Besides offering cutting-edge technology, our complete solution offers the most competitive total cost of ownership to our customers, says Somnath Bhattacharjee, President, MHS&EPS, TIL. Excerpts from the interview.What is your assessment of the market potential for crushers and screening equipment?The crushing and screening equipment market has been witnessing a growth in demand in view of the Government of India's focus on infrastructure development. The investment in roads, highways, ports, airports, railways, urban city developments are the prime drivers for the growth of the aggregate industry as also India's plan to significantly increase its infrastructure investment in the 12th Five Year Plan over the previous Plan period.The market for crushing and screening equipment (CSE) is projected to grow annually at the rate of 15-20 per cent for the next five years. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have awarded contract for around 6,500 km of road construction in last one year period besides Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project and numerous road projects being announced across India. This development indicates significant investments in the infrastructure area. All these projects require supply of aggregates and hence there will be a huge demand for the supply of more crushing and screening equipments. What is the growth potential for crushers in the mining sector which has been dormant for some time now?The mining industry has been going through a phase of regulatory hurdles and therefore, growth in equipment demand has faced challenges in recent times. As mineral and mining output significantly contributes to India's GDP it is expected that the regulatory issues will be addressed on priority by concerned government authorities in consultation with the industry to bring sustainable growth. Structural reforms and changes in policies will also improve the investment outlook in the mining industry in turn, influencing the growth in equipment demand.What are the latest technological developments in this sector?TIL has entered into a licensee agreement with ASTEC group (Telsmith, KPI – JCI), USA for manufacture and distribution of crushers and screens in India up to 450TPH. This agreement with the ASTEC Group of companies (Telsmith and KPI - JCI) will enable TIL to offer a complete range of jaw, cone and VSI crusher solutions built with state-of-the-art technology and made in India by TIL. The complete range of crushing and screening solution - jaw, cone and VSI crushers offered by the ASTEC group (Telsmith and KPI-JCI) is available from TIL in India, be it static plants, mobile or the track plants and screens. These products are manufactured in TIL's newly built ultra-modern plant located in Kharagpur, West Bengal. ASTEC-TIL association is a combination of world-class technology with frugal engineering required for localisation; in addition, we offer high quality manufacturing and pan-Indian distribution network. At TIL, we aim to be a significant player offering single window crushing and screening solutions in the Indian market.What kind of products have higher acceptance in the Indian market, and why?The Indian market will continue to be dominated by the static solutions especially from the large section of aggregate and quarry owners. However, the road construction industry will continue to look at portable solutions to move from one project to another; we have seen an increasing trend in this segment. The mobile plants are also necessary in projects to reduce the logistics cost of moving the aggregates from the crushing plants. Crushing plants that are set up for infrastructure projects like roads, ports, typically work in their respective locations till the completion of the project, that is two to three years. Lifecycle costs are becoming increasingly important along with better reliability, higher productivity and improved quality of finished product, s resulting in better earning potential for the end-users. The customer value proposition of the offered solution in terms of customer profitability, technology and reliability, and customised aftermarket support delivering higher uptime, are the key cornerstones of our focus as we believe that satisfied and profitable customers will be the beacon of our business approach.The end-user fraternity was categorically specific that noise and dust reduction features in the plants are not satisfactory. What is your take on this?Enviornmental care and pollution control are definitely important aspects of the crushing and screening operation. The mining and infrastructure industry definitely needs to focus on this and offer effective dust- control solutions accordingly. There has been a growing sensitivity to this. In some locations, enclosed crushing plants have been commissioned; in other locations, water sprinkling system on the conveyors is used. Globally, high pressure sprays using mist to suppress dust are a common practice. This eventually optimises water consumption.Brief us about the features-built in to ensure energy/fuel efficiency.The effectiveness of crushing and the ability to reduce recirculation will be key to ensure energy efficiency. The Telsmith range of hydraulic jaw, fixed shaft cone crushers and newer pioneer VSIs with hybird rock shelf and reverse cascading improves the effectiveness of crushing, reduces the recirculation and saves on energy.How do you view the trends in the customer segment, especially regarding customers at the bottom of the pyramid where even financing is an issue?As the demand for crushing and screening equipment grows larger, construction and mining companies would be looking at sub-contractors and plant hirers. The financing companies and banks will have the options of securing their payments through the principals of plant hirers. As large infrastructure projects are for a minimum two to three years` period and mining projects are for even longer, the repayment cycle will also be in sync with the duration of the contract.What do you have to say about the increasing competition from global and domestic players?India will remain a focus, being a key market for all the global and local equipment manufacturers. We believe the increasing global competition will only educate the customers faster towards better technologies and alternatives. However, economy of scale with complete range offering, customer satisfaction and pan-Indian aftermarket support with customised solutions are essentially the key success factors for the equipment suppliers.