Interview

Sr. Vice President | KYB-Conmat Pvt. Ltd.

Sailaj Verma

BC India - 2018 is going to be one of the biggest business opportunities for the Construction Equipment sector. We are launching many new products this year, besides displaying the new generation Stationary Batching Plants, Mobile Batching Plants, Road Paving Machines, Canal Paving Machines, Elevators, Concrete Pumps, Transit Mixers from 6 to 8 Cubic Meter capacity with PTO & slave Engine.

 

Q. Brief about the company

Conmat Group of Industries started in 2002 from a small 200 Sq. ft. rented space to manufacture material handling systems, and diversified into Concrete Construction Equipment in 2009 at Vadodara. The moment of glory came with equity partnership from the Global giant KYB Corporation of Japan in 2012, which is a trusted name and market leader in Concrete Equipment Industry.

Today the group has 70 manufacturing locations in 34 countries, having annual turnover of over 21000 crores and employing over 12500 professionals. The company has set up a state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities in Vadodara, Gujarat, which spreads over 5, 00,000 Sq. Ft. to produce technologically advanced yet economically viable equipment.

KYB in association with CONMAT is producing World’s finest Concrete Construction Equipment’s. Indian facility, with the support of Japanese technology, which is used as a global manufacturing hub for Concrete Batching Plants, Concrete paving machines, Concrete Pumps and Transit Mixers.

 

Q. As an exhibitor, what plans have you lined up for bauma CONEXPO India 2018?

Bauma CONEXPO INDIA is a very well recognized brand all over world and probably the most qualitative organized platform for the construction equipment industry in India. Exhibitors meet high-quality trade visitors at bauma CONEXPO INDIA. It is a very prestigious presentation platform for companies as it is a community for doing business in India. Exhibitors, trade visitors and decision – makers meet here. KYB – Conmat has always actively participated and sponsored in Bauma CONEXPO India since past few years, and so this year as well we are an Associate Sponsor. BC India - 2018 is going to be one of the biggest business opportunities for the Construction Equipment sector. We are launching many new products this year, beside displaying the new generation Stationary Batching Plants, Mobile Batching Plants, Road Paving Machines, Canal Paving Machines, Elevators, Concrete Pumps, Transit Mixers from 6 to 8 Cubic Meter capacity with PTO & slave Engine.

 

Q. What trends and growth prospects do you envisage for the concrete equipment segments in the coming years?

The Indian construction equipment sector is made up of five main segments: Earthmoving equipment, road construction equipment, concrete equipment, material handling equipment, and material processing equipment. India’s infrastructure sector is poised to grow significantly with the increasing demand for development of key infrastructure projects such as roads and highways, rural connectivity, urban infrastructure including metro rail projects, ports and airports, industrial corridors, smart city projects, etc. Investment and implementation of key projects are the concerns of the construction and construction equipment industry. Several initiatives by the Government such as 100 smart city projects, urban infrastructure including metro rail projects, port development, the creation of an industrial corridor and a dedicated freight corridor, would boost the country’s infrastructure development. So, for a growing economy like India the infrastructure sector and construction industry will prosper in the long run.

 

Q. The year 2018 has set a new benchmark for concrete equipment sales; how has 2018 been for KYB-Conmat?

“KYB-Conmat aims to be a major contributor to the country’s growth story”. We have been growing year over year and had a great 2018, and we expect 2019 to be even better. As more and more projects are being announced – be it for roadways, ports, airports, real estate, affordable housing, irrigation, etc. we are aggressively working with our customers to be part of it all. Concrete is the future, and there is no doubt about that, and we are all geared up to do our bit to make India an infrastructure-rich nation. KYB-Conmat has seen consistent growth since 2015 due to the widespread acceptability of our products in the market. We recently celebrated the rollout of our 2000th Transit Mixer from our Vadodara facility. We are looking to expand our market and reach, both domestically and internationally. We also wish to explore unchartered territories in the international market. We have some new products currently in the development stage, which we are planning to launch soon. At the same time, it will also be our endeavor to upgrade and keep our existing product offerings up-to-date with the latest technology. Our aim is to the one-stop shop for all Concrete Equipment needs of a customer and we are working on front foot to achieve that.

 

Q. KYB-Conmat have been adding products in its portfolio with regular interval which needs strong R&D, adding-up requisite infrastructure, marketing support etc.; will you please brief on these important aspects?

Research and Development is very highly valued at KYB-Conmat. We have a R&D center in India, in Vadodara, and in Japan. We wish to make path-breaking innovations a norm in order to best serve our customers. Innovations are very important in today’s competitive and fast-paced market to stay relevant. Our Research and Development is working in full force on some great products, while also focusing on upgrading our existing products, which we believe, are sure to take the market by storm.

 

Q. The competition is shifting from being lowest priced to technologically advanced equipment; will you brief on your edge over your competitors on higher productivity, reliability and efficiency translating into lower cost of ownership?

KYB is enjoying over 85% market share in Japan with an annual sales of over 7000 Transit Mixers. Its low Slump Handling & High Discharge capacity thanks to its special blade design is the hallmark of Japanese Technology & Precision. It offers the best geometric volume and operating cost in the class. The center of gravity is also low due to the welded chassis frame, and offers better operator comfort and road safety. The same design is being produced and offered to Indian customers unlike other manufacturers, who downgrade the design in India to make it cheaper.

 

Q. How do you support a project to finish on time, as most developers are trying to complete their projects on or before time?

KYB-CONMAT offers best customer support in understanding and resolving machinery related problems immediately, thus making the plant to run continuously and minimize the Shut Down time. Multiple nodes are used for providing solutions ONLINE for any Plant Software related problems. Immediate solution can be given depending on the nature of the problem. Our team serves ONLINE SUPPORT for software related problems and provides 24*7 support through telephone. If necessary we assign qualified service engineers to the plant, after understanding the nature of the problem and cause of the problem at the earliest for better understanding of customer.

 

Q. What is your marketing strategy to expand brand reach and retain existing customers? Pls give information on your dealer network and new markets you plan to be present in?

We are a part of 98 year old group, having 34 plants and 62 offices across the world. With the emerging new business models and trends in the industries, KYB-Conmat is focused in its drive to provide innovative design, state-of–the-art technology, and quality-based world-class products, which are well accepted in the market because of its prompt & effective after–sales-service and higher performance on price ratio. As a brand, KYB has a vision and goal to expand and create a global presence. With this is in mind, we are planning to increase our presence for sales, and after sales to all the major cities in India and overseas. Apart from that, we will also be associating with new channel partners to increase our presence and to be closer to our customers. Within a short span of time, we will have our large presence in all the major cities across pan India.

 

Q. In this tuff competition age what is our recent point of focus?

We believe the greatest challenge for companies today is not keeping up with their competitors, but with their own customers. Business used to be about getting customers to do what you wanted them to do. But customers don’t accept this anymore. They don’t like to be told what to do. They want relationships based on reciprocity, transparency and authenticity.

We began this company with nothing more than a pocket full of dreams and it still takes us by surprise to see how far we have come. We want to drive the market – we don’t want to be driven by it. Our guiding principle is; Change the market before it changes you. We have been changing the products, processes, customer’s expectations along with their mind-sets at an amazingly rapid pace. But there are few focus points which will never change:-

Our commitment towards customers

Our passion for technology

Our determination for Quality & Excellence

Our primary concern for the planet. Now and for the decades to come.

 

Q. How do you look on export markets?

The burgeoning construction sector in many African and Asian countries has harbingered good times for companies manufacturing construction machineries and equipment as well as those selling used and refurbished heavy equipment and machinery. The appreciable increase used construction machinery in real estate and construction activities in African countries has resulted in a substantial surge of demand for concrete mixers. The rapid growth in the overall economy of many countries has accentuated the need for improving infrastructure. Governments, development authorities and even companies have begun investing in infrastructure development projects in several countries. Moreover, many African governments have invested heavily in irrigation and mining projects across the continent. All these factors have contributed immensely to the increased use of construction machinery and we are getting steady orders and lot of enquiries from many African and Asian countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania, Philippines and Sri-Lanka.

 

Q. Tell us about the various products/equipment you will be displaying at BAUMA CONEXPO 2018. Are you planning to launch any new products?

BC India - 2018 is going to be one of the biggest business opportunities for the Construction Equipment sector. We are launching many new products this year, besides displaying the new generation Stationary Batching Plants, Mobile Batching Plants, Road Paving Machines, Canal Paving Machines, Elevators, Concrete Pumps, Transit Mixers from 6 to 8 Cubic Meter capacity with PTO & slave Engine.

Existing Product Brief:-

Road Paving Machine:

KCPL pavers are hydraulic free, operation friendly and high output based. The company has supplied Concrete Paver Machines all over India for many irrigation projects. At an average more than 800 pavers are working across India in various Canal projects. These Pavers are equipped with vibratory attachments for independent vibrator thus achieving quality finish. Construction joints are either by Groove Cutters or PVC water stop and Crack inducing strips that depends on project requirement.

These Pavers are capable of a steep slope paving up to 1:1 (45) degree inclination. Support accession like side discharge conveyor for uniform concrete pouring either flat or inclined in front of paver walk way behind pavers for inspection purpose or minor hand finish. Paving capacity here ranges from 200 sq.mtr/hr. to 380 sq.mtr/hr.

Moreover, KYB – Conmat Pavers are the most versatile and can be adopted to various paving sequences like Single/Two/Three or for multipurpose paving depending on canal cross sections. Secondly, Concrete Mixers are best suited for carrying and discharging low slump concrete with larger aggregates.

Side discharge Conveyor

KYB – Conmat’s Side Discharge Conveyor is accurate, fast & simple to distribute uniform concrete at desired level which is equipped with advance energy efficient electric drive system and step-less speed controls. Its in-built safety features makes it less prone to accidents consisting of a receiving hopper to feed concrete directly from concrete mixer, it also has hi-tech, user friendly electric controls for belt drive & diverter car plough movements. Diverter car plough diverts the concrete uniformly between the slabs to be paved. There is a low initial investment in generator set & operating / running cost, hence it gives better pay-back on investment. It requires minimum on-site maintenance with no hassle in routine problems like leakage & busting of hydraulic pipes, frequent changing of oil and filters and so there is minimum spares inventory cost. Adaptability for up gradation to suit to different application and optimum use of power improves overall efficiency of the machine.

Stationery Concrete Pump

KYB-Conmat has given the industry, a whole range of i-Pump technology machines which includes the SCP 5000 & SCP 7500. The Stationary Concrete 1Pump with Intelligent Controls have many features like S-Valve technology, Robust Electronic Operation Controls & Management with manual overdrive, also its suitable for high pressure pumping and Indian ambient conditions & that’s whys it’s one of the most compact pump in its class.

The i-Pump technology Concrete pump makes transfer & placement easier and faster for casting of civil structures. It also reduces manpower requirements at the site and also avoids human errors in the process. This makes the i-Pump technology machines very economical to run and are environmentally friendly

R&P Construction Elevator

KYB-Conmat elevator machines have been designed, keeping in mind, the human and the machine safety. KYB-Conmat has 1, 1.5 & 2 ton capacity R&P construction elevator, which is used for passenger movements and also to carry goods and materials that can use used for under construction buildings. The operation of elevator is completely automatic PLC based with HMI system.

A drop test is conducted for every elevator before putting the machine into operation, where we disconnect power of the cage and allow it to free-fall. The cage will come in into gradual rest in a span of 1.5 mts due to the activation of safety device which works on principle of centrifugal force.

Concrete Batching Plant

KYB-Conmat’s batching plant comes in 2 categories mobile & stationary which comprises of IS specification laid by Government of India. Its hi-tech, higher capacity batching plant with support equipment which compiles tender specs contributes the most advanced offering in the road construction equipment segment which contains 90, 120, 160, 200 & 240 CuM per hour capacity batching plant. The uniqueness about the infra series batching plant is its In-Line configuration due to which very less foundation is required & twin shaft mixer technology, which is the latest technology in mixing, through which homogeneous mixing can be achieved in a very less time. It is a rugged, accurate, productive & dependable plant which is versatile with fully automatic PLC control system with remote access of SCADA which can maintain the whole plant. KYB-Conmat’s batching plant which is engineered to perfection & requires minimum maintenance, assuring continuous performance

Canal Paving Machine

KYB-Conmat manufactures concrete paving machine for flat and slope surfaces both, which are most advanced and user friendly, with exclusive range of standard and customized high performance machines for slopes as well as horizontal surfaces. The machine is operated with 5 drive motors comprising with drive motor for cylinder with inbuilt vibrator to independent drive motor for bogies and a carriage.

Transit Mixers

KYB-Conmat’s Transit Mixers are produced in India with technology developed and tested by KYB in Japan keeping in mind the Indian driving and operating conditions and are said to be the most efficient in its class. Our products are delivered to customers around the world with high quality and safety propelled by Japanese Technology. KYB Mixer uses unique mixer blades, designed after many years of research at KYB Japan. The blade can thoroughly mix concrete without rotating at a high speed made of rugged high-tensile-strength steel which increases the drum’s working life. KYB Mixer C-Shape Blades enables outstanding mixing, durability and discharging. Unique blade design with better fuel efficiency and performance with low slump concrete. It come equipped with better shell thickness and durable mudguard. Faster fill and discharge can handle up to 80 mm aggregate in concrete.

 

Q. Future of RMC equipment’s in India. What are the different types of RMC equipment you offer, of these, which is the most popular?

Construction companies and RMC providers are making smart investments in concreting assets, choosing equipment well, and hiring or outsourcing when it makes better financial sense. On the back of a medley of infrastructure projects, the concrete industry, from equipment to ready-mix concrete (RMC), is expanding. Industry voices expect real estate and city development to accentuate growth in the future. We foresee big potential for RMC segment in future considering factors like, arranging sub gradients locally becomes a costly affair and drives towards larger amount of wastages, stringent pollution control laws is now pushing the RMC business to new heights as it prevents air pollution to the maximum than self-preparing. Due to a lack of skilled labourers, RMC works better and thus is looked forward to become an inevitable part of construction industry. Equipment’s like Concrete pump and Transit mixers are an added advantage to accelerate the project progress that is certainly not possible while adopting the conventional methods while preparing concrete.

KYB – Conmat offers various models of Batching Plants, Transit Mixers and Concrete Pumps as per the customer choice. In metropolitan cities, there are preferred 60 cu m and above capacity plants like 60, 75, 90, 100, 120 etc. In two tyre cities prefer 45/60 cu m plants and three tyre cities prefer 30/45 cu m plants considering proximity to supply in stipulated time.

 

Q. After sales services and unique initiatives in this front?

After sales service is one of the most important criteria in Construction Equipment Market, and KYB-CONMAT offer complete after care solutions to the customers, who are increasingly looking beyond the product purchases. They expect the total solution, right from the point of sales till the project completion. We at KYB-Conmat believe that the first machine may be sold by sales personals, but subsequent machines are necessarily sold by Service Engineers. We have much higher repeat customer rate than the market standards. In fact, our loyal and committed customer base helps us in selling to new customers.

 

Q. How is the quality of machines made indigenously? Is importing such machines a better option?

KYB – Conmat products are designed with Indian facility and Japanese technology support, which is used as a global manufacturing hub for Concrete Batching Plants, Concrete paving machines, Concrete Pumps and Transit Mixers. Concrete Batching Plants come up with striking features of Mobility with performance, fast mixing, long wear life, better mixing quality, Advanced Control System, Compact, Dust and Water Proof Control Panels and Chevron Belt Conveyor. Rack and Pinion Elevators offer the prominent safety device to ensure that even in complete breakdown of the drive unit the cage shall not fall. Concrete pump comes up with an on-screen display of parameters like pumping hours, concrete output, hydraulic oil temperature, fault diagnosis matrix, strokes counter and engine speed. No, importing these machines is not favorable in terms of considering the services that may be time consuming, scarcity for obtaining the spare parts may become an issue to resolve and thus it can overall become an critical investment to make.

 

Q. Company’s focus on R&D and Innovation.

Research and Development is very highly valued at KYB-Conmat. We have a R&D center in India, in Vadodara, and in Japan. We wish to make path-breaking innovations a norm in order to best serve our customers. Innovations are very important in today’s competitive and fast-paced market to stay relevant. Our Research and Development is working in full force on some great products, while also focusing on upgrading our existing products, which we believe, are sure to take the market by storm.

 

Q. Outlook on the construction equipment industry?

Infrastructural Development is the need of hour for our nation. It is the basic to build a reckoning economy. Henceforth since past few years Government of India’s proactive approach towards development has helped in creating several employment opportunities that happen to evolve a wider scope of improvement for Construction Equipment Industry peculiarly in Road, Port, Airports, Housing, Water Bodies, Interlinking of Canal, Sewage Treatment, Water Treatment etc. India’s earthmoving and construction equipment industry has witnessed healthy growth over a past decade. Project owners are insisting on usage of construction equipment’s which enables them to monitor the quality of execution and progress of project to bring down the cost overrun.

Also, the Construction Equipment Industry is quite matured now in India but apprehensively, there are several challenges yet to overcome by the CE Industry. It is essential to generate awareness among customers and educate them regarding the pros and cons of an equipment before purchasing it. This is a challenge as customers get reluctant and skeptical after going through mishaps that occur due to their ignorance while dealing elsewhere. Secondly, there is a lack of skilled manpower that can hamper the growth of CE industry as the need for trained operators and mechanics is not increasing proportionately. Thus, to improve such skills we have formed KCPL Gurukul under which we organize several seminars, training sessions, skill development programmes and talk shows.

 

Q. What motivates your company to participate in this time BUAMACONEXPO India 2018?

KYB Conmat is an Associate Sponsor for BC India 2018 this year and we have great expectations from the show. It is a great opportunity for all the manufacturers to meet the local and international customers in one location. I believe BC India 2018 will bring in more customer footfalls than BC India 2016, because the market sentiment is upbeat. This edition is at the time where we are enjoying good growth as an industry. It is not only a great platform for many international firms to announce their arrival in India, but also gives them a platform for new product launches. Therefore, we look forward for BC India 2018, the premier construction equipment show in India.