped us tide over the recession wave in a healthy way. Our quality standards have always been closely monitored and we have retained our position as the market leaders by strictly adhering to best engineering practices. Implementation of strict internal procedures, streamlining processes, employee-friendly measures and unerring focus to quality of products and services – these form the basis of any of our strategies.
What are Company’s plans to participate in the forthcoming Excon 2009 to be held at Bangalore this month? What will be the focus of your company participation in Excon'09?
Sakthikumar: Excon is a vital event for the construction equipment manufacturers and construction companies in India. Schwing Stetter India is one of the major sponsors of this exhibition and we have been supporting Excon since its inception. Excon'09 is the 5thEdition and we have almost doubled our exhibition display area.
Our focus will be to launch products for speeding up the construction and giving flexibility to the users at the site.
Do you think that with renewed focus on infrastructure development and the timing of Excon'09 soon after the focus, the event would pep up the sagging market for construction equipment, products and services?
Sakthikumar: In the 11thFive Year Plan, Government of India would like to spend $500 billion in the areas of power, road, irrigation, railways, Water supply, ports, airports etc. The following proposals announced by the Government, stand testimony to the growing potential of roads and highways segment:
- Union Budget allocation to NHAI for the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) increased by 23% over B.E. 2008-09 in B.E. 2009-10·
- Allocation under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has stepped up by 87% to Rs.12,887 crore in B.E. 2009-10 over B.E. 2008-09.
- Allocation for Bharat Nirman has increased by 45% in 2009-10 over B.E. 2008-09. Allocations under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) increased by 59% over B.E. 2008-09 to Rs.12,000 crore in B.E. 2009-10. Excon timing is perfect as all of us know for executing projects of such magnititude, we need bigger, faster machines and construction techniques which will be addressed by Excon 2009.
Sakthikumar: SSIPL places strong emphasis on helping its clients select the right type of equipment, given the technological complexity of large infrastructural projects and the critical roles played by our products in them.
We take the example of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link Project to outline our involvement in this respect.
The Bandra Worli Sealink Project was successfully executed by HCC. However, they faced a major challenge in pumping the concrete for this project. When HCC started the project, they had the responsibility of pumping 95,000 cubic metre concrete out of a total concrete of 2,25,000, which is of highest grade (M60). Since the concrete had to be pumped into the sea, it had to withstand severe corrosion by sea water, and also withstand challenges of nature such as temperature difference, high tide, cyclone, etc. The concrete specified had a particular design, which included micro silica. Besides, a huge volume of concrete had to be pumped at one go. The concrete-setting time had to be delayed to ensure that there was no cold joint in the concrete. High performance water reducing and retarding superplasticizing admixtures confirming to ASTM C – 494, Type G were used for retarding the setting time.
In March/April, 2003, HCC conducted various field trials for finalization of Concrete pump and mix design for pumpable concrete into the sea for a distance of 174 meters, horizontally. At this point, understanding the customer’s concerns, SCHWING arranged for Mr. Karl Ernst V. Eckardstein, the author of the internationally renowned book, Pumping Concrete, to visit the project site. He was accompanied by Mr. Andreas Godowski, the practical pumping engineer. Together, Mr. Eckardstein and Mr. Godowski interacted with the customer on-site during various trials and shared their experience for finalization of the design Mix and selection of appropriate concrete pump for the job.
On successful completion of the trials, in May 2003, a BP 1800 concrete pump (sl No. 71006018), with a pipeline of 175 metres was laid and concrete pumping began immediately. The resulting smooth pumping proved the adequacy of the SCHWING’s Concrete pumps. The customer was able to comprehend the situation in its entirety now, and went on to purchase another 5 BP 1800 concrete pumps from SCHWING and began the concreting process, very comfortably, for the project.
The next challenge that was faced came up when the customer initiated a vertical pumping operation on Pier 19, which had a horizontal distance of more than 300 metres and a height of 132 metres. This was successfully overcome when SCHWING’s concrete pump model, BP 3500 was deployed with the aid of a separate placing boom model, DVMK 42.
By recommending the right product to the client for the project, correct placement of the product and providing accurate information to the customer about the boundaries and possibilities of pumpability of the concrete, SCHWING established the knowledge, technical competence and expertise, which set us apart from other players in the concrete equipment industry. Professionals were at the site throughout the project to demonstrate various possibilities with the equipment, ensuring that they supported HCC till the last cubic metre was poured into this landmark project.
Behind the successful completion of Bandra-Worli Sea Link Project has been the concrete fleet of SSIPL. What was the equipment & machinery involved within project enabling HCC to perform its job seamlessly?
Sakthikumar: The following key equipment were involved in the Bandra-Worli Sea Link project:
- SCHWING’s BP 1800 Concrete Pump model (Sl. No. 71006018) was involved during the Trial Phase.
- SCHWING’s BP 3500 Concrete Pump model was utilized for vertical pumping operation.
- Separate Placing boom model DVMK42 aided the vertical pumping operation.