We provide concrete pumps with a completely isolated hydraulic and concrete system design. It has a leak-proof system with effective reverse pumping of concrete. The pumps are highly fuel-efficient and use relatively low slump concrete with higher size aggregates, says AV Dikshit, Technical Director, Aquarius Engineers. Excerpts from the interview.How has the revival of market sentiments been reflected in the concrete equipment segment?Growth is all over, in concrete pumps as well as batching plants, and across the country. We have picked up in concrete batching plants but the main issue is pumps where we at the moment, have considerable orders for delivery but customers have not been able to tie up with the finance companies. This is a major reason for a temporary slowdown in sales.What is the demand-supply scenario for concrete pumps of all types?The growth in the market prompted all the manufacturers to increase their production capacities. The production capacity has been nearly doubled, against a consistent market growth this year. The number of batching plant manufacturers have increased, especially the smaller capacity plants. We are enjoying a good growth in both pumps as well as plant business.What are the major growth drivers in today’s context?Government incentives, investment in infrastructure projects, increase in housing and real estate development, suitable local government regulations, competitive RMC pricing, awareness of the advantages of using good quality concrete…these are all major drivers.The growth of the concrete equipment industry to a great extent is dependent on the growth of the RMC segment, which still has not touched the double digit level. What is your take on this?The RMC segment has been mainly dependant on the urban market, Tier 1 cities. We supply our batching plants to the RMC segment as well as in good quantities to the site-mixed concrete projects. A rethink on government levies, increase of housing projects in Tier II & III cities and an overall customer education in using good quality concrete is required to boost the RMC segment.Which segment gives Aquarius Engineers more business concrete pumps?Aquarius pumps are mostly used in housing and infrastructure segments but are also popular in the hirer segment. The increase in high-rise construction projects has really boosted our pump sales, which are equipped with the S-valve technology suitable for high-rise, leak-proof and fuel-efficient concrete pumping.Tell us about the value additions incorporated in your product range in terms of environment friendliness, safety, energy saving, and fuel consumption.We are an ISO 9001 certified company, also having the ISO 14001 & ISO 18001 certification for Environment Management and Health & Safety Management. We provide concrete pumps with a completely isolated hydraulic and concrete system design. It has a leak- proof system with effective reverse pumping of concrete. DFLR & LRDS controls are used in hydraulics. The pumps are highly fuel-efficient that can use relatively low slump concrete with higher size aggregates.What is your take on the competition?Competition is there, especially from multinationals. We as an Indian company would now like to concentrate more on the products we have already launched, and stabilise our production. We now have a fairly good mix of different models to take care of various needs in the market. Quality products and our better understanding of local conditions, and an excellent aftersales service and spare parts network across the country has helped us to increase our market share, year-on-year.How do you address the issue of lack of skilled and trained operators for batching plants and concrete pumps?Knowledge transfer is the focus area in Aquarius. The training courses conducted by us provide all the basic skills required for operation and maintenance of various equipment by the companies. Aquarius has carefully structured the programmes with classroom sessions as well as hands-on training through site visits. The training is suitable for those who are responsible for the equipment operation, routine maintenance and safety. Various customised courses have been introduced to meet customer requirement. These are conducted in-house as well as at the customer sites.What are the issues in the way of concrete pumping and how do you address those issues?India is very big country and the basic stone (from which coarse and fine aggregates are produced) differs from region to region. There is less wear- and- tear where the basic stone is basalt. The wear-and-tear is high where granite is the basic stone and where the quartz contents are high. We are definitely looking for providing better wear parts for these regions, at a marginally higher cost to the customer.It is our experience that in more than 90 per cent of cases, the reason for choking is poor concrete quality. The pump requires pumpable concrete and if it is not fed, then it will choke. If the pump chokes often, then the user should look into the concrete design aspect.Aquarius has always promoted the S valve, which is used in most of the countries all over the world. The valve system gives a good leakproof system, which is a must for long distance and high-rise pumping, and increases the overall reliability of the machine. Because of this valve system there is less wear on parts, which again improves the productivity and reduces the downtime.Tell us about the products and services offered by Aquarius Engineers.Our concrete pumps are designed with the S-valve technology, which is the latest technology available as on date and is preferred by majority of the manufacturers worldwide.• Ability to pump very harsh as well as high slump concrete.• Ensures that pumped concrete is of good quality.• The system is very easy to operate and maintain.Aquarius Engineers manufacture trailer-mounted line pumps, truck-mounted line pumps and boom pumps. The other line of business is manufacture of mobile and stationary batching plants. We also provide refurbishment and AMC services.What is the rentals scenario for concrete pumps?It is very lucrative with good growth. We expect a substantial boost in the hiring segment, considering the infrastructure and housing projects declared till date.