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“We Want to Drive the Market. We Don’t Want to  be Driven by it”

“We Want to Drive the Market. We Don’t Want to be Driven by it”

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Sailaj Verma,
Senior Vice President Sales KYB-Conmat,
Conmat Group.

 

 

Starting out two decades ago, operating out of a 200 sq. ft. rented space to 70 manufacturing locations in 34 countries, Conmat Group of Industries has come a long way. Sailaj Verma, Senior Vice President Sales KYB-Conmat, Conmat Group, talks to CT on the eve of bauma 2018.

 

 

As an exhibitor, what plans have you lined up for bauma CONEXPO India 2018?

Bauma CONEXPO INDIA is a very well recognized brand all over the world and probably the most qualitative organised platform for the construction equipment industry in India. Exhibitors meet high-quality trade visitors at bauma CONEXPO INDIA. It is a very prestigious presentation platform for companies as it is a community for doing business in India. Exhibitors, trade visitors and decision – makers meet here. KYB – Conmat has always actively participated and sponsored in Bauma CONEXPO India since past few years, and so this year as well we are an associate sponsor.  BC India – 2018 is going to be one of the biggest business opportunities for the CE sector. We are launching many new products this year, beside displaying the new generation Stationary Batching Plants, Mobile Batching Plants, Road Paving Machines, Canal Paving Machines, Elevators, Concrete Pumps, Transit Mixers from 6 to 8 Cubic Meter capacity with PTO & slave Engine.

What trends and growth prospects do you envisage for the concrete equipment segments in the coming years?

The Indian construction equipment sector is made up of five main segments: Earthmoving equipment, road construction equipment, concrete equipment, material handling equipment, and material processing equipment. India’s infrastructure sector is poised to grow significantly with the increasing demand for development of key infrastructure projects such as roads and highways, rural connectivity, urban infrastructure including metro rail projects, ports and airports, industrial corridors, smart city projects, etc. Investment and implementation of key projects are the concerns of the construction and construction equipment industry. Several initiatives by the Government such as 100 smart city projects, urban infrastructure including metro rail projects, port development, the creation of an industrial corridor and a dedicated freight corridor, would boost the country’s infrastructure development. So, for a growing economy like India the infrastructure sector and construction industry will prosper in the long run.

The year 2018 has set a new benchmark for concrete equipment sales; how has 2018 been for KYB-Conmat?

KYB-Conmat aims to be a major contributor to the country’s growth story. We have been growing year over year and had a great 2018, and we expect 2019 to be even better. As more and more projects are being announced – be it for roadways, ports, airports, real estate, affordable housing, irrigation, etc. we are aggressively working with our customers to be part of it all. Concrete is the future, and there is no doubt about that, and we are all geared up to do our bit to make India an infrastructure-rich nation. KYB-Conmat has seen consistent growth since 2015 due to the widespread acceptability of our products in the market. We recently celebrated the rollout of our 2000th Transit Mixer from our Vadodara facility. We are looking to expand our market and reach, both domestically and internationally. We also wish to explore unchartered territories in the international market. We have some new products currently in the development stage, which we are planning to launch soon. At the same time, it will also be our endeavor to upgrade and keep our existing product offerings up-to-date with the latest technology. Our aim is to the one-stop shop for all Concrete Equipment needs of a customer and we are working on front foot to achieve that.

KYB-Conmat has been adding products at regular interval which needs strong R&D, requisite infrastructure, marketing support, etc. Give us these details.

Research and development is very highly valued at KYB-Conmat. We have a R&D center in India, in Vadodara, and in Japan. We wish to make path-breaking innovations a norm in order to best serve our customers. Innovations are very important in today’s competitive and fast-paced market to stay relevant. Our R&D is working in full force on some great products, while also focusing on upgrading our existing products, which we believe, are sure to take the market by storm.

The competition is shifting from being lowest priced to technologically advanced equipment. Tell us about your edge over competitors with respect to productivity, reliability and efficiency.

KYB is enjoying over 85% market share in Japan with an annual sales of over 7000 Transit Mixers. Its low slump handling and high discharge capacity thanks to its special blade design is the hallmark of Japanese technology and precision. It offers the best geometric volume and operating cost in the class. The center of gravity is also low due to the welded chassis frame, and offers better operator comfort and road safety. The same design is being produced and offered to Indian customers unlike other manufacturers, who downgrade the design in India to make it cheaper.

What is your marketing strategy to expand brand reach and retain existing customers? Tell us about your dealer network and the new markets you plan to be present.

We are a part of 98-year old group, having 34 plants and 62 offices across the world. With the emerging new business models and trends in the industries, KYB-Conmat is focused in its drive to provide innovative design, state-of–the-art technology, and quality-based world-class products, which are well accepted in the market because of its prompt & effective after–sales-service and higher performance on price ratio. As a brand, KYB has a vision and goal to expand and create a global presence. With this is in mind, we are planning to increase our presence for sales, and after sales to all the major cities in India and overseas. Apart from that, we will also be associating with new channel partners to increase our presence and to be closer to our customers. Within a short span of time, we will have our large presence in all the major cities across pan India.

We believe the greatest challenge for companies today is not keeping up with their competitors, but with their own customers. Business used to be about getting customers to do what you wanted them to do. But customers don’t accept this anymore. They don’t like to be told what to do. They want relationships based on reciprocity, transparency and authenticity. We began this company with nothing more than a pocket full of dreams and it still takes us by surprise to see how far we have come.  We want to drive the market, we don’t want to be driven by it. Our guiding principle is; Change the market before it changes you. We have been changing the products, processes, customer’s expectations along with their mind-sets at an amazingly rapid pace. But there are few focus points which will never change:-

  • Our commitment towards customers
  • Our passion for technology
  • Our determination for Quality & Excellence
  • Our primary concern for the planet, now and for the decades to come.

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