28 May 2020

Equipment Sphere- Post bC India

Platform positive

December 15. If the huge blanket of grey wintry fog hanging over Greater Noida’s India Expo Centre, caused mid morning to look like night, it would have been understandable for the minders of  bauma Conexpo India, 2014 to assume a contemplative posture not unlike Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ early in the life of the four day international exhibition for construction and mining equipment and vehicles and building material machines.


But it is a tribute to the ever smiling Igor Palka, CEO, bC India that there was nary a heartbeat missed when, like the sun above, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Roads and Highways, didn’t show up on exhibition terra firma on the plea of a sudden parliamentary mission.  As things turned out eventually, Palka, the early Clark Kent look alike, would take the first international fair under his command to a Superman-like flying start and deliver it into successful orbit with a eclectic mixture of Polish cool and Germanic-Bavarian efficiency.


So much so that when the show intended to garner business for the Big Daddies of the Construction Equipment sector had ended on December 18 – it recorded a turnout of 26,000 ‘quality’ visitors, a drop from 28,000 recorded in the previous edition of the event in Mumbai in early 2013 – wunderkind Palka was wont to dismiss the drop in numbers with a smart spin, characterise the exhibition as a “great success in spite of the difficult economic environment”. “It shows that the depth of the trust our exhibitors have in the bC India brand has not waned.  The event has established itself and is now firmly etched on the calendar for many companies. The economy may not have picked up yet but there are very positive sentiments. We are naturally delighted with the feedback."


Notwithstanding what might seem like latter day rodomontade, the opening of the event though was rich in irony and symbolism. The lamp duly lit by the presiding worthies – Dr Martin Hanz, Deputy Chief of Mission,  German  Embassy, New Delhi, John M McCaslin, Minister Counsellor  for Commercial Affairs, US Commercial Services, SK Basu, President, Builders’ Association of India – in a sense chastising the sun for playing truant; and the mandala of paper kites plastered on the oval shaped ceiling of the lobby which while indicating the love for ‘kite flying’, a celebrated national sport, may have obliquely touched upon the proclivity of politicians to make promises which they rarely if ever keep.




Admittedly as 2014 – which has seen the Narendra Modi led government assume power at the Centre with an overwhelming mandate on the back of a development agenda – prepared to telescope into 2015 there was a sense of optimism that things just might get better, if only for the inevitability of the need for action on the ground.  


An indication of hope would come on the second morning with a mellow northern Indian sun breaking free from the web of grey hanging over the red carpeted grounds. Eugen Egetenmeir, MD, Messe München International – the fairs veteran who superbly orchestrated his last exhibition at the helm of his organisation, would trill, “The weather now looks just great for business.”


Dennis J Slater, President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the organisation which has tied up with Messe München International to bring the combined CONEXPO and bauma brands to India under the bC India banner was led to say, “I am very happy to witness a very professional trade show here." 

The mood seemed to have rubbed off on the amiable George Ellis, President, Construction, Terex Corporation, a bC India regular, who would say, “I would say there has been a happy progression in terms of more of our distributors and customers coming to our stall than before and enquiring of our products. Location is the key to demand and I believe the placement of our factory closer to the exhibition venue has been of advantage to us.”


The subtraction in the number of exhibitors could well have a lot to do with the geographical move by the organisers from Mumbai to the north of the country with the intention of capturing the largely untapped market.  It may be recalled that all the previous editions were held at Mumbai, albeit in restricted space. The India Expo Centre at Greater Noida though placed at some distance from the national capital offered a more professional milieu in terms of its facilities and size – the 120,000sqm arena, which included the outdoors for over 635 exhibitors from 25 countries, saw several industry giants such as Amman Apollo, Aquarius, Bauer, Caterpillar, Doka, Fayat Group, GMMCO, Haulotte, Herrenknecht, Hess, Kobelco, Layher Liebherr, Liugong, L&T, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Puzzolana, Peri, Potain, Putzmeister, Sany, Schwing Stetter, Terex, TIPL, Wacker Neuson and Wirtgen participating. 

But then there were also eyebrows raised when a player like JCB – the digger manufacturer who is now regarded as more Indian than British – or even Escorts, with a home base in the proximity of the national capital, chose not to participate at the venue especially chosen. 


The answer could well lie in prudent economics considering the tough fiscal conditions at present. The Staffordshire, UK, headquartered company has already had its own promotional blitz following the recent opening of its factory in Jaipur, not to mention additions to its product portfolio. Amit Gossain, Executive Vice President – Sales, Marketing, Business Development & Corporate Affairs, JCB India Ltd, explained the absence thus, “The industry is not keeping up as much as it should. So we decided not to be in too many exhibitions. We have had our own events. The government has made several announcements but they are waiting to be implemented. But that said the sentiments are positive and that is what this exhibition reflects.”

Indeed. Despite the early weather which may not have been what the organisers would have wanted the vibes for business was very much there. Many exhibitors saw the event as a technology demonstrator, while some saw it as an opportunity to launch new products in the market, while many others used the equipment industry platform to get their message across through discussions at conferences such as the one organised by Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (iCEMA) on ‘Infrastructure Equipment – Re-scripting the Growth Story’ and that by the Builders Association of India which deliberated on the way forward for projects like roads and Smart Cities.  Meanwhile at the bC India Forum located on the second floor of the complex exhibitors, trade organisations, and industry associations offered their assessment of the current technologies and trends in the construction market, discussing themes such as challenges and visions of the Indian market or future prospects of the equipment industry.


With the Modi government’s emphasis on building smart cities and commitment to build better infrastructure, the CE sector has received a much needed booster shot in the arm. Last month ‘KPMG International’s Infrastructure 100: World Markets Report’ listed six Indian construction projects among the 100 most innovative infrastructure investments in the world. These include Delhi Metro, Yamuna Expressway and Interceptor Sewage System, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project and Narmada Canal Solar project. Ergo, it is easy to see confidence welling up among the industry mandarins.


Adding to the ebullient mood is a recent report by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants which predicts that India’s construction equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.52 per cent by 2016 on the back of support by the government and increased investment in large infrastructure projects and removal of road blocks through policy reform. Further to contribute to cheer in the equipment sector is another assessment by Off Highway Research which sees growth in India and a relative decline in China in the next couple of years. 

Veritably the exhibitors may have been at pains to show off numbers to indicate business volumes during the four days of the show – it is early days to talk of the deals cracked – but there was no shortage of gung ho pronouncements.


Nischal Mehrotra, Director – Sales & Service, Liugong India said,  ”The show has been very productive for us We see the government delivering on its promise to boost infrastructure and is setting up mechanisms to speed up work process. I am sure 2015 will see a boom in construction and project implementation.”


The quality of trade visitors too has contributed to the chutzpah. Sorab Agarwal, Executive Director,  ACE, was led to say, “I am happy to say that we had genuine customers visiting us not just from across the country but from abroad as well and that means very good prospects of business.”  

One thing is certain – bC India can most definitely be dubbed a great success considering the huge logistical challenges involved. Palka and his team have engaged with all the stakeholders of the CE sector, contractors, real estate czars, parleyed with trade and government bodies for close to a year to put up a very professionally orchestrated show.



bC India 2014-Launched

  • KYB Conmat, a subsidiary of KYB Corporation Japan launched the new version of its mobile matching plant of 20 Cbm capacity and PTO driven transit mixer of 6 Cbm capacity.
  • Scania Commercial Vehicles India launched the Scania R580 V8(6 x4) truck and Scania P410 (8x4) tipper with all new 20cu m SSAB body
  • Manitowoc unveiled new Potain tower cranes – MCT 205 and MCT 85 built at its Pune factory. 
  • Ammann Apollo unveiled Ammann Uniglobe UG 260 its high end high output asphalt batch mixing plant
  • Schwing Stetter in association with XCMG launched its range of tower cranes marking the company’s entry into the material handling segment.
  • Terex launched its new backhoe loader - TLB74OSE and Terex – Lonking wheel loaders CDM 856 and 835.
  • Liugong launched the 2 tonne capacity CLG 818C BSIII wheeled loader which features 4R1040TC Kirloskar engine with rated power of 56kw.
  • Mtandt launched the world’s largest telehandler in 5T class – Magni 5.35 with a reach of 35 m.
  • Pune based Nakoda Machinery Ltd launched its  crawler drill model IRB 300
  • Aquarius Engineers launched MP 19 its new compact batching and mixing solutions for production of concrete.
  • ELGi Equipments Ltd launched its PG 1500S COMBO 400 dual operating pressure 350/400 psi skid mounted diesel powered screw air compressor for the water well segment.
  • Haulotte launched the HA16RTJ, a 16 m articulated engine boom in two versions



Certainly, India Expo Center, despite the odd downside, has left its imprimatur as a trade fair arena. As Messe München International’s Egetenmeir, commandeering his last show at the helm, revealed to this writer on the sidelines of a conference the bC India show would remain at the purpose built venue in Greater Noida for the foreseeable future – the next edition is slated for 2016.  The organisers of bC India are parleying with the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) to build an Exhibition and Convention Center at Dwarka (ECC-Dwarka) near the Delhi International Airport thus bolstering fair infrastructure in the country. Messe München is reportedly acting as advisor to the project while a number of other German trade fair organisers like Messe München, Messe Hanover and Messe Düsseldorf are expected to bid to operate the facility. It’s easy to see that the future for trade fairs in the country appears bright


At 6 pm  on Ground Zero on the final day of the third edition of the Bauma Conexpo show though the music had stopped, signalling closure to beer swilling sessions at Putzmeister’s hugely entertaining Elephant Dance evenings; makeshift offices and hospitality tents were beginning to be evacuated and cleaned up; overseas exhibitors were en route to their respective home bases via the Yamuna Expressway and the T3 in New Delhi; company flags fluttered in the mild December breeze; cranes towered gloomily above the blaze of arc lights – as if sorely missing the attention they had garnered over the past days.But there will always be another time. Shows like bauma never stop.







EUGEN EGETENMEIR, Managing Director, Messe München International

bC India 2014 in many ways has been a progression for India in terms of infrastructure to host trade fairs. It has of course been a big step in terms of the size of the venue. The location may have its critics because of the distance from Delhi but it has been appreciated by all for its facilities. Even the very professional conduct of the event and quality of visitors has won respect. I see bC India 2014, as raising the bar of trade shows related to construction equipment in the country.  More professional and state-of-the-art exhibition centers in India will help the exhibition industry in general expand in India. In addition it will help us as an organiser to host events at conducive venues, well connected and with all benefits for exhibitors and visitors.  We are looking forward to further strengthen the brand recognition of the bC India show and attract more exhibitors and visitors from all across the country. I expect the show to  remain at the India Expo Centre for the forseeable future till the proposed exhibition centre at Dwarka, near the Delhi International Airport, will be set up by the Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) with Messe München acting as advisor. If the scheme goes ahead a group comprising Messe München, Messe Hanover and Messe Düsseldorf will be bidding to operate the facility.




DENNIS SLATER, President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

I have been at all the three editions of bC India and I am delighted to see that the attendance has been very good. In 2013 there was some skepticism because of the debilitated economic conditions at that time. There has been a slight improvement in the economy since then. This year at Greater Noida the footfalls have perhaps been less than seen earlier in Mumbai – that may be a reflection of the state of the economy – but the show has been conducted in an atmosphere of optimism and the quality of visitors has been maintained.  We now have a new venue in the India Expo Center, and with the prospect of additional venues contemplated in the future, that will be very good for the business.  I see bC India gaining in strength in the coming years. 




WILFRIED THEISSEN, Managing Director, Putzmeister Concrete Machines

Fairs bring about awareness about important construction equipment products that will help India’s ambitious infrastructure and construction programme. Things were down for the last two years but now hopes are high. The government is expected to act in the next 4-5 months and I see an improvement in morale though not yet an improvement in business. bC India is an attempt to convert optimism into real business for the construction equipment sector. At bC India we have launched our batching plant and increased our range of products in the concrete segment. The last edition of bC India was in Mumbai. I would say the fairgrounds here are much better. We have had a lot of enquiries for our products which we are confident will translate into business for us. 



ANAND SUNDARESAN, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India

bC India 2014 has given us accessibility to the market and potential customers in the north. It has also offered us a great opportunity to showcase new products and technologies and to understand construction sector trends. From a Schwing Stetter perspective the policy of the government to have more concrete roads has been like a shot in the arm. We have entered the material handling segment and have launched our tower cranes and a series of batching plants. There have been a lot of enquiries for our products. In 2015 we expect the government to kickstart projects which will mean good business for our firm.



AMIT GOSSAIN, Executive Vice President — Sales, Marketing, Business Development & Corporate Affairs, JCB India

Though the market itself is not very hot the sentiments are positive and that is what this exhibition reflects. Moving to a place near Delhi from a bauma perspective is very good. This is a very professionally managed exhibition centre and therefore a very good choice. The circulation is very good and it extends the business reach of the exhibition to the north.



AMARNATH RAMACHANDRAN, President Designate, LeeBoy India Construction Equipment

Stop talking and start building would be my message. You are talking of building 20,000 km and the job is enormous and needs action. They have to stop relying only on PPP projects, they also must have EPC projects. The emphasis must be on infrastructure building. The other thing is workmanship.  The quality we have is far less than seen abroad. We need people who are skilled. As far as taxation is concerned we need a level playing field. We are looking to expand our capacities and the next budget will be critical. bC India has been designed as a platform for contractors to meet with manufacturers and with representatives of government. I am sure there will be a lot of takeaways from here.



DR GEROLD DOBLER, Corp Communications, Liebherr International

The first perception of the show is related to big expectations from the elected governmnt. From the last bc India show which took place in the spring of 2013 there was scepticism and frustration of the situation on the Indian subcontinent. Compared to other BRIC markets we look at India more favourably.  Now in bC 2014 we share the hope and optimism of local contractors that things will improve. We do hope that action will now begin to happen on the ground. The products we are offering is for a niche segment and what we have seen at the show is a turnout of discerning, quality people, many of them existing customers. There is a view that Mumbai was more accessible but this show too has been well organised and is intended to reach the north Indian market. An event of this kind helps us build a corporate image. 



RAMESH PALAGIRI, Managing Director & CEO, Wirtgen India

We as a complete road building solutions provider look at exhibitions such as bC India more as a technology demonstrator than as a platform for sale, but I am very happy to say we have done very well in both the areas here. This new venue is much better than Mumbai and is a more professional exhibition center. There are more road projects coming up in the north and northeast of the country so bC India 2014 has afforded us a big opportunity to connect with an extended customer base. We have already seen the first signs of revival in the roads sector and in the next few months we expect to see more EPC contracts so that our customers are busy. Secondly, from the finance perspective we look forward to reduced interest rates. I would say bC India 2014 in Greater Noida has been a very good opportunity for visitors to see a wide variety of equipment, state of the art machineries and technologies both from Indian and international firms.



SUNIL NEWATIA, Managing Director, Suretech Infrastructure

When this show happened in Mumbai it attracted customers largely from the west and the south. bC India 2014 has brought in a lot of visitors from the north – Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.  The advantage is that in terms of business we have received a lot of new enquiries from the north, customers we could not reach earlier – and we are hopeful of receiving orders. As far as the conduct of the show is concerned it could have been planned at a different time keeping the local weather in mind, also the distance of the venue, which can be daunting for visitors. In terms of products we have introduced a planer which is an attachment for backhoe loaders for milling. We are quite upbeat about 2015



CHRISTINE AMES, Managing Director, Con Mech Engineers  

We manufacture for OEM businesses - cutting edges for loaders, excavators, backhoe machines — and are based at Newcastle in the UK. This is my first visit to India. In terms of expectations from bC India it hasn’t been as busy for us – there have not been as many people I would have hoped to meet. We supply to companies such as JCB but it is disappointing they were not exhibiting here.  The location of the stand is always important in an exhibition like this. Ideally we would prefer to be near the likes of OEMs like Sany, JCB, Volvo, Liugong because our products, which are consumables, are complimentary to people purchasing those types of machines. Maybe in the future the organisers could  think of that aspect of positioning.




MOHANJIT S WALIA, COO – Engine Business, Greaves Cotton Ltd 

The participation at bC India 2014 has been positive for Greaves Cotton. The expo has maintained a professional approach – in terms of layout, commutation facilities and even in hygiene requirements. The new location of Greater Noida, has also been positive in attracting and exploring new customers.




CHANDER DUTTA, MD, Elematic India

bC India has given us positive responses and valuable client footfalls. The venue of Greater Noida has been better than Mumbai and the expo as a whole has been professionally organised.





SURAJIT RAY, MD & Country Head ULMA Formwork Systems India

bC India 2014 has succeeded in generating enquiries from quality customers, especially in understanding the application and benefits of utilising our advanced technologies. We have gained a good customer response through the participation .





RAJ LAKHANI, Managing Director, PERI (India)

This year bC India has showcased a positive participation. We have received some fantastic enquiries for few engineering projects. Also a healthy inflow of customers was witnessed in the expo, who were particularly seeking valuable engineering solutions





MANOJ KUMAR, MD, Hess Concrete Machinery India

The expo has opened positive business opportunities for a wide range of players and for Hess in particular. The show, as always, is professionally organised. Though we have received qualitative participation from customers, a slight impact is witnessed in the footfall of clients especially from the southern region of India. We have launched two machines particularly for the Indian customer – one is a wet cast plant and the other is a semi dry casting plant. Both are fully automatic.





The year 2014 has been comparatively better than the year 2013 and 2012. Sarens India has succeeded in raising its revenue levels in the year 2014. In addition, we also diversified our operational portfolio from just a crane provider and have started taking up actual mechanical jobs. In the coming years, Sarens India wants to emerge as a one-stop solution provider in the industry. Opportunities like bC India can boost the sector by providing a platform to showcase new products and technologies. The new location of the exhibition is also a good move in exploring new areas to host trade fairs.



PRABHAKARAN S., Vice President – Industrial & Marine Power Systems, Volvo Penta, Volvo India Pvt Ltd

bC India has given us a satisfactory response. Considering the footfall of the visitors it has been slightly lagging as compared to the last expo at Mumbai. However, we need to give time for the popularity to build up in the new location. Infrastructure wise, the current expo was much better.




SHYAM GYANANI, Director, Trident International

We have been very much encouraged with the participation at bC India. A major construction equipment expo like bC India is being held for the first time in northern India. This has benefited players like us in tapping new regions and customers. We have come across several potential clients and have received quality response.




RAJESH KAPOOR, National Head – Market & Associate VP, Kobelco Construction Equipment India

bC India has brought us few good customers. However, we think that the exhibition has been positioned at a wrong time and the footfall has been less due to the general slump in market sentiment. Location was another concern that has affected the healthy footfall of clients. Being away from metro networks and commercial hubs, the expo has received a fall in attendees. When rated on infrastructure basis the 2014 bC India exhibition has been much better than its previous ones. However, the exhibition missed participation from the majors in the excavator segment.