Ramesh Palagiri
“Wirtgen group have always a long-term view of the market. We are now focusing on optimizing our process, improving efficiencies and at the same time stepping up investment for the future. We are now building a new facility in China and expanding our Pune facility. The paver project is on and we expect it to be available by 2015. For the Indian market, we have now started offering the award winning Vogele ‘Dash -3’ Range of pavers and the latest generation of recyclers - Wirtgen WR 240. We are continuously bringing new products and technologies for the Indian market and at Excon we would introduce our new Tandem roller ‘Made in India’ to all the visitors,” says Mr. Ramesh Palagiri, MD and CEO, Wirtgen India in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

There is a view that country’s slowdown spell is more due to missteps and not just due to only global meltdown. Instead of worrying too much on the fall of rupee, current account deficit, external borrowings which indeed are the problematic areas, the industry and the government should concentrate on improving manufacturing, rejuvenating supply and demand to offset these impacts which are more driven by speculations. What is your take on it as one of the captains of industry?
We have to focus more on manufacturing as it not only generates jobs, but can also cut down our current account deficit as a number of imports can be substituted locally and then can also be exported. This is exactly what China has done over the last two decades.

Wirtgen enjoys a reputation of progress and growth under all circumstances. How has the company handled pessimism set in within and outside organization due to slowdown and still remained stable in its business and technological performance?
The Wirtgen group have always a long-term view of the market. We are now focussing on optimizing our process, improving efficiencies and at the same time stepping up investment for the future. We are now building a new facility in China and expanding our Pune facility.

What is the current status of development of new Tandem Roller and the new Vogele designed pavers for the Indian market and now being manufactured at Wirtgen manufacturing facility in Pune?
The Hamm HD 99 tandem roller has been launched and the first lot of rollers have rolled out of Pune facility in August 2013. The paver project is on and we expect it to be available by 2015.

As a new entrant in the crushing and screening segment, how Wirtgen is positioning itself for Kleemanan range of crushers and screening plants and new line of mobile jaw crushers, which enjoys appreciation in terms of high efficiency and versatility across the globe?
For Kleemann, we are still learning, with regard to the kind of product which are required for our market and also on how we can compete with Metso, Terex and Sandvik. We will come with a solution in two years.

Having invested a sizeable investment in setting up state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India with four strong brands at its command¬--Wirtgen, Volgele, Hamm, and Kleemann; how do these attributes enable Wirtgen an innovative solution provider in the road and mineral technologies business in India, adding value to facilitate smooth work at the construction site, mine or quarry?
For the Indian market, we have now started offering the award winning Vogele “Dash -3.”

Range of pavers and the latest generation of recyclers - Wirtgen WR 240. We are continuously bringing new products and technologies for Indian market.

A word about Wirtgen new workshop facilities for refurbishing machines. How is this programme proceeding meeting the set targets?
It has been well accepted by our customers and we are operating at 70% of the installed capacity.

Over a period, Wirtgen has emerged as a very strong player in surface miner segment. How have these products proved to be eco-friendly as well as cost-effective in the mining sector comparing others available in the market?
HAMM
Wirtgen are the pioneers in Surface Mining worldwide with the Widest range of products. We are the market leaders with 75% market share worldwide including India. We are continuously working to improve productivity and towards the end of this year we would launch a new high productivity miner for Indian local market.

A word about Wirtgen participation in the 7th edition of Excon 2013. How do you perceive this mega CE event as an appropriate platform for showcasing your company strength, enabling the customers to get a hand on experience of the performance of your products and services? What are the products and services expected to be unveiled in this mega event?
Excon and bC India are the two exhibitions where we participate to showcase New technologies and innovations of the Wirtgen Group.

At Excon, we would have our new Tandem roller “Made in India,” and also the award winning Vogele range of “Dash- 3” pavers alongwith Wirtgen Recycling equipments WR 240.
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