Nitin Lall, General Manager, Atlas Copco (India), Construction Technique Customer Center, traces the evolution of light construction equipment in India.
When you think of a paradigm shift, it is not just a change from one way of thinking to another, but it is a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. For me, a paradigm shift just does not happen, but rather it is driven by agents of change. At Atlas Copco, we believe in being agents of change, not just in the way manufacturers view today's market scenario, but in also how customers regard our product offerings.
The light construction equipment category, which consists of light compaction equipment, concrete equipment and handheld breakers/jack hammers, is today a high-potential segment and has over the last decade, seen a major change in technology, product offerings and applications for product usage.
What is noticeable is not just the infrastructure boom, but also how local contractors are scaling up their operations and expanding into new territories to meet the increasing demand. With the Smart City concept, there is a further boost to the already escalating demand for light construction equipment.
Light construction equipment offers the ideal solutions for various construction segments. For road and infrastructure projects, plate compactors, screeds, pokers and rollers find a fit, while in warehouse construction, flooring equipment like laser screeds are in demand. For flooring applications, surface equipment is in high demand and in quarries, jack hammers and rock drills are the preferred choice. High visibility projects such as dams require pokers with frequency converters while Metro projects require plate compactors and pokers.
We have been able to cater to these application requirements with a portfolio which has been growing in terms of number of products as well as value to the customer. We have grown our light construction equipment business and we aim to double business in the next three years. We are market leaders in the premium segment and have aggressive plans to grow in the value segment.
I also strongly believe that localisation in this product category will be the game changer. We promote the 'Make in India' concept very actively. Our state-of-the-art Nasik factory is the foundation for mapping Atlas Copco global technology and introducing the latest trends from our global portfolio in India. It also serves as a great platform to drive local innovation where products not only meet the Indian customer demands, but are also exported to other countries.
We cannot ignore that customers are also scaling up in terms of quality and service expectations. With time-tested Atlas Copco technology, we are leaders in innovation in India for both light compaction and concrete equipment.
The Robo Screed 24 from Atlas Copco is a new introduction in our portfolio to meet the requirements of the industrial and freight corridor projects where the best quality concrete flooring equipment is required. With the implementation of GST, the number of warehousing projects will increase, while the infrastructure boom will bring in flooring, Metro and road projects, which will also boost the building of flyovers and toll booths.
Here, the BT90 screed is a perfect fit for the required applications. Atlas Copco is also the benchmark on quality for pokers in India. We were the first to introduce smart pokers in India and today the poker range of offerings is unparalleled in terms of quality and reliability. Further, the Pionjar model serves as a petrol-driven breaker and drill for military, defence and disaster management in India, even in the remotest of areas, while the RTEX breakers are very popular with municipal bodies for pavement breaking and other small breaking jobs.
Our service quotient is highly trusted with preventive maintenance, and on-site breakdown resolution even in remote locations is an expectation which we fulfill anytime, everywhere.
I sense that we are moving from a manufacturing society to a service-based, information-centred society, and developments in technology will continue to impact market trends. The light construction equipment segment will again witness a paradigm shift and usher in a new era. Light compaction technology will bring in new offerings, possibly machines with higher weight class. In concrete equipment, less manual intervention with advanced systems such as SCADA where monitoring is on real-time basis with precise monitoring, will bring in major improvements in inventory management and performance tracking.
As we stand at the threshold of a new era, we will continue to educate the market through timely and relevant demos where the customer experiences our solutions first hand rather than just our products and therefore accepts technological advancements and embraces the paradigm shift in the true sense.