VG Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter Sales & Services; Convenor for Membership committee, ICEMA; and Chairman of Mechanisation committee, BAI, says, skilling and reskilling manpower for the industry are the
What is the growth outlook for the Construction Equipment Industry in the near future?Which are the sectors you see growth coming from?
A steady surge in national construction projects has benefited the construction equipmentmarket which went through a rough patch till 2015. In 2017-18, the National HighwaysAuthority of India (NHAI) awarded road projects, valued at Rs 1.2 trillion, an all-time high. Infiscal 2018, 28 km of roads were constructed every day, more than double of what it was donein 2014. India’s construction equipment industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10% till2021-22. This will spur major growth for the CE industry given the demandto develop rural infrastructure. We have also aligned our products to suit key governmentprojects – Bharatmala, Sagarmala, DFCC, Clean India, Skill India, etc.Roads, railways, power, renewable energy, ports, irrigation, real estate, telecommunications,mining, oil and gas, industrial and environmental technology, etc., have driven the business sofar.
Share your perspective particularly with respect to the upcoming general elections? Is themarket picking up or is it slowing ahead of the elections?
2019 general election is much talked about when market growth is discussed. In our opinion, 2019 general elections will not impact the growth trends. However, if any change of policieshappens post elections, it can affect the trends for the year 2020 and beyond.
What are the key issues faced by the industry? How would you like to address them?
Skilling and reskilling is a huge area where Government of India’s support is required tostreamline to fulfil the objective to skill 20 lakh operators by 2020. We are the first evertraining centre to be awarded and accredited to certify pump operators under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana scheme in India.
Indian Construction Equipment ManufacturersAssociation (ICEMA) has setup Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). This will help to provide more jobopportunities across rural India and creating more skilled labour for the infrastructure industry.IESC has planned to train around 20,00,000 operators and maintenance personnel over the next10 years. We encourage training for all sections of the society who are interested to learn andwork in the construction industry.
As part of Schwing Stetter India’s vision of empowering our esteemed customers withknowledge and expertise, an exclusive training centre was setup in 2004 at our HO and Works toaddress the issue of skilled manpower shortage. The training centre with lecture halls to trainup to 100 persons at a time, has got the facility of giving animation-based training programmes,technical library, cut model display area, cafeteria and locker facilities for the trainees. Thetraining centre imparts primary and advanced courses on operation, maintenance, safety and troubleshooting for deriving the best benefits out of Schwing Stetter equipment.These programmes are conducted for a three-four days duration to hone their operational and service skills.In the beginning of the year, a training calendar is published online and distributed to variouscustomers. Programmes are conducted as per the schedule. Special programmes are alsoconducted to cater to customised needs of customers.
Further, to cater the customers in theirown region, we have come up with regional training centres at New Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad.It is needless to say that Schwing Stetter India is constantly evolving with times and willcontinue to support its esteemed customers in every way possible including training. We aretraining fresh and also retraining the existing staff on a continuous basis. So far, we havetrained around 6000 plus customers and operators put together.
Highlight a couple of policy-related hurdles. How are you planning to address them?
We hope, in the future only trained and certified operators are allowed to handle the machines.Currently, there is no regulation which prescribes this. When an automobile operationmandates a proper license to drive, why not construction machines which are driving theinfrastructure growth of the country?
Citing examples, can you highlight how the new generation constructionequipment are becoming innovative and more efficient?
On this theme, in an industry-first initiative, Schwing Stetter and Mahindra Powerol have joinedhands to launch this fuel-efficient product. The Super Six truck mixers were conceptualisedbased on the current needs of customers in this segment and will have the Mahindra Powerolengines. The Super Six truck mixers have undergone several extensive trials to meet theindustry requirements of smart, premium and intelligent products. The Supersix variants are the Super Six IoTIn and IoT Ready (powered directly by truck chassis engine) and the Super Six GPS and Standard (powered by Mahindra Powerol Engine). The trucks come with future ready engines and offers the best in class fuel efficiency resultingin lowest lifecycle cost which helps customer save Rs 5 lakhin five years.
Can you also talk about the trends of user-friendly, safe and sustainable?
New generation construction equipment from Schwing Stetter India is extremely user-friendly,safe and sustainable. Schwing S36X is so user-friendly that it can be used with one-sidedoutriggers to work in narrow area of operation. Stetter recycling plant RA12, RA20 help recycleused concrete from concrete pumps, concrete transit mixers and concrete batching plantmixers in the construction site. It separates waste water and used aggregate to be reused in theproject. It solves a major issue of dumping leftover concrete onto the ground which mixes withthe ground water table.
Finally, what is your view on the country as a manufacturing base?
The construction equipment prices are the lowest in India compared to the global markets. Oneof the key reasons for this is the price level established by the local manufacturing plants; and this makes imports unattractive. India offers advantages for the complete ecosystem formanufacturers like established vendor base, trained workers, availability of raw material andcomponents beyond the low wage levels. India also offers a big demand
locally. I cannot recallany other country offering all these, let alone becoming competitor for Indian manufacturing.