Monday, September 21, 2020

Table of Contents for Cover Story

Interaction- Kalpesh Soni, Manager Marketing, KYB-Conmat

We wish to make path-breaking innovations a Norm

This company which has come a long way since its inception, by winning Best Selling machinery awards. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, KALPESH SONI, GENERAL MANAGER MARKETING, KYB-CONMAT, underlines the new shift in Buyer Behaviour, and announces their new products to be launched at EXCON ’17.


Will you be launching any new products at EXCON’17?

We are launching three new products at EXCON 2017.

The New Side Discharge Conveyor which spreads concrete evenly in front of the paver, so that better speed of paving can be achieved.

After successful market reach with our 2 and 1.5 ton elevator, we are now adding 1 ton elevator to our successful range of high capacity, high speed R&P Elevator. Our Rack & Pinion Elevators have been designed considering Indian working conditions and Global safety standards. It offers reduced energy consumption and operating cost, increased reliability and uptime, user friendly controls and centralized monitoring system. It has a robust triple safety system comprising Electromagnetic braking, Centrifugal braking, and Ultimate Safety device to boost user confidence.

We are also launching our new range of city paving machines, an economical paving machine for city road projects.

Besides our new generation machines, we will also be exhibiting Stationary Batching Plants, Mobile Batching Plants, Road Paving Machines, Canal Paving Machines, Elevators, Concrete Pumps, and Transit Mixers from 6 to 8 Cubic Meter capacity with PTO and slave Engine.


Smart technology featured in your machines.

Being a pioneer in technological advancement in Concrete Batching Plants, we introduced Twin Shaft Compulsory Mixer in its full range of Automatic Batching Plants seven years ago, starting with the smallest 20 CuM mobile to 240 CuM stationary Plants. Our major strength is our proprietary SCADA based software BatchCon, a perfect, user friendly interface between man and machine. Our plants require minimal foundation, minimal set up and installation time, and provide better, faster, mixing, offering a faster payback.

We offer exclusive range of standard and customized high performance concrete paving machines for roads and canals. The vibratory cylinder provide better compaction and enables higher rate of production for faster completion of projects, while our rugged user friendly operator controls, coupled with energy efficient electrical drive systems, provide better operator comfort and increase productivity, returning better ROI. Today, over 1000 paving machines are working satisfactorily in the field, making KYB-CONMAT one of the largest canal paving machine manufacturers in the world.

We have also successfully introduced Transit Mixers ranging from 6 CuM to 8 CuM, with Slave Engines and PTO in Indian market.

Due to all above, we are awarded with "Sarvottam Manufacturer of Concrete Batching Plant in India" by Builders Association of India in 2015.


How fastidious is the Indian customer today. Has India’s ECE market turned into a ‘Buyers’ Market?’

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, in line with customers’ expectations along with their mind-sets, at an amazingly rapid pace. But there are few focus points which will never change for us:-


Our commitment towards customers

  • Our passion for technology
  • Our determination for Quality and Excellence
  • Our primary concern for the planet. Now and for the decades to come.


What are the emerging demands from your buyers, in terms of types and capacities of equipment?

As the Government drives the development of road transport infrastructure, there is a surge in demand for road paving machinery of longer periods of operation, as contractors prefer to complete the pavement process in a single pass. This creates a need for concrete production to be done at higher rates, requiring batching plants with higher capacities. In last two years demand for higher capacity batching plants 60 – 240 tph has increased due to road projects whereas lower capacity plant was quite low which forced manufacturers to reorient their products placement as well as make changes in their manufacturing setup.

We sensed an opportunity, and so we upgraded our manufacturing facilities to produce higher capacity plants. We have sold over forty nos. of 120-240 cu m plants in last one year. Also, we began exploring possible avenues of addressing the customer’s challenges and providing them with world-class equipment that would help them achieve their aims and targets.


Your company's focus on R&D and Innovation.

Research and Development is very highly valued at KYB-Conmat. We have a R&D Centre 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 R&D 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.


Importance of Aftermarket Services as a Strategic Differentiator?

After sales service is one of the most important criteria in construction equipment market, and KYB-CONMAT offers complete aftermarket services to its 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 personnel, but subsequent machines are necessarily sold by service engineers. We have much higher repeat customer rate than the market average. In fact, our loyal and committed customer base helps us in selling to new customers.


What is the impact of the new GST regime on your company and the sector?

GST is bound to represent a win-win situation for both, construction equipment sellers as well as the buyers. GST driven by the principle of ‘one nation, one tax’ is expected to unify the country economically. One may think that the tax burden has increased with the GST but it has essentially brought several positive changes and consequences for the sector. For instance, until GST was introduced, all heavy equipment used to have a different tax structure in different states. While some states used to levy entry taxes, octroi, etc., some demanded entry forms and some didn’t. This always led to huge confusion in equipment selling and moving it from one state to another. GST will put an end to this hurdle along with all its revised GST laws in coming days. Also, we have always followed best Corporate Governance and never indulged in cash transaction, due to which sometimes we were priced out because of higher tax compliance. Due to Demonetisation, we have been able to increase our business volumes.


Tell us about major milestones achieved by the Conmat Group.

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. Today the Group has 70 manufacturing locations in 34 countries, having annual turnover of over 21,000 crore, and employs 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 is enjoying over 85 per cent market share in Japan with an annual sales of over 7000 Transit Mixers. Its low Slump Handling and High Discharge capacity -- thanks to its special blade design -- is the hallmark of Japanese technology and precision. It offers the best geometric volume and operating cost in its 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.


Future roadmap for your company.

We are a part of 98 year old group, having 34 plants and 62 offices across the world. With emerging new business models and trends in the industry, 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 and 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.

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 2017, and we expect 2018 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 1000th 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 be the one-stop shop for all concrete equipment needs of a customer and we are working on front foot to achieve that.

We have come a long way since the humble beginning in India in 2009, to become Industry leader in concrete construction equipment, we are now fast expanding our global footprint, and our continuous investment in technology and human resources will support our endeavour to become the Global Leader in near future.


Your outlook for India’s construction equipment market in the long run?

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.


Your expectations from EXCON ’17.

KYB Conmat is an ‘Associate Sponsor’ for EXCON 2017 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 EXCON 2017 will bring in more customer footfalls than EXCON 2015, 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 EXCON 2017, the premier construction equipment show not just in India but also in South Asia.

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