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Skill development is key

Skill development is key

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Partha Mookherjee, Head- Mining Equipment Business, Larsen & Toubro Limited speaks about the opportunities seen in mining segment despite the slow down.

What is your concentration in the mining industry? Elaborate on the product line.

We at L&T, are the Authorised Distributors for Komatsu (for its range of Construction and Mining Equipment) and Scania (for Mining Tippers). The Construction and Mining Equipment range of Komatsu comprises Dump Trucks, Hydraulic Excavators, Dozers, Wheel Loaders, Motor Graders, etc. With such an exhaustive range of product in our portfolio, we are at the forefront of meeting customers’ equipment needs.

Comment on the major impediments in terms of new policies and compliances in mining equipment segment.

The policies should be aimed at absorbing Mining Equipment with latest technologies. Today, most of the global players are present in India. However, due to limited market size, it may not be economically feasible to manufacture all Mining Equipment models in India. Thus, such low-volume highly specialised equipment shall continue to be imported. Hence, the policy makers should take this fact into consideration without putting such players at a disadvantageous position. Otherwise, India will be deprived the advantages of latest technological developments.

What are the major impediments the mining equipment segment is facing today?

The major customers for Mining Equipment in India are the Public Sector Companies. Since they continue to procure on L1 basis, global players generally ignore this large market or develop low-specification models to meet the tender criteria, often compromising on the performance and reliability. It is high-time that Public Sector adopt a quality-based assessment system for Mining Equipment. This will enthuse the global players to look at India with further and matured interest.

Lack of training and skill development is highlighted as a concern. Your taken on it?

Off-late, there has been a conscious effort by all major manufacturers of Construction & Mining Equipment in India, to train and skill the personnel involved with operation and maintenance of these equipment. We, at L&T, are involved with National Skill Development Corporation for the Skill India Mission and our efforts and contribution in this field, have been widely recognised and appreciated.

What are the new technologies that are being adopted in the mining equipment?

The new technologies being adopted for Mining Equipment are primarily aimed at improving the efficiencies and lowering the cost per tonne of doing work. Data Analytics, Augmented Reality and GUI based interfaces and assessments are at the forefront of continuous improvement programmes.

As a company, how do you see the mining segment market for the next three years?

Mining Equipment market is expected to show sluggish growth for the next 3 years, with Public Sector purchases continuing to have a major share. However, with the MDO projects gaining traction, the Mining Equipment market will eventually gather faster pace.

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