Ranjit More,Executive Vice Chairman,Universal Construction Machinery and Equipment. A widespread network, customer satisfaction, innovative solutions, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and strong R&D; these five elements defining excellence epitomises Universal, says Ranjit More, Executive Vice Chairman, Universal Construction Machinery and Equipment.Excerpts from the interview. How do you assess the current CE market scenario and its growth prospects? The market is bound to grow in the coming years, but from short to medium term, there is likely to be some moderation in growth. A confluence of multiple macroeconomic problems, both at home and abroad, has created a situation where liquidity is scarce, cost of credit is high and a sense of policy paralysis has slowed down both project implementation as well as announcement of new projects. But these are temporary problems; we may have to be patient for a few quarters, but ultimately growth will happen. Are you looking for any sort of regulatory reforms? Sentiments are down, liquidity in infra projects is not to expectation, commitment of payments and clauses, interest rates should be more customer friendly. The government should come out with more manufacturer-friendly policies to cater to the needs and demands of the market for sustainable growth in the sector. The industry faces several challenges in terms of taxation as well as regulatory issues. Inter-state movements of equipment become a nightmare for operators. We anticipate that with the introduction of proper GST, some of these hindrances may be deleted. The only way to resolve this issue is to intensify the dialogue process with government authorities at various levels and make them realise that the faulty policies are costing India dear. What is your take on the slump in the Chinese CE market? The Chinese CE market was huge; from 20 per cent down even 5 per cent dumping in the Indian market may well wipe out the industry here. Thus, we need to keep a good watch on the market scenario as well as the government for at least three years, to see what measures the government is taking to protect the industry. The need of the hour is extremely friendly policies for manufacturers, customers, traders, etc. What is Universal's strategy to sustain competitive costs? This is a great challenge. The only way forward is to sustain the pressures, induct important measures like modernisation in manufacturing processes, optimum use of resources, reduction in waste, alternative material use and change in design, for a healthy balance. How long will you be able to sustain the same pricing levels? This is very difficult to predict. In my opinion, it can only be sustainable by making the optimum use of available resources, overhead controls, implementing efficient manufacturing processes and better logistics management, along with encouragement from volume sales. What is Universal's core focus? A customer-friendly approach, new import substitutes, offer extended service policy, equipment rental also one area of focus, packages (attractive training for customers, awareness level, offers). These will act as motivating factors to counter the competition. What have been the sales trends for concrete equipment? With the trade change from high capacity, high-cost equipment to low capacity, low-cost equipment, people are finding economical solutions by switching from RMCs and 90 cu m concrete batching plants to 20, 30 , 15 cu m concrete batching plants, which is easily installed and generate output in a cost-effective manner at the site itself. Tremendous opportunities exist for introducing India-specific products that include low-priced multipurpose equipment to attract new customers and to increase greater mechanisation in important projects. How do you differentiate your product in terms of the competition? Universal has been successful because of strong R&D which has a major focus on fuel/energy use, safety and are designed to be user-friendly considering the trends availability; our concrete batching plant (capacity 20 cu m) is easy to operate, consumes 20 per cent less energy and can be in use within four hours without any extra cost on foundation. A widespread network, customer satisfaction, innovative solutions, state-of-the-art infrastructure, strong R&D; these five elements defining excellence epitomises Universal. Harnessing technology to its maximum potential and shaping imagination into reality, Universal continues to give mechanisation a whole new dimension and help better lives across the globe. Brief us on Universal's initiative on skill and capacity development. Universal Construction Machinery and Equipment is one of the leading construction equipment companies with three top-draw plants situated at Shivre and Shindewadi near Pune, and Rudrapur in Uttaranchal. The Shivre plant has got a mega project status from the government of Maharashtra. The company has had a Universal Knowledge Centre since four years at Shivre in association with CIDC for making people more employable in this industry. The Universal Knowledge Centre has a plan to train 10,000 people in the industry as operators, equipment consultant, entrepreneurs. We have already trained more than 2,000 till date. Robots in our plant will enhance the production of most of our flagship products like reversible drum mixers, 10/7 drum mixers and vertical material handling products. The company has geared up for this with a special in-house skill upgrade training for employees to handle these robots. We are also in the process of installing two more robots which have been bought from the German Company Kuka. Any more capex/new product launches on the anvil? Universal has always believed in product quality and improving the manufacturing process. This year, we have invested in robotics fabrication, modern paint booths, CNC machine shops, etc. This will give us an edge over others in the national and international market. How do you view the growth potential three years down the line? Universal's quest is to reach the pinnacle in technology-based construction solutions, powered by an even greater desire to be socially responsible, to conduct superior service values and to provide consistent innovations for a better life. Universal has always considered its human resource as a major asset and is geared to address all marketing challenges for the next three years. Growth through innovations, building successful long term relationships with our customers by offering integrated solutions, and services exceeding their expectations. We aim to be the largest selling construction manufacturing company beyond boundaries, by adhering to world class standards through strong R&D efforts, sophisticated manufacturing equipment, and strong after sales support.