Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Interaction- Subhasis Das, Vice President, Sandvik Mining Technology India

We enjoy substantial market share

 

 

Global major in mining equipment Sandvik, entered India in the 1960s by setting base in Pune. Since then the company has been an integral part of the city’s industrial landscape and has contributed substantially to its industrial might. SUBHASIS DAS, VICE PRESIDENT, SANDVIK MINING AND ROCK TECHNOLOGY INDIA, spoke exclusively to SATISH P CHAVAN, discussing Smart Pune and their offerings in mining equipment.

 

 

To what extent is Smart Pune’s manufacturing ecology conducive to your company’s operations

Sandvik is one of the first Swedish companies to establish a base in Pune way back in 1960. It all started when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Sandviken and invited Sandvik to start operation in India. We have grown over the last five decades and spanned our presence across the country to all corners. Pune being the headquarter of Sandvik in India, it’s an important base for us. Besides the city houses some of the major automobile manufacturers and ancillaries, along with IT companies. Many of our suppliers are based at Pune and other parts of Maharashtra. Termed as the ‘Oxford of East’ due to the abundance of quality education facilities, we find it easy to source talent. And of course, the proximity to Mumbai, the financial capital of India provides the city a strategic advantage.

 

Your assessment of Pune’s Smart City initiatives, how do you evaluate the progress made so far. What are the major challenges.

The smart city project in Pune was kicked off on June 25 2016, with 14 projects identified. However, we are yet to see visible changes that will impact our business. Recently I read the news that the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL), is pacing up their plans and have identified what is termed as ‘placemaking sites.’ I look forward to hearing more on these developments.

 

Give a brief overview of the mining equipment industry. Which type of mining equipment is currently most in demand. 

The mining industry in India is estimated at around $23 billion in 2016, and forecasted to grow at 6 per cent through 2020. Primarily, the two big contributors are coal and iron ore. Coal has been growing at a moderate pace of 2.5 per cent in 2016-2017, mainly due to lower offtake from power plants. Iron ore mining is picking  up with mining resuming in states of Karnataka and Goa. The bright spot in metal mining in India is zinc which has seen an accelerated growth enabled by strong commodity price.

When it comes to the segment where we operate, there has been a strong demand for large capacity underground trucks, loading and hauling equipment, and multi boom drill jumbos. We also see a consistent demand for surface drilling equipment in coal, iron ore, granite and limestone. Customers are looking for highly productive, intelligent, and efficient equipment to increase their productivity and lower cost of production.  Digitalisation, data driven productivity, and automation, is also currently need of the mining and construction industry.

 

Tell us of your various product offerings and their demand in the Indian market.  Do you plan to launch new products. 

We enjoy a substantial market share in underground metal mining equipment with offerings in the range of 50 to 60 tonne underground trucks, 17 and 21 tonne underground loaders, and twin boom jumbos, and automated production drills. We have recently introduced the bolter miner technology for the first time in India which will operate in one of the deepest underground coal mines developing gate roads. Sandvik has a wide range of crushing and screening products catering to all types of commodities and applications. Our gyratory crushers, bigger cone crushers, Prisec range of crushers and sizers have been well received in the Indian market. We are a technology leader and continuously develop enhanced products to meet the growing needs of the mining industry.  Our forte in top hammer surface drilling solutions has helped us offer innovative products in quarries, dimensional stone, coal mining, and infrastructure sectors. Our Tamrock CAD automated and robust tunneling jumbos have been very largely accepted by tunneling and civil construction customers.

 

To what extent are aftermarket services a strategic differentiator.

This is the most important aspect of the machine life cycle and important buying decision for customers. Our service commitment urges us to go beyond a parts and service supplier and become productivity partners for our customers. We provide round-the-clock service support at all major mining sites by deploying a team of skilled on-site service engineers. We have various types of maintenance programs depending on the type of equipment and customer’s requirement. More importantly, we are working more on building competency and we have set up a training academy at Nagpur in this regard.  One may buy a sophisticated machine. But if they don’t know how to maintain and operate it to its highest level of productivity on a continuous basis, then it’s a waste of resources. At Sandvik we believe, developing skill of human capital is the key to success and sustainability. We grow great people!

 

Emerging trends in the equipment finance and rentals in mining equipment. To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost.

Mining activities are mostly carried out by large corporate and public sector organisations. For them productivity and cost is the main driver, hence they rely more on capital purchases. Equipment finance and rentals are preferred by contracting houses and Sandvik works with several banking and non banking organisations to leverage upon this growing requirement.

 

 

Detail us on the cutting edge technological innovations featured in your machines.

Sandvik has always been synonymous with high quality and reliable equipment. We understand that the future is going to be automation in mining and Sandvik has products featuring the latest generation of automation thereby making the products safer and maximising their utilisation. We are connecting all our equipment and are adding digital connectors to analyse data that will be used for improvements and development of customer operation through self-learning algorithms. We are also working to add various digital features to our products. Our supply chain is being gradually updated to become smarter and where customers have online access to place orders and get order desk information. Sandvik is offering automation solutions, which allows remote operation of mining drill rigs and load and haul equipment, working deep underground. A notable feature of the company’s crushers is ASRi, Sandvik’s automatic setting regulation system that provides an excellent overview of operations at a glance, thus catalysing an early action to prevent damage to the crusher, thereby optimising uptime.

 

 

Tell us about the indigenisation efforts undertaken by the company to meet market requirements. What is the company’s approach to implementing the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

We already have a mining and construction equipment assembly plant in Pune, where we mainly manufacture our crushers for both domestic and global markets. We also manufacture surface drills tailored for Indian customers. One of recent achievements has been the rollout of our surface exploration drill rig for the metal sector in India. We have one of the most advanced rock tools manufacturing facilities in India at Pune and Hyderabad where we produce rock tools for both domestic market, and at the same time we are also an export base for Sandvik globally.

 

 

How do you expect the market to shape up for the mining equipment industry through 2017 onwards.

Where capex is concerned, the companies follow a cyclical investment trend. So I anticipate a growth that will be proportional to production trends.

We, at Sandvik, have also grown over the last few years. The growth will significantly depend on the mining leases and permissions granted in the near future and subsequently opening up of bids from MDOs. Looking at the present industry trends, I expect a CAGR equipment growth of anywhere between 10-15 per cent over the next four years and then an even further upsurge thereafter, as India gets used to higher levels of mechanisation.

 

 

Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective.

The year 2016 saw a significant growth for our business where we have grown by double digits and we anticipate a similar growth in 2017 over the current year. Our outlook is thus positive.

We are prepared to cater to the growing market in all aspects, be it product, people, or customer service. With the” life cycle concept,“ we have already started gaining a robust trust with our existing client base and the market.

 




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