Universal to Introduce Vertical Handling Equipment & Twin Shaft Mixers

Ranjit More
Universal has established new trends, despite slowdown in the market, where its shares as well as team members' confidence has gone up. “We have been focusing more on exports which is giving us good response from the international market. That apart, timely availability of spare parts and service improvement is also bringing us additional revenue. After getting positive response to our newly launched passenger lift and tower crane, we are now planning to introduce new equipment such as vertical hanging platform, twin shaft mixers, and new sets of construction mechanization products equipped with world-class features,” reveals Mr. Ranjit More, Managing Director, Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment Ltd. in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

What is your overview of construction equipment market seeing government's renewed focus to boost infra development? Do you think CE market will start heading towards north by mid of 2016 or it will take longer duration due to high interest rate, pendency of GST, and land acquisition issues?
The new government has clearly defined its agenda by turning its focus towards infrastructure development, wherein the sector is bound to receive investment in plenty in time to come. Unfortunately, issues like land reform bills, labour laws, and GST, are hampering the movement of the traction for the time being, which the international community is also waiting for. Once these are through, actual inflow of investment will start coming in. Over and above, the high interest rates are also factoring in the decision making process of the end users, which they are also waiting to get rationalized so as to allow new purchases to happen.

In the current slowdown spell, how has the company been able to handle pessimism, both within and outside the company, and remained focused to perform and contribute to its business targets?
The present slow down has given rise to many challenges, both within and outside the company. While the outside company factors are more towards liquidity and slowdown in the market, internal challenges are related to capacity utilization, serving the banks, etc. Universal has focused on both sides as its team has reasonably been successful in addressing these challenges besides establishing new trends, where market shares as well as the confidence of the team members have gone up. We have also enhanced our focus on exports, which is giving us good response from the international markets. Apart from these, timely availability of spare parts and service improvement is also bringing us additional revenue.

Universal Concrete Batching Plant

Universal is one of the prominent concrete batching plant manufacturers. Nowadays, ease of operation/automation has become a vital selling proposition, which innovative feature(s) have you added in your products to get an edge over your competitors?
Universal concrete batching plants are more popular in the market as Universal offers customize solution to suit specific needs of the end user. For instance, we have four different types of feeding systems – inline, on wheel, rover, and boom scraper, which can be combined with different types of mixing systems such as reversible type mixer, pan type mixer, twin shaft mixer, and planetary mixer. This gives lots of flexibility to the end user who, by mixing and matching his requirements, can design a pretty customized batching plant for his site thus facilitating optimum utilization of this machine onsite. Over and above, the updated software combined with specially developed management information system (MIS) give proper control on the batching plant. What's more, the smart black box system can get integrated with various batching plant of various sites, and can facilitate centralised control to be useful to the head office to take collective report.

In 2013, you launched innovative passage-cum-material hoist; what has been the market response so far? Have you done some modifications, based on customers' feedback?
Universal Passenger Cum Material Hoist
Our passenger lift has been well-received in the market and has gained considerable market share till date. Consumers' feedback is also quite encouraging. As of now, we are not only serving housing sector, but also the power projects and steel plants where complicated high rise chimneys are fixed with passenger hoist. We have successfully installed hoists as high as 300 mts. The maintenance cost of these machines is very low while their high safety standards give confidence to customers to use it very efficiently. Of late, we have done many modifications in passenger hoist. For instance, we have incorporated weighing system and auto cut-off system to further enhance the safety features of the machine, while various types of gate legs, speed gate system, collapsible gate system have been added to improve efficiency according to the site requirement.

How has the market response been to your indigenously developed 5-ton tower crane?
Verticla Handling Equipment
Our 5-ton tower crane is a heavy-duty tower crane, and is very rigid & robust. When it comes to market response, the market share is low as of now, but the crane has been successful in terms of stability.

Preventive maintenance has become the major USP these days. What are the systems placed and services being offered to make equipment available for the job?
It's over a decade now that we have been advocating for the equipment's preventive maintenance to our customers. In fact we, at Universal, have been encouraging this practice a lot among our valued customers in several ways. We provide them with the maintenance manuals, which they can refer to for the purpose to help themselves enhance the efficiency of the machine by reigning in its breakdown thus adding to their profits. We also organise service camps in various areas, besides our engineers keep visiting sites to spread awareness on maintenance aspect and collect feedback on the present condition of machine.

Customer's proximity is the call of the day. How is Universal positioning itself to address this new mantra?
Universal Twin Transit Mixer
Over 35 years of association with our customers has encouraged us to setup offices at taluka level. Today, Universal has more than 75 offices pan India, which has enabled the company to serve its customers in deeper pockets. Currently, we are more focused towards online platform so as to showcase wide range of Universal products. Going forward, we have recently launched a unique concept of Retailing of Construction Equipment through 'Universal Constore' to facilitate end-to-end solution to our customers for their specific needs.

Are you planning to launch any new equipment in near future? Please discuss.
We are planning to launch vertical handling equipment like hanging platform with advanced safety features of international standard to help boost the operational efficiency of our customers. This apart, we are also introducing twin shaft mixers and new sets of construction mechanisation products.
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