Vasim Pradhan, Head Sales India & International Business, Ashar Locker (India), discusses the company’s competitive strengths, given its focus on R&D for developing technologically advanced products in collaboration with Crushing & Screening manufacturers, for use in both domestic and international markets.
What will Ashar Locker showcase at the upcoming Excon?
Excon this year is going to be a significant event as it will be the first major construction & mining exhibition to be held post the Covid outbreak. We will be exhibiting our complete range of Wire mesh, Rubber, Polyurethane and Anti-clogging hybrid meshes along with the next generation Tufflex screens at Excon.
Our customers will have the opportunity to see all our products on display and interact with our team of experts to understand the importance of the right type of screening media for the plant. During the last couple of years, there has been a lot of technological improvements in the screening media products, and we will try our best to showcase our innovative solutions to the visitors at the tradeshow.
What are the major technical attributes of Ashar Locker intelligent screening solutions?
Our meshes are customized according to clients’ requirements. Once we receive an enquiry from our customer, we visit their plant or ask for the complete flowsheet of the plant to understand the exact requirement. Based on the data, we analyse the correct type of screening media along with its exact specifications to maximize the output and increase the overall efficiency of the plant.
Screens are in general the most neglected part of the crushing & screening circuit and customers more often stick to the same specification of meshes supplied by their respective OEMs. What is important to understand is that every crushing & screening plant is different in nature as the end-product size varies from customer to customer. Also, the nature of the mineral/rock being screened varies from quarry to quarry. Once our team analyses the complete data, we offer end-to-end screening solutions to the customers based on their requirements.
Our anti-clogging screens are in high demand across the world as we have successfully developed a product that helps users to operate their plants even during the monsoon season.
Most local mesh suppliers often confuse customers by offering higher wire diameters under the pretext of increasing wear life, but this results in reduction of the overall screening area, and thereby decreasing the overall plant efficiency. We always try to educate our customers on the importance of selecting the right wire diameter according to their desired separations, resulting in higher productivity and maintaining lower cost per ton on their screenings.
How is the company collaborating with OEMs to develop India-specific and customized products?
We have corporate tie-ups with almost all major OEMs in India. We also maintain stocks for them under our stocking policy programme, resulting in lower lead times. We have invested heavily in new technologies for enabling our customers to maintain real time data of their stocks. Also, AI automatically replenishes the stock based on the fast-moving items.
Most OEMs also supply their screening machines to global markets, and since we have a global footprint, their customers enjoy faster service and timely supplies from Ashar Locker in case of any emergency or breakdowns. Being able to support our OEMs in global markets makes us their preferred partner for screening media solutions.
What gives Ashar Locker a competitive edge in the crushing & screening market of India?
We at Ashar Locker have always believed in innovation and technology, due to which our products are seeing huge demand across the minerals industry. We are a total solution provider, which differentiates us from the other suppliers in India. Our dedicated R&D team is focused on developing products that create value for our customers.
We procure our wires from either Tata Steel or any other equivalent wire manufacturer from around the world. Our R&D team has derived the right chemical composition for our wires for maximum efficiency. Our wires are made to our grades by our vendors. Most local suppliers don’t even buy wires, instead they draw their own wires by melting scraps or getting the wire sourced from such suppliers. These wires are of very low quality so they will always offer higher wire diameters to customers under the pretext of their longer life; but, these only reduce the overall efficiency of the plant and increase the cost per ton on their final products.
We make our customers understand the importance of the screening area which will help them improve their plant efficiency and thereby reduce cost. Once the customer understands the importance of a good quality screening media, they never go back to the low-grade suppliers.
Made in India and Made for the World; how strong is the company’s export division?
We at Ashar Locker have always believed in “Made in India & Made for the World”. Our major export markets are Australia, New Zealand, UAE, OMAN, and Africa. We have been supplying to all these markets from India for the past two decades.
India today is looked upon by the world as an alternative to China. Our government’s Make in India initiative has opened the doors for leading manufacturing units, which, in turn, has increased our export capabilities.
What is your view of Budget 2022-23 with respect to the infra construction sector, and what impact do you think will be felt across businesses in the construction industry?
The Government is bullish on the Infra sector, which is good news for the construction & crushing industry. However, the rising steel prices are making it very difficult for the equipment sector to meet market demand. Steel companies are only focused on the export markets at the cost of domestic consumers. The prices provided are also on a shorter validity. We had to forcibly close all our rate contracts with all the OEMs because of the steep price hikes during the last one year. The prices have gone up by almost 50-70% over the past couple of months, bringing more worries for the Indian manufacturers. If this continues, then the overall price of construction might go up, which might hamper the infra projects. The Government should set up a governing body to control the commodity prices so that the market remains fair, yet competitive.