The winners of the second Equipment India Awards 2014, organised by ASAPP Media Information Group concurrently with the 3rd bC India, reinforce how precious the customer is.
The takeaway was simple. Every Equipment India (EI) Award winner had one person to thank above all: the customer. Dedicating the Equipment India Person of the Year award to over 1,500 employees, over 8,000 customers, and thousands of equipment operators and business partners of Schwing Stetter India, Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter (India) said, ´The introduction of new products are the result of our close interaction with our customers and knowing their needs to fulfil the gap between the existing equipment and the equipment available for their construction needs.´
Receiving the award for the Bestseller category in Asphalt Plants, Anand Patel, Chief Executive Officer (Machine Division), Ammann Apollo, said, ´I would like to thank all our customers for their support. We believe that it is the support from our customers that has made us a successful company.´ Patel added, ´I would like to thank ASAPP Media for arranging this event, and also like to thank the Ammann Apollo team who has been sincere and hard-working that has resulted into a high level of customer satisfaction.´
Said Abhijit Gupta, Managing Director, CASE India, ´It is a testimonial to CASE´s core philosophy of putting the customer first and high proficiency. Also, it is an acknowledgment of the hard work of the many dedicated and skilled employees who helped position CASE as the market leader in the compactor range.´
According to Anandkumar Dhanaraj, Sales Director, Caterpillar the most important is a customer whose support help the organisation scale new heights. ´We would like to thank, most importantly the customers who supported us without whom the best sellers award is not possible. We also thank Equipment India for encouraging us with the award. Thank you for the transparent process that goes into the selection of winners. Would also like to thank the CAT team that made this possible,´ he said.
Caterpillar received the Bestseller award for Wheel Loader and Motor Grader category. Over the last three to four years chartering the stormy waters with much patience and prudence, many OEM and component and aggregate suppliers have been preparing for the much awaited ´upturn´ which at present seems to be just a matter of time. They have been investing in innovation, diversifying into new product lines, enhancing spares availability and service networks, and even venturing into untapped overseas markets with a clear focus of not only developing customer base, but also retaining the customer in an intensively competitive market. The response from winners of second EI Awards, instituted to recognise the key players and celebrate the fortitude of construction equipment industry and honour the leading companies for their outstanding work, tells no other tale.
Welcoming the august audience Pratap Padode, Editor-in-Chief & Managing Director, ASAPP Media Information Group briefly touched upon the positive impact of the fall in oil prices on the Indian economy. ´The good news is that luck is on our side,´ he said. ´Oil prices have fallen to last five-year lows helping to rein in our country´s deficit. India is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this oil dip. At $62 per barrel from $110, it has been a huge drop. So while the digital economy makes waves, it is not that the old economy cannot make tectonic shifts.´
Addressing the awardees and other distinguished guests, Samir Bansal, General Manager, India, Off-highway Research said, ´India offers enormous growth potential for the construction equipment industry owing to the infrastructure deficit in almost every sector, which has a direct correlation with development activities. Except for the North American market, which is growing from a much lower base, opportunities in other markets for construction equipment are limited owing to the slowdown in China, downturn in Japan, a stable Europe and socioeconomic problems in many other parts of the world.´
Bansal added, ´The current scenario bodes well for infrastructure as the Government has come to power with a development agenda and is the first majority government in 25 years. It is trying to remove all the bottlenecks impeding growth, encouraging bureaucracy to take fast decisions and targeting pension and insurance funds for long-term project financing. Business sentiment has improved considerably and the green shoots of recovery are now visible, although land acquisition and highly leveraged balance sheets of major construction companies are major challenges that need to be overcome.´
The EI Person of the Year
The accolade of The EI Person of the Year went to Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India. Sundaresan was chosen taking into consideration his contributions not only to the company and its customers but his outstanding contribution in making the Stetter Group invest in India and making the company the most enviable player in the concrete equipment segment in the country. A transformational leader, he steered the business of Schwing Stetter India by introducing best-of-breed products and acting as a catalyst in setting up a design centre to cater to the requirements of the entire Schwing Group. Receiving the award, Sundaresan said, ´This award comes as a surprise to me. Having said that, the award indeed encourages me and endorses our focus on innovation and introduction of new equipments from time to time to meet the needs of Indian Construction Industry. I dedicate this award to over 1500 employees of Schwing Stetter India, over 8000 customers, over thousands of equipment operators and all our business partners who have helped us in reaching the position that we are in, this day.´
The second EI Awards, cosponsored by Castrol, were given away in different categories of products for their bestselling performance. In the asphalt finishers category under the road equipment segment, Ammann Apollo India was adjudged the Bestseller, while CASE bagged the award for the Bestseller in the compaction equipment category. Caterpillar bagged two awards - the Bestseller in the Wheeled Loader and Motor Grader categories. BEML also received two awards in the mining equipment segment - in the rigid dumpers and crawler dozers categories. In the Mobile Crane category Escorts bagged the coveted award. Caterpillar was the silver sponsor of the event.
This year, a new category for award, commercial vehicles (CV), was added to recognise CV majors for innovation and honour fleet owners who play a vital role in the logistics value chain. The EI-Castrol Vectron Trophy for CV Innovation of the Year was jointly won by Mercurio Pallia and Tata Motors. The EI-Castrol Vectron Trophy for The Emerging Fleet Operator of the Year went to Varuna Integrated Logistics while the EI-Castrol Vectron Trophy for Truck Fleet Operator was bagged by VRL Logistics.
Summing up on a high note, Bansal said, ´Off-Highway Research is very bullish on the future of the Indian construction equipment industry and forecasts it to grow by 25 per cent in 2015 to over 58,443 units from a low of 46,755 units in 2014. The industry is estimated to continue growing in the long term and will reach a level of 89,000 units by 2018 at a CAGR of 17.5 per cent over 2014. This growth will be fuelled by increased activity levels in both construction and mining sectors, and increasing demand for all equipment types. The world is looking at India with high expectations and now it has to deliver.´
The Selection Process
The selection process of winners was highly transparent with an expert jury panel vetting the findings of Off-Highway Research India and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) with special input from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
1. DK Vyas, CEO, Srei Equipment Finance
2. Suneet K Maheshwari, CEO, L&T Infrastructure Finance
3. Arun Karambelkar, President, HCC
4. DK Sen, Sr VP & Head, Transportation, L&T
5. Igor Palka, CEO, bC India
6. Ahamed Mohideen, Dy Vice President - Plant and Equipment, Lodha Group
7. Gurpreet Bhatia, Vice President, B2B - Automotive, Castrol
8. Neerav Parmar, Chairman, Builders Association of India
9. Samir Bansal, GM, India, Off-Highway Research
10.Abdul Majeed, Partner, PwC India