We have been following a zero accident policy and maintaining this consistently since we came into the business. If there is proper prequalification and competitive bidding, or a challenging project, we invariably win it, says Siraj Dalvi, Managing Director, Simple Engineering Solutions. Excerpts from the interview.
How do you look at the evolution of the fatade access systems in India?
Fatade access system or fatade cleaning system has evolved from access engineering and access equipment. The first of this kind of equipment was provided to Vizag steel plant 30 years ago by engineering giant Mukand and we were part of the team. From 1996 onwards, when a lot of buildings started coming up with exterior fatades, the access system deployed with a different configuration, known as fatade cleaning system. This trend of fancy fatades has spread to small towns, too. Today, the exterior of a building has more of glass, aluminium composite panels (ACP), special tiles and cladding. This trend is going to continue. It is not a new subject for us as we have rich experience in the field.
What is the kind of effort being taken on the safety front by companies like Simple Engineering Solutions?
Safety plays a primary role in design, engineering and the manufacture of all our equipment. The factor of safety for this kind of equipment is very high. We follow European and American standards. These countries have been into fatade cleaning systems for more than five decades. The safety norms are very stringent and we adhere to them in toto.
We have also trained ourselves in various countries like the UK, UAE and Singapore; this has been done during our course of association with different companies. Any equipment we plan to supply, safety is factored by us from the drawing board stage. The process is followed through manufacturing and till it is load tested at site with all safety features, including reaction loads. Toppling load safety factor is as high as three times. For suspension ropes/cable safety factor, we consider ten times the normal load factor. Prior to shipping, we test the safety features at factory premises by simulating special load conditions and safety features.
For equipment, we incorporate a self-rescue system, so that in case of any untoward situation, operatives can safely retrieve themselves without any external aid. For suspension, a multiple rope system is adopted, so that in case of failure of main suspension, secondary suspension is always in place. In case of power failure (for motorised systems) the arrangement is provided in such a way that the system can be lowered or raised to the safety position without any power.
Our work force as well as that of the end-user is trained for safety precautions and their knowledge is upgraded on a regular basis. We provide onsite training to operatives and the end-user so that their level of skill is enhanced and awareness of safety features is very high. Safety and health checks-ups of equipment are conducted as part of preventive maintenances so that operatives are not exposed to hazards and risks.
We conduct third-party inspection and audit so that an independent agency can vouch for the safety aspect.
Tell us about the product range and services offered by Simple Engineering Solutions.
Fatade access system is one of the products we design, manufacture, supply and install.
It could be a simple safety line with rope access unit (abseiling unit/spider kit), portable jib system, rotating Davit system, mono rail, to the more sophisticated BMU with advance features, automation, motorisation, etc. Our range also includes aerial work platforms, and snap fit aluminium scaffolding towers.
We provide fully indigenous, fully imported, mix of indigenous and imported equipment. We also do turnkey jobs. Consultancy is another option we offer, as well as design and engineering, which we have been doing for overseas customers. We also take up repair, renovations, reconditioning, and modernisation of equipment.
Other areas are access equipment. These we are making available for the construction industry, power plants, wind mills, dams, bridges, elevator industry, shipping industry, offshore installations, ports, film industry (stunts), process plants, refineries, steel plants, factories, chemical plants, stadia, etc. This access equipment could be in the form of building hoists, mast climbers, car parking lift, stretcher lift, scissor lift, Z-boom spider, etc.
Which is the segment where awareness is fast picking up?
For the construction and infrastructure industry, access equipment have made their job easy and fast. The power sector had little knowledge about application of access equipment; the demand is now growing for the maintenance of plants.
What is your take on the short lead times to design systems as developers and property owners place the order very late?
The trend is changing slowly. We also tell our customers, a stitch in time saves nine. The situation differs from case to case. As all our activities, including design and engineering is in-house, we can rise to any occasion. The system can be delivered within two to four weeks but this has certain cost implications. Imported components need to be air freighted, the cost of logistics is high.
Brief us on Simple Engineering Solutions and its core competencies
Though established in 2002, we have a hardcore technical experience of 32 years in access engineering; out of these, 16 years are in the fatade cleaning system. We have established ourselves as a trusted, reputed and reliable brand and our track record bears testimony to this.
Our core competency is concept design, design engineering and flawless turnkey project execution, and a high degree of experience in after-sales service. At the end of the day, the customer needs peace of mind for decades to come, so whatever he has spent on equipment must last him for a lifetime and not till the Defect Liability Period (DLP). The equipment we supply is safe and secure but user-friendly, virtually maintenance-free, and this ultimately results in low cost of ownership for a long time to come. We always think out of the box and provide innovative, cost-effective solutions for architectural challenges.
Tell us about your expansion plans, if any?
As a part of expansion plans, we are going into forward integration as well as backward integration. With this, all requirements of the client can be fulfilled under one roof. There is a lot of investment we are making on the rental business. In the next two years, we will be entering into the construction equipment and access equipment sector in a big way.
How do you look at the competition in this segment? What makes Simple Engineering Solutions different from the competition?
Well, there is multi-tier competition right from the fabricator or technician/clerk-turned equipment supplier to MNCs. However, we do not pass off a Chinese product as 'made in UAE' or 'made in Europe'. We have been following a zero accident policy and maintaining it consistently since we came into the business. If there is proper prequalification and competitive bidding, or if it's a challenging project, we always have the advantage of winning the contract.
As ZigZiglar said, you will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want. This is our business philosophy. We have not commoditised the product, what we offer is a unique service experience. It is a lasting relationship we build and not just a transaction. This is evident from our client base and past consistent performance; all the talking is done by our product.
How do you view the future growth potential for this segment?
There is tremendous potential and it is going to be exponential growth. Even a three-tier or four-tier city will have an exterior fatade. However, it needs to be seen how many of these buildings will have a fatade cleaning system.