Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India.
The last few years have been very good with respect to awards and constructions of road projects. We expect this trend to continue with construction of 19 km/day and the government working towards 30 km/day.
With the infrastructure development polices of this government, there is a good demand and growth for the construction equipment (CE) industry. The current government has ambitious plans to develop the road sector. Now with the plans are being executed well, there is an increase in demand for equipment. We being market leaders in road building and road rehabilitation, have benefited from this demand and expect this growth to continue.
The first half of 2017 was very good, however we had a slight drop in sales, post GST for a couple of months. However, we find that this is slowly picking up in last few months and we expect it to become normal by next year. Overall 2017 would still be an excellent year for Wirtgen India, and will be our best year so far.
Challenges and opportunities
We feel the government is on the right track with regards to accelerating the road building activity in India, and they have already reached a respectable figure of 18 km per day with close to 10,000 km of new roads which will be awarded in this financial year and also awards which are expected from the state highways. We feel it is possible to reach 30 km per day and if this trend continuous, and then 40 km per day is also achievable in the coming years.
We need to have stringent pre-qualification norms for awarding of contracts which would ensure that the companies awarded with the jobs deliver in terms of quality and product, within the targeted time. As far as equipment usage is concerned, we feel it is moving in the right direction.
In India, the major challenge continues to be 'to remain profitable' in a highly competitive industry even though it is growing. It is a continuous effort required to optimise costs while maintaining your product innovations, productivity and service levels.
The Wirtgen Group, with its product brands (Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm and Kleemann), will be showcasing leading technologies for the entire road construction process chain at Excon 2017. Wirtgen's milling machines W 195, W 120 R and slipform paver SP 62 will be celebrating their trade fair debut in India.
More than 20 premium products in Bengaluru: Each of the product brands specialises in its own field and focuses on the further development and enhancement of its own technologies. This generates immense innovative power. The trade visitors also will be able to experience this themselves at the Wirtgen Group exhibition area (Booth OD 14 and OD 15).
We are not looking at Excon from a business perspective but as an excellent platform to interact with our customers - both existing as well as potential. This would also be a platform for us to showcase our latest technologies and innovations.