Monday, December 4, 2023

Cover Story March 2023

Interaction – V G Sakthikumar – MD – Schwing-Stetter-India March 2023

SCHWING Stetter India places a great emphasis on technology, research, design, and innovation.

SCHWING Stetter India offers a whole range of technologically advanced and cost efficient road construction equipment. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, V. G. SAKTHIKUMAR, MD, SCHWING STETTER INDIA, speaks about the latest trends in the Road construction equipment industry, game changing technologies and a lot more.

Briefly give us an overview of the road construction equipment industry, the latest trends, current business drivers? What are the road equipment currently most in demand?  

The road construction equipment industry is seeing a positive trend due to the expansion of road projects and infrastructure development, which has led to a rise in demand for mobile cranes, tower cranes, and motor graders. The major segments driving demand for mobile cranes are INFRA projects, road projects, and Metro rail projects. The growth trend for mobile cranes, tower cranes, and motor graders has been positive, and this trend is expected to continue due to the expansion plans to upgrade highways and metros and the advent of numerous projects from the Power & Renewable energy sector.

What are the range of road construction equipment offered by your firm. Cutting edge technology like telematics, IoT featured in your machines.

SCHWING Stetter India offers a range of road construction equipment, including mobile cranes, tower cranes, and motor graders. The machines are equipped with cutting-edge technology like telematics and IoT to provide accurate information on predictive market analysis and a deep understanding of consumer requirements. The mobile cranes are available in a range of sizes, and the pre-production processes for larger size cranes are nearing completion. The tower cranes have SLI for accurate and safe handling of material within the rated load capacity, split type mast sections for easy transportation and handling, ACD (Anti-Collision Device) for safety, and patented telescoping technology for smoother operation of telescopic structure. The motor graders have features like AccuGrade, which provides better control and precision during grading operations, and ECO mode, which ensures higher fuel efficiency.

Give us an understanding of their key features in terms of safety, ease of operating your machines, operator comfort , cost efficiency etc their specific advantages. Also brief us on the training initiatives undertaken by your company to ensure projects are completed on time in a cost effective manner.

The key features of SCHWING Stetter India’s road construction equipment include safety, ease of operation, operator comfort, and cost efficiency. The mobile cranes and tower cranes have safety features like wind speed alarms, alarms for operation on uneven ground, and swing/travel alarms to ensure the operator is well informed of operating conditions and can avoid any probable operating difficulties. The machines have SLI for accurate and safe handling of material within the rated load capacity, and the tower cranes have split type mast sections for easy transportation and handling. The mobile cranes and tower cranes are equipped with patented telescoping technology for smoother operation of telescopic structure. The motor graders have features like AccuGrade for better control and precision during grading operations and ECO mode for higher fuel efficiency. SCHWING Stetter India has undertaken various training initiatives to ensure projects are completed on time and in a cost-effective manner, including operator training, maintenance training, and safety training.

Aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.

Aftermarket services are a strategic differentiator for SCHWING Stetter India. The company offers a range of aftermarket services like service agreements, parts support, operator and maintenance training, equipment inspection, and repair services to ensure the equipment is always in top condition and performing optimally. The company also has a dedicated team of service engineers and technicians to provide prompt and efficient service to customers.

Please provide details on your emphasis on technology, research, design and innovation?  What are the advancements you have introduce or plan to introduce?

SCHWING Stetter India places a great emphasis on technology, research, design, and innovation. We continuously strive to provide top-notch products that are designed and manufactured to suit the unique needs of our customers. Our excavator product range consists of machines which cater to small-scale, mid-sized and large-scale market requirements. We have been actively deploying excavators for the past three years backed up by our premium pan-Indian service & spares support. Our excavators are priced in economic and premium range in relation to different models available in our product range. Our dedicated R&D department conducts continuous market research to come up with new and innovative features that help our machines stand out in the industry. Our excavators come equipped with features such as fuel-saving technology that does not affect the operating power and torque of the machine. We also offer durability, consistency of output, productivity, and reliability, all of which are important features for our customers.

Are you looking to add new equipment to you existing product portfolio?

As a leading CE manufacturer in India, SCHWING Stetter India is always looking for opportunities to expand our product portfolio. We continuously monitor the market and explore new technologies and innovations to enhance our product offerings. However, any new equipment added to our product portfolio will be based on a thorough analysis of the market demand and feasibility studies.

What are the trends driving purchase or hire of road construction equipment market in India? To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost?

The main trend driving the purchase or hire of road construction equipment in India is the increasing demand for infrastructure development. With ongoing and upcoming projects such as metro rail and highway projects, there is a high demand for road construction equipment in the country. However, the cost of equipment and the Total Cost of Operations (TCO) play an important role in the purchase decision of consumers. Rising fuel prices and timely maintenance costs are some of the factors that affect the TCO, and customers look for products that provide the best value for their money.

Detail us on any challenging road building project where your equipment were deployed and how the challenges were overcome.

We have deployed our excavators in various challenging road building projects across the country. One such project was the construction of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. This project involved the construction of a 96-kilometer six-lane highway between Delhi and Meerut. The project had various challenges, including difficult terrain, tight deadlines, and stringent quality requirements. Our excavators were deployed for excavation, land clearance, and other tasks, and we were able to overcome the challenges through our robust machines and skilled workforce. Our machines provided high productivity, reliability, and durability, enabling us to complete the project on time and within budget.

Your comments on the financing of equipment, how fast and easy is it for a customer to get finance. What according to you will enthuse customers to buy equipment and thereby increase sales.

Financing of equipment is an important aspect of the construction equipment industry, and we work closely with various financial institutions to provide financing options to our customers. The speed and ease of getting finance depend on various factors such as the creditworthiness of the customer, the type of equipment, and the loan amount. However, we strive to provide our customers with a seamless and hassle-free financing experience.

To enthuse customers to buy equipment and increase sales, we believe that providing quality products, excellent after-sales service, and financing options that meet their unique needs is crucial. We also conduct various customer engagement programs, such as product demonstrations and training sessions, to showcase our product offerings and build a strong relationship with our customers.

How do you expect the market to shape up for the road construction equipment industry . What sort of government policies or measures will foster growth for the infra industry at large thereby propel the growth of CE industry.

The Government is already contributing a lot the construction sector by promoting huge infrastructure development in the country. The Govt believes the 5 trillion US $ economy can be realized only if the investment of 1.4 trillion US $ happens in the infrastructure, construction over the next five years. This directly benefits the CE industry in terms of demand creation. Schwing Stetter India is geared to meet this demand.

We wish that the PLI Scheme given to auto industry will also be extended to the CE manufacturing industry as it is the third largest industry ranked globally, and hence the latent potential for exports in a big way.

Future outlook from a company perspective

We expect the growth for India on two levers, one high demand due to the infrastructure development in line with the NIP and second the high potential in the export market. As the Construction Equipment industry in India is poised for a tremendous growth, with a vision plan to be the second largest Construction and concrete equipment in the world, Schwing Stetter India is aptly Prepared and engaged to cater to this cause. The Global manufacturing hub will be a Global Supplier for Concreting and construction equipment.

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