At our Pune plant, we manufacture the Hamm range of soil compactors and tandem rollers. We will shortly start producing the Vogele pavers and the Kleemann range of crushing and screening plants, says P Ramesh, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India. Excerpts from the interview...
How do you look at the demand-supply scenario?
Due to the slowdown in the last 3-4 years, definitely the supply is more than the demand, but however we expect this to pick up in the next 2-3 years at an average growth of at least 20 per cent, as a result of the various policy initiatives by the new government in the infrastructure field, specially in roads and mining sectors.
To what extent the products manufactured in India are localised?
Currently, the Hamm compactors which are being locally produced at our Pune plant, for the last four years have a local content of almost 70 per cent in value terms, and we are continuously looking at increasing the local content to stay competitive. This will be the same for our other products which will roll out in future like the Kleemann screens and the Vogele pavers.
Tell us about the manufacturing plants with facilities.
We have two manufacturing plants in Pune, one which is operational already, where the Hamm compactors are being produced and next year onwards the Vogele pavers will be produced, and second plant which will be officially inaugurated on March 27 by Wirtgen, where we will be producing the Kleemann screens.
Brief us about the R&D facility.
In addition to the R&D facility at our four German plants, we also have the R&D facilities in Pune and our team work closely with the German engineers in maintenance of design and new product development.
What is the investment pumped so far in India?
We have invested around Rs 130 crore as project costs.
What is the current capacity and capacity utilization?
Currently, we can produce around 800 compactors, 200 pavers and 500 crushing and screening plants.
Wirtgen doesn´t operate through dealer network. Are there any reasons?
We do not have any dealer network and believe in having a direct approach to our customers. Keeping in view our ´Close to our Customers´ concept, we are in direct contact with our customers; we have ´Application Specialists´ at our project sites to work closely with the project managers and supervisors. This ensures a maximum output from our machines.
What are the challenges in manufacturing in terms of availability of power/raw materials/logistics/tax-related issues?
Power is a challenge but can be managed, raw materials is also not a big challenge, but the real challenge is logistics for sure when parts are to be procured from vendor, the handling, logistics etc. For import of machines, the port availability,freight costs, frequency of vessels are all challenges which have to be addressed.
To what extent Wirtgen India is a manufacturing hub in terms of design, procurement, production and export?
Wirtgen India is currently a manufacturing hub for the Indian market, Nepal and Sri Lanka. However, this may change in the coming years.
What is the percentage of export and how good is the growth potential?
We currently export only to Nepal and Sri Lanka.