If a project needs to be completed in time, efficient access equipment/machine needs to be deployed, as early completion of project will bring down the overall cost. There is an urgent need of legislation or some kind of Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) certification, says Siraj Dalvi, Managing Director, Simple Engineering Solutions. Excerpts from the interview.
What needs to be done to bring the access equipment segment back on a healthy growth trajectory?
Construction and infrastructure development companies need to review existing material handling and people handling equipment, in terms of safety and efficiency. The age-old conventional practice of using steel scaffolding, bamboo scaffolding and mobile cranes with cage attached for people handling is cumbersome, unsafe and inefficient, it is a major challenge for us to phase them out. If a project needs to be completed in time, efficient access equipment/machine needs to be deployed, since early completion of project will bring down the overall cost. There is an urgent need of legislation or some kind of BIS certification.
What have been Simple Engineering Solution's strategies to sustain competitive costs?
Devaluation has put a burden on landed cost of material. There is definitely pressure on pricing of equipment which needs to be imported in a fully assembled condition. Indigenisation of some of the components is one area we are working on, this is without compromising on safety and quality. Overall expenditure for capital equipment has increased. We are setting this off by providing extended warranties and AMC and partial equipment renting.
What is your core focus on providing value addition to its customers?
Right now, the demand-supply situation is balanced. We are offering innovative access system. If we can provide a customised solution, which caters to the requirement at the construction stage, thereafter it is used as access equipment and finally for repair/maintenance, lifting of glass façade, etc. This one kind of access system addresses various applications at various stages and ultimately brings down the cost of ownership. However, this is always backed by performance of equipment, and uninterrupted and timely after sales service.
What was your overall performance in 2012?
We have never been volume oriented. Our target is not chasing the turnover. We are more into customised solutions and challenging projects, where there is little or no competition. The bottomline is under pressure for standard jobs; these jobs contribute to volume while challenging jobs improve the bottomline. In the last quarter, we try to concentrate on closing/commissioning of projects as much as we can.
How do you differentiate your product from the competition?
Safety is the primary focus. This, coupled with user-friendliness and a less cumbersome product, ultimately increases efficiency and contributes to the productivity. The equipment is designed in such a way that it can be used during the construction stage for installation work (also for external plastering, etc); thereafter, access equipment can be used for replacement of facade/glass, thus offering an unmatched value for money as a multipurpose system.
How do you look at the growth potential in another three years?
The awareness for multiple applications of this kind of equipment is fast picking up pace. We are educating the user/customer so that at an additional fractional cost, they can use the same equipment in various ways. Our very strong and three decade old engineering expertise comes in useful and handy to convert enquiries into orders.
How do you view the potential for rentals of this kind of equipment?
There is a lot of scope for rentals of equipment during the construction stage. However, these are standard equipment and come under the category of Temporary Suspended Platform or Gondola (TSP). Also, they lack certain safety features. These cannot be categorised as building maintenance unit (BMU) or a dedicated façade cleaning system. This equipment provides an efficient, viable and highly economical alternative for conventional steel/bamboo scaffolding/staging.
If the façade cleaning system deployed is of a special nature or customised, then the client needs to buy at least roof equipment or a suspension unit and a motorised platform can be obtained on rent.
As we provide equipment on rent, the capital expenses of a façade access system have been reduced, and the budget issues of the user are addressed. The commercial part cannot be generalised because long term benefits have to be calculated. We also provide equipment on Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) or Build, Own Lease and Transfer (BOLT), though this depends on case to case basis.
Brief us on Simple Engineering Solutions and its core competencies.
The company was established in 2002 and we have hard-core technical experience of 32 years in access engineering, in which, 16 years in the façade cleaning system. We have established ourselves as a trusted, reputed and reliable brand. There is consistency in our performance. We prefer to lose a job, rather than a customer, if we observe that improper or unsafe equipment is being sought.
Our core competency is concept design, design engineering and flawless turnkey project execution, and we have 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 that whatever he has spent on equipment must last him for a lifetime and not till Defect Liability Period (DLP). The equipment we supply is safe and secure, they are not cumbersome or difficult to operate but user-friendly, virtually maintenance free; this ultimately results in low cost of ownership for a long time.
We always think out of the box and provide innovative, cost-effective solutions for architectural challenges. We take all care to see that there is no modification in the architecture nor we propose anything which spoils the look and elevation of the building.
PRODUCTS AND FEATURES
A fatade access system that could be simple safety line with rope access unit (abseiling unit/spider kit), portable jib system, rotating davit system, monorail to more sophisticated BMUs with advanced features, automation, motorisation, etc. This also includes aerial work platforms, snap fit aluminium scaffolding towers. We provide: