As one of Asia's biggest material handling solution providing company, ElectroMech is present in more than 55 countries across the world. Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech Material Handling Systems (India) Pvt Ltd shares more on the company and the industrial cranes market.
What is the current market scenario of industrial cranes in India?
Currently India is experiencing a good traction in capital investments. Excess capacity, that was the bane of the manufacturing industry in India over the past five years, has almost been completely utilised. As a result several companies are focussing on increasing their capacities. Newer capacity additions - be it through greenfield projects or brownfield projects - need material handling equipment. As a result, there is a revival in the overall material handling industry across all sectors - forklifts, industrial cranes, mobile cranes, etc.
What is the demand trend of industrial cranes and hoists? Which segments are driving the demand?
Manufacturing industry in general is driving all-round demand in the market. In addition, the commodities industry is on an upswing. As a result, we are seeing a lot of growth in ferrous and non-ferrous industry, both upstream as well as downstream. In India specifically, we are seeing a strong growth in the infrastructure construction industry due to the sustained push by the current administration on infrastructure projects. Practically, all industry verticals are driving demand in some form or the other, some more than the other.
What are the latest product and technology trends in industrial cranes?
Buyers of cranes have started focussing more and more on the overall engineering and reliability aspects of industrial cranes. Gone are the days of 'CHEAPEST IS THE BEST OPTION'. In the unorganised sector of the industry, we still come across buyers who put price ahead of reliability, safety and other technical considerations and sellers who willingly cut corners to cater to these requirements. However, on the whole, we are seeing the buyers maturing and realising that true value is not just comprised upfront cost, but has a lot of other aspects built into it like reliability, safety, enhanced productivity and top-notch aftersales service. At ElectroMech, these virtues are a part of the 'standard package'. Hence, while technology does continue to evolve, it is the evolution of the business model and the overall package that is proving to be more beneficial to the customers.
What are your core strengths and competencies?
ElectroMech, founded in 1979, is today one of Asia's biggest materials handling solutions providing company. Our equipment is present in more than 55 countries across the world. With headquarters in Pune and its own companies in the UAE and Indonesia, ElectroMech group today employs more than 500 people across four countries.
Tell us about your product range in industrial cranes and hoists. Who are your major customers?
At ElectroMech our tagline is 'Cranes And Beyond'. Industrial overhead cranes form the backbone of our product portfolio. We have equipment that ranges in having lifting capacities from 80 kg to in excess of 300 t. We have the most diverse product portfolio in the Indian crane industry on account of our own products and our strategic tie-ups with global majors. ElectroMech specialises in providing customised solutions to its clients and not just catalogue products. Our partnerships with ABUS of Germany allows us to provide solutions for the workshop sector. Our partnership for EX products with Stahl Cranesystems of Germany, allows us to provide solutions to the oil and gas as well as other industries that have hazardous environments. Our partnership with Taim Weser of Spain, allows us to provide highly technological crane solutions for the ferrous and non-ferrous process industries. Through our recent partnership with Hyster Yale of USA, we offer world-class YALE forklifts for industrial and logistics applications. Through our joint venture with Zoomlion of China we offer one of the largest range of tower cranes to the infrastructure and construction industry. We also have a partnership with Easy Mover of Sweden, through which we offer a unique portable product for single person handling of rolling loads weighing as high as 100 t.
To top all this, through our services subsidiary Cranedge, we provide high quality service support for all our products to customers across the globe. This wide product portfolio backed by efficient services organisation, allows us to cater to almost all industry verticals. We count all major industrial groups in India and Middle East in our customer list.
What are the customer preferences while selecting industrial cranes?
Mature customers typically evaluate the product on the following parameters -reliability, productivity, safety, after-sales support and the credibility of the company that is selling the product. Price is a derivative of all these parameters and, in pure economic terms, reflects the overall value. Unfortunately, many sellers and buyers put price at the forefront of discussions and cut-short discussions related to the parameters that really matter. We are present in more than 55 countries across the world with our equipment. No other country in the world is as averse to making capital investments as India. Hence, a combination of unwillingness of many Indian companies to be stingy on capital investments and the willingness of unscrupulous suppliers to cater to these requirements by cutting corners in engineering and processes, had led to a market that had deteriorated into a cesspool. However, in all fairness, Indian industrialists are also evolving fast and have realised that one of the key differentiator in today's hyper-competitive world is the productivity and reliability of the equipment they use. This is now being reflected in the purchasing decisions of enlightened buyers and they have started putting reliability, productivity, safety, after-sales support and the credibility of the company that is selling the product, at the forefront of all discussions.
How do you look at the growth potential?
If one looks at the past, he realises that the 'wavelength' of economic cycles is reducing. Initially, in modern documented economic history, you had economic cycles with literally decades of high growth, followed by decades of low growth. This came down to 7-10 year cycles which has now further reduced to 3-4 year cycles. In such scenarios, growth is going to come in short spurts followed by short spurts of depression. One needs to be prepared to handle such variances in the market conditions.