07 August 2020

Interview - Manoj Kumar Pillai (Hess Concrete Machinery India Pvt Ltd)

We are here to give products that will create a benchmark



For over 60 years Hess Machinery has been recognised as the global leader in concrete products manufacturing technology. It has famously purveyed the slogan: " We put concrete to shape." MANOJ KUMAR PILLAI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HESS CONCRETE MACHINERY INDIA PVT LTD spoke to SHRIKANT RAO about his organisation’s plans for the country.




Tell us about Hess’ contribution to the concrete solutions sector in India?


We are a German company and the biggest machinery manufacturer for the concrete industry, especially for concrete light weight blocks, paver stones, autoclaved aerated blocks and precast elements. Apart from our three production facilities in Germany, we are present in Russia, Netherlands, France, China, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. We started operations in India in 2010. Last year we expanded our Bengaluru production unit.




What does the Bengaluru plant manufacture?


We do all the conveyor systems and the handling equipment of the concrete division.  We recently started two models of machines for block manufacturing. With Rs 5 crore investment one is able to do 10,000 blocks per shift. This is more or less an automated plant, completely computerised. We need around 10 people to run the plant. We are now planning to export the machine out of India which will be our sourcing hub in the future.




Give us your assessment of the Indian market and tell us how Hess would be looking to address the requirements?


As per the study we have done there are about 20 plants in India but the market potential is for 2000 plants of different capacities in the mid and high segment. We don’t cater to the smaller segment.




How have you arrived at that assessment?


There are about 30 states in the country. Every capital city of each state can be regarded as ‘A’ grade categorywise. Each state would have a minimum of 5 ‘B’ grade cities and at least 10 ‘C’ grade cites. One ‘A’ grade city can easily accommodate 10 plants with an investment of around Rs 20 crore each; a B grade city can take a minimum of 5 plants of the same investment size, and a C grade city can easily take at least one plant.

Based on that calculation we have been able to assess that the country could accommodate 2000 plants. The study took into view the number of cities, population size and the levels of construction.  The requirement is for a period of 30 years not for today or tomorrow. These equipment will be used in the construction of commercial and residential buildings and industrial infrastructure.




Who are your main clients and tell us about the projects you have supported?


They are largely cement manufacturers, contracting companies and individuals.  Our clients include Ultratech in Mumbai in Hyderabad, JK Laxmi Cement in Delhi, UAL Industries in Kolkata, the Naveen Jindal Group and many others. We are now in talks with the Tatas and Reliance. We are also in the power segment offering support to thermal based power plants. Wherever there is coal generation we are able to offer solutions for disposal of ash.

The companies can convert it into a by-product which can be used in buildings and infrastructure. 




How has your performance in 2013-14 been? Do you have the wherewithal to step up production should the government decide to move fast to match Chinese strides?


In terms of our global turnover we did Euros 350 million last year. We are quite capable of increasing our capacities in India should there be a need. We have production facilities in 16 locations worldwide. From 2007 we have been the biggest manufacturer  in our sector. We are not here to compete with Chinese or Indian manufacturers. We are here to give best quality products that will create a benchmark in the Indian market.

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