21 February 2020

Table of Contents for Post Excon 2017

Interaction- Ramesh Ponnuswami, Director-South Asia, Afria & Middle East, Elgi Equipments

Make in India, for rest of the world


Established in 1960, ELGI EQUIPMENTS has emerged a major global player manufacturing high-end compressors with applications across many sectors. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAMESH PONNUSWAMI, DIRECTOR, SOUTH ASIA, AFRICA, & MIDDLE EAST, ELGI EQUIPMENTS LTD discusses their new product launch and explains their tagline ‘Always Better’.



Tell us about your new product launch. 

The 550-200 is the new product we have showcased, apart from a few more products. Basically customers make their choice of compressor depending on the number of equipments they want to run on each machine. Through our close engagement with customers we found that there is a slice of demand at 550 cfm and 200 psi and developed the product. Our range rangeof compressors start from 185 cfm to 1500 cfm for portable applications.


What is your extent of indigenisation in context of ‘Make in India.

’ We are the only company in India which has technology for the heart of the screw compressors, which is the air end- (basically twin screws), this is oil _ ooded or oil free, two di_ erent versions depending on the application. In construction and mining sector the demand is for oil flooded compressors, whereas industries such as pharma and FMCG require oil free air. So we have both products and technologies available with us developed in-house indigenously. We cut the screws here,inhouse. We are the only company to do so in India and we compete with the ‘Best-ofthe-Best’ in the world. The profile of the screws in the airend is very critical, we have our ‘eta’ pro_ le that provides ‘top-of-therange’ effciency and performance as well. From India we cater to the rest of the world, everything goes from here.



Which capacities and size have maximum demand in India, especially in construction and mining sectors?

It’s more of lower capacity machines, from about 185 to 550, also 600cfm, which is the large part of the demand in construction and mining. Beyond this flow it is usually customers who are in water well drilling who opt for higher flow. thee cfmgoes all the way up to 1500, because in many parts of the country, water well depths are higher, so the pressure requirements and flow requirements are also higher. 



How long you have been ‘Making in India and Selling Globally.’ 

We have been doing it since the beginning. There were times when we could not access technology, we had to license it. So we were manufacturing under license for a while. But more than twenty years now we have got our own technology, we machine our own air-ends, it’s all done in Coimbatore.  For us ‘Make in India’ not just for India but it is ‘Make in India for the rest of the world.’


Tell us about your tie-ups with ECE OEMs.

In the construction industry we have been active for several decades now, providing compressed air to various industry players directly and through many OEMs who require compressed air as energy sources for their larger machinery. LeeBoy and SchwingStetter are among our important customers, Nakoda is another big name in the industry with whom we have a long association. We have longstanding relationships with several OEMs. In the construction space our product range is complete, for anybody requiring compressed air, we have a range of solutions, whether it’s diesel powered or electrically powered machines. We are well known for our technology and reliable products, high performance machines, which operated in the toughest of conditions, because this industry works in a very demanding environment for all players. We are very proud to be a part of this industry.


Is this a Buyers’ market or a Sellers’ market? 

This is definitely a Buyers’ market, gone are the days when Sellers could rule the roost, and pricing was at the seller’s discretion on a cost plus basis, today pricing is market minus basis!Yes, it’s a buyer’s market, customers have a lot of choice today and especially India, after the country opened up almost two decades ago. Global players are here, we have to fight them, our competition is global players, and we are proud we are a true Indian multinational.


What is your market share for India?

I don’t want to quote numbers, but I would like to say that it is very signi_ cant, in double digits and it’s high. We’ve got a dominant share in the construction and mining space also, apart from industrials. In some segments we are very clearly the market leader. For example railways, it’s a significant part of our portfolio, these are basically for locomotive braking applications. We are No. 1 in the railway compressor business with a very large and dominant share of the market. There are other industries where we are either number one or number two. Our markets are polarized, we don’t have open sharing and transparent data flow, unlike in the US where everyone knows the share because they all report into a common forum.


Did EXCON meet your expectations?

EXCON is a great opportunity for us to connect with stake holders in the industry , with a booth like this we get the opportunity to interact with customers. One big plus is customers coming to us rather than us going to their facility where they are in a different mindset. Here they are keen, exploring, more relaxed, it gives us a good opportunity to interact with them. We also conclude some good deals. We get lots of insights into where the industry is headed, what the current status is and what the prospects are. 


What distinguishes your products vis-àvis competitors?

A compressor usually is a low involvement product when it comes to customers, till something goes wrong with it!We always say “reliability is of utmost importance.” Your machine has to perform, you have to give high reliability, and you have to provide good aftermarket support. And by promising “Uptime” we say our designs are so reliable, with components sourced from the best of brands in the world. We are able to provide a proposition to the customer which is unmatched in terms of how many hours it can run without failures. This is uptime guarantee we give to customers. Why should anybody buy ELGI? When you are competing with multinationals, tendency could be, just leaving aside the price for a minute, which is subject to competitive market forces, to prefer a European or American product. The fact is we are competing with these companies, and if you look at the cost of ownership of our product, our TCO, would be the lowest. We have the technology, we have the entire product range, we have machines which offer lowest TCO, and this is tremendous value for our customers.We are an Indian company, and we have been around close to 60years and we will be around for much longer. We take pride in our relationship with our customers, many of them have been with us long term. These are the key aspects, any dimension you take we aim to be better. Our tagline is ‘AlwaysBetter’.

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)