Monday, September 21, 2020

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Interaction- Ramesh Palagiri, MD & CEO, Wirtgen India

Wirtgen Group technologies are benchmark for Industry, in terms of Innovation, Performance, and Reliability

This is a global leader in road technologies with five Best-in-Class brands in its product portfolio for road segment. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAMESH PALAGIRI, MD & CEO, WIRTGEN INDIA, discusses their product portfolio and his India market outlook.



Tell us about your Manufacturing Base in India.

The Wirtgen Group has been in India for over 20 years and we have started manufacturing products in India since 2011 at our Pune plant with the manufacture of Hamm Compactors. We have already done expansions in last few years for the Vogele and Kleemann production at our Pune plant, and we have rolled out the Kleemann screens for both domestic market and for export globally. With demand pick up we are increasing our production capacities for the Hamm rollers. On the Vogele front , we have commenced series production of our 6 mtr class wheeled and tracked pavers of the Super Series.

Our current production capacities in Pune are adequate to meet the requirement in the next couple of years, considering that there will be good growth in the Indian market and also for exports. However several small investments would continue.



Green environment friendly technology in your products.

The Wirtgen Group has been consistently trying to develop products which offer better efficiency in terms of fuel consumption, and this helps in sustainable development and less carbon emissions, and also our machines contribute towards reduction of use of aggregates and also in the reuse of existing bitumen with our cold milling and cold recycling technologies.



Do you practice ‘Make in India and Sell Globally,’ use your India manufacturing base to supply the global market.

The Kleemann Screens which are manufactured at the Pune plant of Wirtgen India are already being exported to the global market.

What distinguishes your products vis-à-vis the competition? What is your current market share in all your product categories?

Wirtgen Group products in the road technology sector are the benchmark for the Industry, in terms of innovation, performance, and reliability. And these products in most cases are a few generations ahead of competition.

And hence we believe that these would be the GO-TO products for our customers as all our decisions are driven by our MOTTO – CLOSE TO OUR CUSTOMERS.



Impact of GST on your company.

GST will be a game changer for Indian economy. The GST is India's biggest tax reform to date and is expected to improve compliance levels, increase governmental revenue, and bridge the divide between small and large businesses by amalgamating a host of central and local taxes.

Yes, the initial rate of 28 per cent GST has impacted our volumes to some extent but the government has now reduced the rates to 18 per cent and this should trigger more demand especially among the retail/rental customers.



Your outlook for the Indian ECE market. Which sectors will be the major demand drivers?

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 CE industry. The current government has ambitious plans to develop the road sector. Now the plans are being executed well, and due to this there is an increase in demand for equipment.

We being market leaders for Road building and road rehabilitation, have benefitted from this demand and expect this growth to continue.



Give us an understanding of your company’s performance this year and your outlook going forward?

The outlook is excellent and we expect a growth of 25 -30 per cent this year, and our agenda is to offer innovative products and technologies to our customers which will help them to build better roads at an optimum cost.



As an exhibitor, what are your expectations at EXCON ‘17?

EXCON will be a platform for us to showcase our technology and innovations, and also an excellent opportunity to interact with our customers. Our product managers and application specialists from India as well as Germany, would be available at our pavilion to address all queries and impart information. At EXCON, the Wirtgen Group will be exhibiting a representative cross-section of its product portfolio as well as leading technologies of the Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, and Kleemann, brands on an area of 2,500 sq m. Each of the product brands specializes 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 these themselves at the Wirtgen Group exhibition area, where they will be able to inspect more than 20 exhibits. At EXCON, we would showcase new technologies and innovations across all our 4 brands – Wirtgen, Vogele, Hamm, and Kleemann.



WIRTGEN INDIA is a member of the WIRTGEN GROUP, an internationally operating group of companies in the construction machinery sector incorporating the traditional product brands: WIRTGEN, VÖGELE, HAMM, KLEEMANN and BENNINGHOVEN. As technological leader, Wirtgen offers its customers mobile machine solutions for road construction and road rehabilitation, plants for mining and processing minerals or recycling material, and for the production of asphalt.

In 2016 the WIRTGEN GROUP generated consolidated sales of € 2.59 billion. Presently WIRTGEN GROUP employs 8,000 people.

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