Universal Upbeat on CE Market in India

Making of A Construction Equipment Conglomerate
India seems to be a very lucrative market for outsiders but the Construction Equipment (CE) sector should have a different understanding of customers' psychology, sentiments and business needs which vary from area to area and region to region. The Universal has a large portfolio of products and serves the industry with an ambition to provide total equipment solutions and has garnered a larger customer base in India. We will increase the portfolio of products by providing better and cost effective solutions. We are coming up with Universal Exclusive stores at 41 locations & Universal Signature Stores at 45 locations to spread our reach. The new chain of stores which is the first of its kind in India, has been aimed at providing customers one stop solution for their requirements where they will not only get machines but also the spares, AMC and other services. We have recently launched our tower crane and in the next two years, we are coming up with luffing cranes with European partner, said Mr. Ranjit More, Managing Director, Universal, in an interview with S. A. Faridi.

In the beginning of 2011, there was a clear sign of good demand for equipment and machinery and industry was sure to have a growth of about 20% across product line. But in the last three-four months, growth has gone down; how do you see the CE market in the years to come?
Market sentiments change very quickly due to decisions made by the government like the hike in interest rate, which has affected the market in the past three months. Apart from inflation, the political situation doesn't seem to be stable due to which decision making is not happening at various levels and if this continues then the 3rd qtr. will also be the same but with a seasonal increment.

Making of A Construction Equipment Conglomerate

Keeping the increasing input-cost, higher interest rates, and induction of Bharat III emission norms in view; how difficult is it for you to keep equipment price stable while maintaining their quality, reliability and improving your bottomline?
There is pressure on the bottom line for the past two years due to unstable cost of input and higher interest rates, the market is not able to absorb this cost in capital equipment. To get rid of this, we are focussing on R&D which constantly comes out with alternative material and process to improve on the bottom line as well as get high quality products and its challenging situation with tremendous pressure.

A number of global equipment manufacturers are opening their shops in the country whereas the Indian manufacturers are widening their product range; what sort of innovative strategies the company is evolving to face tough competition?
Making of A Construction Equipment Conglomerate
India seems to be a very lucrative market for outsider but CE sector needs a different understanding of customers' psychology and sentiments which changes area to area and region to region.

We are coming up with Universal Exclusive stores at 41 locations & Universal Signature Stores at 45 locations to spread our reach. These stores will ensure that customers must have one stop solution for their requirements where they will not only get machines but also the spares, AMC and other services.

Is there any new plan to widen your product portfolio matching to the growing requirements of construction industry?
Making of A Construction Equipment Conglomerate
Universal has a large portfolio of products as we are serving with an aim of total Equipment Solution Provider and has large customers base in India.

We will enhance the portfolio of products with better cost effective solutions. Universal is considering new technical tie-up in some of the product range.

We have recently launched our tower cranes and in the next two years, we will come up with luffing cranes with an european partner.

We have created first of its kind training centers in association with CIDC during 2006 – 07 and have been training operators for the past few years.

Universal is focussing to train 10,000 operators and mechanics in next three years and will invest more on training needs.

A word about your R&D centre and its accreditation?
The in-house R&D center of Universal is recognized by the central government of India. R&D has always been a priority of coming out with a need base product for CE Industry and have an edge over our nearest competitors.

What are Universal’s plans to participate in the upcoming mega event–Excon 2011 and its new products, services and marketing resolves proposed to be unveiled?
We would participate very effectively in EXCON – Banagalore through three different stalls representing our infinity range of products and segment: Concreting Equipment, and Material Handling Equipment.

a. Infinity Range of Products (H3L – 629)
  1. Concreting Products – Fully Automatic Reversible Drum Mixer, 10/7 Gen X Concrete Mixer
  2. Compacting Solutions
  3. Bar Processing Solution
  4. Sand Processing Solution
  5. Concrete Block Making solution
b. Concreting Equipment (711)
  1. Concrete Batching Plant – Reversible Drum Mixer On Wheel. – 20 Cu.M/Hr.
  2. Concrete Batching Plant – Reversible Drum Mixer Boom Scrapper- 30 Cu.M/Hr
  3. Concrete Batching Plant–PAN Mixer Stationery With Inline Aggre- gate Feeding System-30 Cu.M/Hr
  4. Concrete Batching Plant – PAN Mixer Mobile - 30 Cu.M/Hr
  5. Concrete Pump.
  6. Transit Mixer
c. Material Handling Equipment (705 A)
  1. Tower Crane
  2. Passenger / Material Elevator
  3. Passenger / Material Elevator – 500 kgs
  4. Passenger / Material Elevator with Triangular Mast
  5. Material Hoist
  6. Works Platform
  7. Tough Rider
NBMCW November 2011
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