11 August 2020

Interview-Wilfried A Theissen (Putzmeister Concrete Machines)

The government must initiate plans to fulfill the basic needs of the industry


With the principles of ‘Serving, Improving and Creating Values’ which it has inherited from its German parent, Putzmeister Concrete Machines Pvt Ltd has established a very strong footprint in the Indian construction equipment market for concrete machinery and boom pumps. WILFRIED A THEISSEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PUTZMEISTER CONCRETE MACHINES PVT LTD, responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries.


Give us a brief background of your company’s presence and focus in India and the role it is playing in terms of offering support to India’s construction and infrastructure sectors? What are the products and services currently offered by your firm for the Indian market?

Putzmeister, the name evolved from the 'Master of Plastering', is on an ascending innovative growth path since 1958. Upholding the prime motto of 'Engineered for Success', the company's machines and plants provide highest performance, quality and reliability. With the support of its parent company in Aichtal, Germany, Putzmeister India at its base in Verna Industrial Estate, Goa developed advanced technologies and high quality services across India. It has a country-wide sales and service network, as well as regional and local offices across India, Putzmeister delivers perfect concreting solutions to the industry. It also offers competent advice and customised concepts to its clients and imparts training on all aspects of concreting technology. Since 2007, Putzmeister Concrete Machinery Pvt. Ltd. is manufacturing the entire range of internationally acclaimed equipment and machineries in its factory at Verna, Goa. Putzmeister pumps have been deployed at various prestigious projects and are the first choice of real estate and infrastructure companies all across India. Putzmeister machines are working for construction of various projects like Metro rail projects, expansion and modernisation of international airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru, construction of power plants, hydro-electric projects, LNG tanks, refineries, ports, roads, bridges and other high rise building projects.

To be able to offer a one stop solution to our customers Putzmeister produces a vast range of concrete machinery, the latest feather in the cap being the recent launching of their batching plant. The truck mounted boom pumps and the eSmart stationary pumps are amongst the best sellers.


Tell us about the manufacturing facilities, plant capacities and investments planned through 2015-16?

Putzmeister has invested more than Rs.100 crore at its 180,000 sq ft production facility in Verna. The state-of-the-art plant includes facilities such as robotic welding, computer controlled machining centers run by 300 highly qualified technicians and engineers. Our engineering and local R&D departments are working with the latest technologies in the field. We are planning to invest an additional Rs.20 crore in 2015-2016 to update our pre-delivery machine testing facility.


What are the attractive qualities of Goa where you are based which dictated your choice of making manufacturing investments there?

In the early 1990s Goa became the entrance door for Putzmeister to arrive in India. Goa has offered a stable and dedicated workforce; the possibilities for acquisition of land, the relatively positive business culture of the government as well as a pleasant working and living environment for employees were all points in favor of setting up business in the state.


Please offer your views of the country from a doing business perspective for German companies – what it has to offer and what more is required?

In Germany there is a saying “Bauen ist ein Genuss, was es kostest habe ich nicht gewusst” which you can translate as “Building is a pleasure but what it would cost I didn’t know”. In India, I would say, “Building is a nightmare and whatever I pay, I will never get it on time”. This sounds very harsh, but it is one of the major problems we have faced as a company. The lack of skills of the available contractors – whether they are plumbers, electricians or carpenters – is far below expectations and therefore it is never right at the first time. Furthermore, basic supplies like water and electricity are not readily available. The central and local government must come up with plans to fulfill the basic needs of the industry. On our part we are actively participating in skill development to help create a better skilled workforce.


How has your company performed since setting up base in India and what are the business conditions you would like to see in place?

Our company is doing fine and we are here to last but the construction industry needs to come out of the deep crisis it is in. Over the last 3 years the industry has seen the market drop by more than 30 per cent. The state government has actually very little possibilities to change this. The land bill, GST, RBI regulations are the urgent matters to be dealt with.


What are the green building and sustainability initiatives taken up by your company?

We have our own water treatment plant where we treat and sort out 100 per cent of our waste water. We have planted 200 banana and papaya trees to give fruits to our employees. Besides that we have initiated Project Life, a CSR effort led by a team solely dedicated to the project. Last year Project Life undertook work to help Bethesda Life Centre, a NGO, which offers a home and schooling for children coming from under privileged backgrounds. Putzmeister, besides providing the rations for them, has undertaken to make their lives a bit more comfortable. Therefore bunk beds are on their way and there are plans to paint their orphanages during Diwali. Besides those many more activities have been planned for the children. In July 2015, another remedial school was inaugurated for children in the Baina area in Goa. This is a non-residential special training centre, which aims to get children ready to cope up in a normal school. Further to create awareness amongst employees and to get them to actively participate in such CSR projects, the company has formed the Putzmeister Employee Participation Program.


Tell us about the future plans for your company and products in India?

Putzmeister is in India to last and we will continue to support our customers with the best products, services and application technologies. We intend to increase our product range in concrete technology but also in other technical fields like mortar, industrial pumps and underground technology.



Construction equipment major Putzmeister India which has been at the forefront of developing advanced technologies and high quality services in India has recently launched a new batching plant, the MT–1.0 with unmatchable features. The batching plant with a capacity of 60 m3/h stands apart with respect to design and in-built features which have been exclusively adapted for the Indian market. The MT–1.0 is characterised by high productivity, functionality, easier operation and maintenance in order to meet the highest standards of commercial RMCs, infrastructure developers, contractors and others from India's dynamic construction industry. It offers the highest of all standards and features in regard to the operation and maintenance of a plant on a day-to-day basis such as Easy Drive Through for trucks and the Easy Access to the Tower. These are the features designed to ensure safety and productivity. Moreover, the MT–1.0 makes sure that there is a consistent homogenous mixture in every batch with shorter mixing cycles. This ensures that the customer’s project can run at its full capacity from day one. A robust design has been put in place for the toughest operating conditions known in the Indian terrain. The plant is not only easily accessible for the maintenance team, but it also creates value for money over the long run as there is less wear compared to the pan or planetary mixers which have been introduced in the Indian market.
A central lubrication system that injects grease at regular intervals to the shaft seals of the mixer ensures that the machine runs smoothly at all times, thus providing hassle-free, automated maintenance to the heart of the batching plant. Weighing or control issue is completely taken care of by a calibration system for cement, water and fly ash, ensuring and making it an easy task so that the MT – 1.0. Batching plant is operating accurately at all times. Last, but not the least Putzmeister has integrated the option of a remote operation of the plant through using a tablet. The company has always believed that the customer’s voice needs to be heard and with the new batching plant it has ensured that all worries of today’s construction equipment owners are addressed.


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