At Sandvik, we also give utmost importance to continuous innovation; innovation is seen mostly in terms of continuous mechanisation, electronics, enhanced productivity, lower energy consumption, etc. that contribute to our customers’ productivity, says Raghavan Ramaswamy, Vice President, Sandvik Construction, India in a chat with Equipment India. Excerpts from the interview.How do you assess the demand-supply scenario for manufactured sand and the overall market for sand manufacturing equipment?The demand-supply scenario for manufactured sand and the market for sand manufacturing equipment depend upon the overall projects like infrastructure, power and irrigation in India. I am very optimistic about the years to come. The next ten years will definitely change the entire outlook of the industry. We can already see the vital signs of future growth in equipment procurements. We are not too concerned about the short-term economic volatility. India remains a sure thing for the long-term and we are here for the long-term.What are the growth enablers?The Indian construction segment market is mostly dominated by large infrastructure projects like national highways, expressways, bridges, rural roads, urban Infrastructure, airports, railway ballast, dams etc. Because of India’s rapid growth and need to urbanise, there has been lot of urban infrastructure projects that took off simultaneously in recent years. The growth is tremendous and is still continuing to grow. Therefore, the growth driver / enablers are certainly infrastructure development projects such as road construction, bridges, highways, expressways etc.Tell us about the features that bring down energy consumption, especially in VSIs.We have established ourselves as market leaders in autogenous VSI (Vertical Shaft Impactor) crushing. Sandvik’s CV200 series is a complete range of six new models developed to meet the ever-changing requirements. With today’s ever-increasing energy costs, Sandvik offers the lowest power consumption in VSI crushing, achieved through the innovative and revolutionary design of the rotor and crusher feed-control systems. The product shape produced by the CV 200 series is optimal for the manufacture of quality concrete aggregates and manufactured sand (for concrete and asphalt). This feature, combined with world-leading crusher design, further strengthens Sandvik’s position as a market leader.What are the value propositions offered to clients?For over 150 years, the name Sandvik has been synonymous with quality. In our quest to provide total solutions for our customers, we have invested heavily in research and development of new products and acquired many strong brands. Each has been integrated seamlessly into the offering, creating unique synergy and value for our customers in construction industries. Sandvik is one of the world’s most complete suppliers of crushing and drilling equipment and solutions to the mining and construction industries. In India, Sandvik has been here for more than 50 years. Our high level of availability and in-depth knowledge of customer processes gives us a substantial competitive advantage. Sandvik’s offering is one of the market’s most advanced and complete product range and a solution approach that contributes to increasing our customers’ profitability.Brief us on the services provided.Our customers’ service needs can occur in remote, far-flung places with little or no infrastructure and no manpower, and they can occur right in the middle of crowded cities. Sandvik services, sound, comprehensive, valuable and global, are designed to help our customers overcome all such challenges successfully and profitably. Some of our services include:Parts and consumables support: To make sure all essential parts and consumables are available to our customers according to their needs, Sandvik maintains a highly efficient, worldwide service and distribution network.Technical support: Sandvik has a wealth of experience and teams of experts spanning the globe to help our customers solve their equipment-related mining or construction challenges. Our aim is to support our customers in every conceivable way, with the right advice, the right actions and the right results, wherever and whenever they need them.Repair and rebuild services: Sandvik equipment is designed to give high performance, long service and low operating costs. Even so, there comes a time when it becomes necessary, more economical or environmentally beneficial to repair, overhaul or rebuild the equipment in order to improve performance. With this in mind, Sandvik offers efficient, cost-effective repair and rebuild services that make maximum utilisation of equipment a reality today.What is your take on increasing competition?India is fast growing and catching up rapidly with the rest of the world, thus positioning it as a very attractive market. And with this, competition will also always be there. Compared to western countries, the Indian market is not saturated and there is ample room to enhance productivity through mechanisation and sheer expansion. Our main competitive advantage in India and elsewhere is price/performance and value to our customers. However, with construction equipment generally, competition is based on lowest unit cost. Overall, we see competition more as an opportunity than a threat.What differentiates Sandvik from others?There are two aspects. The first is our way of working – we have a dedicated team for customers that also involve dedicated customer care. The second is our product offering, which divides into crushing and screening equipment, drill rigs, breakers, etc. This complete offering gives us a better reach in the market, which means we are not forced to push a particular technology, but only the one that is suited to the geology of the project. We are an engineering company and consequently we spent significant sums on R&D. At Sandvik, we also give utmost importance to continuous innovation; innovation is seen mostly in terms of continuous mechanisation, electronics, enhanced productivity, lower energy consumption, etc. that contribute to our customers’ productivity.What are the major challenges in this segment?In my opinion, market volatility is the biggest challenge in the current market situation. The global business climate is on the road to recovery.We have witnessed a large amount of political and economic turmoil over the past few months, resulting volatility in commodity prices, and the overall emerging markets.Despite this, we are very positive about the growth potential in India. We will continue to make investments in India to exceed our customer’s expectations. And we hope to capture a considerable market share by 2013.What are the latest technology/product trends? As mentioned earlier, the most evident trend is the move towards mechanization, electronics and standardisation of quality norms. This also indicates the inclination towards productivity and quality- oriented projects. 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.