Bomag, a global leader in compacting, looks forward to make the most of its opportunity in India by offering high-tech solutions. Satish Purohit interviews Jean-Claude FAYAT, CEO, FAYAT Group, on the group’s new plans for India at the group’s office
The Fayat Group’s new Mumbai head office was inaugurated recently by Jean-Claude Fayat, CEO, Fayat Group himself along with Jörg Unger, President, Fayat Road Equipment Division, Jean-Noel DAGUIN, Senior Vice President Asia/Pacific, Karl Otto Ueberbach, MD Asia/Pacific, and Tanay Mete, who is Country Manager for India. Construction Times interviewed Jean-Claude Fayat, CEO, Fayat Group, on the road ahead. Jörg Unger, President – Fayat Road Equipment Division – was also present during the interview at the group’s new head office.
Considering that you are reentering the Indian market, what are the products you are introducing? What is going to be your India strategy? How is it going to be different in approach than the last time?
Last time when Bomag was in India, we had a good partnership at that time with a company well known in India. All activities were in control of the licensed partner. This went well for a period of time. But it did not last. We decided to part ways. There was no new partner. Now that we are back, we don’t have a dedicated localized product available but we are planning to build a structure for distribution. We have an office here now and we have hired some qualified people for field application who understand the customers. We intensively trained these people and connected them to sources inside the Bomag organization. We are in the process of building our distribution network. We are sure that we would sign agreements in the next three to four weeks to cover all of India. We know quite well that India has 1.3 billion people who are serviced by the construction business. We have to ensure that we give local answers. Today, we are able to deliver these local answers technically but we are not importing these solutions to India as in this price sensitive market, you are in trouble price wise if you are not manufacturing locally. We can import from China where we have a very competitive factory and combine it with some applications in India, where customers are looking for high-tech solutions. If everything you want to sell in India is made in India, it helps. And if you want to do the quantities, I believe we have to go step by step. First we start walking and then we start running. This is how we want to grow.
At the moment the Bomag catalogue is the Bomag India catalogue as far as the end user goes. Would you have a unit other than this where you plan to install a warehouse or an assembly plant?
This is a decision for the local team. If you don’t have spare parts in India, you cannot supply to Indian customers. This means we will have to find a central place that we may rent or buy or build a local warehouse to supply to our Indian customers. You can import goods as well as spare parts in the beginning. But sooner or later, you have to take care if there is a quantity in your own country that you can offer with fair and good service.
Could you tell us about the dangers of over compaction?
When you press two things together, if you over-press it, you destroy the material. This brings us to the specialty of Bomag. We are the first and the only one who really understands the compaction process, the physics of compacting material and Bomag is able to measure this without destroying the material. Historically, what did you do to measure the level of compaction in a road or dam project is that you drill out samples and you look through the density of different layers of the material. But if I may take a sample here then it doesn’t tell me that the compression all across the material is of the same quality. This is what Bomag is able to measure with its compaction machine without damaging the material through drilling or digging.
In simple words, it is a vibrating system that uses the ‘bounce’ of the compacter as a measure of the degree of compaction. This force can be sent in different directions like a vector, this gives you well a possibility to analyze the ground material which is inside. The material that you find in the depth of 1 metre, 80 cm, 60 cm, lower and lower coming close the surface. Bomag has a system, which uses a system of lights, which go from green to red. When you come close to red, the operator understands that desired compaction levels have been achieved. If the light is green, the material needs more working on. Bomag machines are communicating to each other, which means there are a number of rollers running behind the paver and each roller is getting information and the paver and roller are communicating with each other. These are high-tech solutions. We are quite aware that a country like India is different and needs both high-tech models as well as simpler ones. We have a huge advantage because we are able to deliver high-tech solutions as well more easy to handle solutions for ordinary road projects in India.