Sarens has built up a formidable fleet of over 1,600 equipment comprising giant cranes, self propelled modular transport (SPMTs), jacking systems and other engineered solutions.
Sarens Group, around a century old Belgium based group is the worldwide leader in heavy lifting and transportation industry. Having a global presence across 60 countries it caters to a wide array of industries. Presently it is a fourth generation run business which works with a motto: ´Nothing too heavy, nothing too high!´ In sync with the global benchmarks, the Indian subsidiary- Sarens India, in less than five years of operations in India, has successfully executed several landmark projects and has carved niche as one of the top five crane rental companies in India.
Granddad Sarens was a farmer and still used a horse and cart for forestry works and the transport of trees. That´s how it began in the thirties, one man and his twelve children, who started working with him as soon as they left school. The horse and cart became a truck, and then a cart again due to lack of fuel during the war. Wooden wheels made way for rubber tyres, and eventually the horses were replaced with engines. The means were always adapted to the needs of the customer.
In a few decades a Flemish family business conquered its place on the world market. Nowadays, Sarens is a group of 100 entities in 60 countries, with a yearly turnover reaching Ç638 million in 2014 and more than 4,000 employees in their service. It is still a family business, with the fourth Sarens generation currently in management.
Sarens´ success lies in its entrepreneurial spirit: ´Nothing is impossible, if your heart is willing and your attitude is positive!´ With more than 100 entities in 60 countries we proved our strategy in opening all borders. With a lot of self-confidence we can say ´the globe is our market field´ says Ludo Sarens President of the board. ISO/OHSAS processes and quality, environment, health and safety are vital to Sarens. Safety at Sarens translates into ´better be safe than sorry´. This mind set is applicable to every individual (Client, Sarens Employees and Third Party personnel) equipment and processes.
Over a period of time Sarens has built up a formidable fleet of over 1,600 equipment comprising of hydraulic cranes, crawler lattice boom cranes, giant cranes, self propelled modular transport (SPMTs), Jacking systems and other engineered solutions. All equipments are procured from world leading brands. Spread over a wide range of lifting capacities staring from less than 30 tonne to 3,200 tonne!
Safety is paramount
Sarens aim to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees, contractors and visitors. In fact, their goal is to have zero work accidents and incidents. Therefore, they are doing everything possible to prevent them from happening in the first place.
They believe that improving their health and safety performance requires a consistent and holistic approach. Their safety parameters are continuously evolving based on experience, feedback and lessons learned through effective involvement and open communication on all health and safety matters at all levels in the organisation. Sarens has formal safety management systems externally certified to OHSAS18001 and SCC standards to ensure appropriate focus and integration of health and safety issues in their business. Manoj Chaudhari, Managing Director, Sarens India, says ´Safety of our people and our cranes is the top priority for us and the same overrides every other objective. While we have a strong QEHS policy - well penetrated and implemented throughout the organisation, there are inherent risks associated with lifting and construction industries. This is what keeps everyone at toe every moment. Overall, construction industry always offers a challenge and every day is a new exciting day with an opportunity to do something new.´
Sarens attaches great importance to training and expertise. As no training facility existed in Flanders, Sarens has established a group-training centre in close collaboration with VZW Montage (federation of crane services suppliers), VDAB (Re-employment office), the Flemish Government and Antwerp Safety Institute since July 2001. This was followed by Komokra in Steenhuffel, Belgium and later they set up a facility in UK in 2008. According to Manoj training and certification institutes for crane operators, technicians and riggers could be of great help. He also emphasis, ´A proper mechanism in place for near to accurate weather forecasting around all project sites giving information, prediction and warnings on extreme winds/ rains/ cyclone/ lightening etc. could be of great assistance to avoid related accidents.´ ´Common permits and simplified protocols to obtain clearances across state borders to allow swift movement will be most welcome,´ he adds.
Head quartered in Wolvertem near Brussels in Belgium, the company debuted in India in mid of 2009 as Sarens Heavy Lift India based at New Delhi. During a short span of five years they have developed a fleet of 44 cranes in India and for any additional requirement they move the cranes from their huge stock of 1,600 cranes located globally in other countries. Currently their biggest crane SGC 120 of 3,200 tonne lifting capacity is in India for 6 months at Jamnagar for a heavy lift work to be carried out for Reliance Group at their refinery expansion project.
How do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the players in this market? A proud Maonj sums up, ´With diversified fleet, in house engineering capability, versatile business segments, well maintained equipment, highly experienced team, world class practices and above all professional management differentiates us from rest of the players in market. We provide our clients with the complete solutions as per International quality and standards at local prices within stipulated timeframes.´
PRIORITY AREAS 2015
Continued focus on quality and safety, always improving safety record towards the goal of zero accidents
Continue to keep a young and modern fleet of cranes and trailers
Reduce net leverage of the company by prioritising capital expenditures for highest NPV within Ç75m capex budget
Focus on margin improvements and improved asset utilisation
Continue to develop our people and further develop a high performance culture
We provide complete solutions as per international quality and standards at local prices within stipulated timeframes.
A feeling of creation is always exciting. When we execute complex lifts, it gives unique pleasure and sense of satisfaction on seeing a happy customer, says Manoj Chaudhari, Managing Director, Sarens India. In an exclusive chat with EQUIPMENT INDIA Chaudhari elaborates Sarens presence in India, their achievements and challenges.
What are your most significant achievements in which you take pride?
In less than half a decade of operations in India, we have been able to establish ourselves as a well-known brand in crane rental and lifting industry. Today Sarens India ranks in top five crane rental companies the country and has successfully executed several landmark projects. Projects like lifting of 1400t / 125m vessel in single piece at OPAL Dahej, Rectisol columns erections at JSPL, EOT erections for Siemens at Dahej, replacement of stator at Koradi TPP, erection of reactor, regenerator and main column at Bathinda Refinery, reconstruction of convection module at Mathura Refinery are testimony to our expertise and quality services.
How do you visualise the existing market and the future outlook?
Though the industry witnessed a slowdown in 2012 and 2013, 2014 came up with positive hopes followed by lot of jobs for crane rental companies and the demand is growing since then. Resultantly, almost all of our cranes are deployed at this moment and the outlook also seems to be positive in near future. There could be cyclic variations in the industry and business environment at large but in long run it definitely remains promising.
Could brief us on your business model and your reasons for adopting the same?
We are not merely a crane rental company but we provide ´solutions´. By combining a wide range of services with one of the world´s largest and most diversified fleet of equipment, we are able to provide our customers with the right solutions for their heavy lifting and engineered transport challenges, no matter what, no matter where, no matter when. This approach helps us adapt and excel in different industries across geographical boundaries to realize our mission to become ´The reference´ in the industry.
What is the range of cranes you provide on hire? What is your fleet size?
Sarens operates one of the largest worldwide fleets of cranes of about 1,600, ranging from smaller hydraulic cranes to lattice boom cranes with a capacity up to 3,200 tonne and heavy luffing tower cranes with capacities up to 2,400 metre-tonne. As well as lifting, we offer our customers solutions for the transportation and handling of heavy and oversized loads that cannot be transported in a conventional way. These operations involve our fleet of modular trailers, self-propelled modular trailers and barges and a wide variety of customised equipment such as barges, gantries, strand jacks, tower lifts and skidding systems.
The fleet is a global pool and is transferred from country to country based on business needs. In India, we have a fleet of 44 cranes ranging from 70T capacity to 1,250T capacity. I take extra pride is saying that, our biggest capacity Sarens Giant Crane (SGC 120/ 3,200T capacity) also is in India at the moment for a project of six months or more.
Do you supply outsourced cranes?
We do provide outsourced cranes to our premier clients who need services under our supervision and responsibility though it is never our prime thrust. Besides, we do hire small cranes from local market on need basis on our projects. The figures keep on changing; however, on an average about 5-7 per cent of our turnover in India comes from cross rentals.
How do you overcome the inter-state movement of equipment which is still a huge challenge?
This remains a challenge due to the fact that every state has different rules. We do try to minimise it by planning in advance, selection of expert transport service providers and by keeping a strong follow up mechanism in place. Our experienced crew ensures that all applicable statuary compliance and formalities are completed well in time. At a policy level, the whole industry is looking up at GST to eliminate the challenges associated with interstate movement.