"Sandvik has been in India for more than 50 years and we think we are in a perfect position to support India's rapid economic growth. Our customers in India have known us for a long time and know what we can do for them. We want to continue to grow with them, listen to them and help them increase their profitability," says Simon Meester, President, Sales Unit, Sandvik Mining and Construction, India. In an exclusive chat with Agith G Antony, Simon elucidates the company's core competencies and its future action plan.The Indian market is among the most progressively emerging markets in the world and has seen a rapid growth in the past few years. The mining and construction industry is increasingly dominated by a few large companies. While the basic machinery used in drilling remained fundamentally unchanged for many years, the industry has nevertheless become considerably more mechanised. Says Simon Meester, President, Sales Unit, Sandvik Mining and Construction, India, "Our success depends on our ability to help them operate more efficiently and boost their productivity. Aftermarket for mining drilling has grown at an impressive rate, but we still have significant growth potential in our other core applications of exploration, material handling, and mining, crushing and screening."On the vital role played by Sandvik in adopting advanced technology, Simon has this to say. "At Sandvik, we have been manufacturing drills for over 12 years and Sandvik has the wealth of knowledge about customers' processes, applications, expectations and needs. This background has led us into continuous research and development on drills and drill control systems to optimise their performance. The current offering in drills comprises latest series of hydraulic top hammer and DTH drills specially suited for mining and quarrying applications. Our focus is on designing and producing drills which are energy efficient, productive, safe to operate and reliable."He adds, "We have established ourselves as market leaders in hydraulic top hammer and DTH drills. In order to maintain our market lead, we have listened to our customers and put into practice many new solutions, leading to lower operating costs, fuel economy, reliability in operation and ease of maintenance, combined with improved operator health and safety."The growth enablers," Simon avers, "are certainly infrastructure such as road, bridges, highways, expressways, mine expansions, etc. Sandvik equipment are engineered for maximum productivity. Our customers are under continuous time-and cost pressure. Our aim is to help them to improve their profitability and to help them to satisfy their customers. Sandvik Mining and Construction is a world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for construction, mineral exploration, underground mining in hard and soft rock formations and surface mining."Simon points out, "Our range of accessories for drills includes rock tools, service, parts, lubricants, etc. We cater to a very diverse portfolio of clients. Our customers can be found in every part of the world, from high mountain tops and frigid temperatures to hot and humid climates in tropical settings. Our comprehensive product range in drilling includes rotary, down-the-hole and hydraulic top hammer drills."He further adds, "Sandvik is committed to manufacture products, which are safe and reasonably practicable considering the environment of use." According to him, some of the key factors kept in mind while designing equipment are fire suppression systems, EU (European Union) safety devices, emergency stops, various gauges and alarms, visual and audio back up alarms, ROPS / FOPS certified cabins, and dust collectors.In a highly competitive scenario, what makes Sandvik stand apart? Simon says, "Sandvik is one of the world's most complete suppliers of equipment and solutions to the mining and construction industry. The challenge to lower the cost per tonne of finished products requires a thorough knowledge of the whole quarrying process, combined with the best in equipment, service, support and consumables. Our partnership concept basically means that our customers will always find us available to discuss their challenges and opportunities. What can be improved? How can we reduce downtime? How can we optimise uptime? Do the operators need more training? Where can we further lower cost or increase output? We can analyse the problems together and refer them to dedicated specialists. This approach will lead to improved productivity, lower cost and better profitability. Serving is our guiding motto."Simon further elucidates, "Sandvik Mining and Construction is a world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for mineral exploration, construction, underground mining in hard and soft rock formations, surface mining and bulk materials handling and specific areas of the construction industry, such as quarrying, tunneling, demolition and recycling and other civil engineering applications. We understand our customers business and value their time. We are therefore in constant development of aftermarket programmes that can be easily adapted to local/regional requirements. Our offering includes performance contracts, health audits, repairs and refurbishment packages, specific trouble shooting and productivity campaigns and special trainings. The aftermarket offering is divided into areas such as spare parts and components, tools and consumables, and service."Speaking about the future scenario, Simon sums it up on a positive note. "Sandvik has been in India for more than 50 years and we think we are in a perfect position to support India's rapid economic growth. Our customers in India have known us for a long time and they know what we can do for them. We want to continue to grow with them, listen to them and help them increase their profitability and help delight their customers."He further adds, "We will continue to make investments in India to exceed our customers' expectations. As mentioned earlier, the economy is growing, our customers are growing, so we will need to grow with them. We will announce specifics in due course."