"Mining and construction will remain the sunrise sector since it is directly related to the growth of the nation. In all developing countries and especially in India, this sector is looking up. We at Sandvik Mining and Construction (SMC) are ready to cater to the requirement of a resurgent Indian market and will partake in the growth process of modern and developing India," says Mr. Raghavan Ramaswamy, Customer Segment Head–Construction Business, Sandvik Mining and Construction, India in an interview with S.A.Faridi.
You have a quite long experience working in different parts of the world including Middle East, Africa and Europe. A year back you have been put at the helm of Sandvik India as VP–SMC business. How is the Indian business turf different from other countries? What will be your new business initiatives to pep up SMC business in India?
Business in India is exciting and challenging. It is very surprising to note that for a similar product or equipment, the customers approach in two different markets are quite contrary. I presume that it originates from the culture prevalent in that market. Having said that the difference is limited only to the commercial part of the transactions, technical aspect remains the same globally.
SMC in India is ready to cater to the requirement of a resurgent Indian market. Sandvik will partake in the growth process of modern and developing India.I do hope that my experiences of the developed economies will definitely help in this process.
Don't you think that due to unorganized mining and constru- ction sector, majority of end users are not able to select the right equipment and utilize it to its full potential due to lack of knowledge. Do you think OEM should have a common forum to educate end users, formulate regulations, monitor healthy business practices and evaluate products?
Customers in India are quite knowledgeable. Internet, Exhibitions, Conferences and associations and other forums have ensured that customers all over the world including India are quite aware about products and services available for them to choose. However, the missing link is a common forum to formulate regulations, monitor adherence to these regulations as well as healthy business practices which is lacking.
Mining & Construction industry is fast emerging as the most happening sector in India. How does SMC look at some of the new developments to augur well for the future mining & const- ruction business in the country?
Mining and construction will remain the sunrise sector since it is directly related to the growth of the nation. In all developing countries and especially in India, this sector is looking up, albeit at a slow pace which is a direct co-relation of the depression in Europe and other parts of the world.
Sandvik Mining and Construction is already doing a very good business with the best armor of technology and talent available. We are further improvising on the equipment and customizing them for the local market. Since right talent is critical in our kind of industry we are also training engineers to handle these machines for our customers so that they get best productivity.
How does Sandvik looks into the Environment & Safety issues and what modifications Sandivk is doing in its product range to conserve energy, material resources, Co2 emission while developing new products and bring matching changes in existing processes to reduce their impact.
Sandvik has a long tradition as a good corporate citizen. This can only be achieved by ensuring that our actions and business decisions demonstrate sustainable economic, social and environmental principles. Sandvik’s social and environmental values and beliefs are set out in our Code of Conduct.
Safety and Health Dimensions
Safety and health regulations vary from country to country but Sandvik is working to implement its own internal standards to take care of our performance well beyond minimum safety requirements. This has to be based upon a strong culture that is supported by effective safety management systems. Every manager is made aware of the importance of personal leadership in meeting these objectives. Every employee is required to take personal responsibility for his/her safety.
Almost all of Sandvik’s production sites have demonstrated a systematic approach to Environmental Management by achieving ISO-14001 certification. Environmental considerations are a key element when new products are developed or existing processes are changed.
Sandvik takes the social aspects of sustainability very seriously. This includes having equally high respect for human and labor rights at all locations around the world. In practice, this includes implementing our Equal Opportunities Policy to meet some important challenges, such as improving the gender balance in our workforce.
Sandvik also strives to understand and interact constructively with its local communities and to assist in their development. At any given time, Sandvik is involved in a number of vital community development projects.
A word about SMC new series CV2000 VIS–its application areas and the market response to this new addition.
The construction segment is witnessing more demand in India. Major demand in the crushing plant capacity is between 200–250 MTPH. This range of crushing plants normally suits a road contractor due to the fact that keeping the infrastructure facilities available with them; it is not so easy to feed the crushing plant beyond these capacities. The trend is similar even in the commercial quarrying sector which produces 5 mm, 10 mm and 20 mm products and also caters to supplying the railway ballast to the railways. A typical road contractor normally goes for a three-stage crushing and screening plant with vertical shaft impactor (VSI) as the tertiary stage according to the guidelines given in the most specifications to keep the elongation and flakiness ratio in control. This is where our VSI range is preferred.
Do you think that in India the price of equipment is the most important determinant factor in the face of competition?
Price of equipment is a major determinant factor in all developing countries and same is the case with India. But now we see this trend gradually fading. Customers are giving importance to productivity and quality over price.
How can this mind-set be changed in favor of value addition aspects of products and services as the market get matured on words and rules of the games?
This mind-set is now getting changed, and the entry of global players in Infrastructure domain has propelled this change. This coupled with focus on quality and productivity is gradually changing the trend. Moreover, time bound contracts with penalties for delay is also helping customers discuss and debate performance and productivity over price.
SMC has placed great store on its R&D back up support. What are various systems placed in the company, including those focusing on training and round-the-clock technical services support?
Every product is backed by extensive R&D, application expertise, a network of authorized dealers, on-site service and training, and aftermarket support. SMC India has a dedicated team of engineers who work on product development and customization. Our select pool of engineers also enable us to design and develop advanced features for emerging markets.
A word on Aftermarket.
Aftermarket is the lifeline of any business and so it is for us in Sandvik. We recognize it as the major link between us and our customers. Not content with the sale of equipment, we recognize that a lifecycle attitude is needed to create a total partnership with our customers. We want our customers to think of Sandvik no matter what their construction needs.
Time is of utmost importance when it comes to aftermarket, we therefore are in constant development of aftermarket programs that can be easily adapted to local/regional requirements.
Our offering includes performance contracts, health audits, repairs & refurbishment packages, specific troubleshooting and productivity campaigns and special trainings.
The Aftermarket Offering is divided into the following areas:
- Spare parts and components
- Tools and consumables