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“Our business has grown over 40 percent in the last few years”
The Wirtgen Group with its five product brands, Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann and Benninghoven has become a one-stop supplier of leading technologies for the entire road construction cycle.


Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India, reveals that their business has grown over 40 percent in the last few years due to the steep increase in the investment on road projects. He shares his thoughts on the overall market outlook in a brief conversation with EPC&I.

As an established global Construction Equipment player, what is your opinion on Infrastructure development activity in India today? While some research analysts and economists claim that it is skewed more towards road building activity, development of power plants, ports, airports, etc continue to lag behind. Do you subscribe to this view?
In the last two years there has been several initiatives taken by the government and the results are already visible on the ground with regards to the road sector. We expect the results to show in the mining, railways, airports and power sector, etc., shortly. Our business has grown over 40 percent in the last few years due to the steep increase in the investment on road projects.

How have the policies and initiatives taken by the government to develop the country’s infra-structure reflected on your company’s growth? In the face of aggressive competition – especially from Chinese manufacturers what are the transformations that leading CE companies such as yours need to bring about to ensure that you not just grow at a predetermined rate but grow substantially?
Most of the leading CE manufacturers have a manufacturing base in India and would be able to take on the competition from Chinese products. Customers look at not just the initial purchase price but also reliability, customer support, total cost of ownership and resale value, etc.

Based on requirements of Indian OEMs’ array of individual products and standards, how are the equipments featured and designed to have complete equipment integration?
How is the technology placed to suit Indian requirements taking into consideration that the equipment works for extended duty cycles and adverse conditions within the country?
We have some of the products to meet the Indian site conditions based on our experience and the results are positive.

OEM support and cooperation for future product upgradation is important. How are aspects like prototype performance assessment in varied working conditions being addressed based on the emerging requirements of the Indian customers?
Wirtgen India is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Wirtgen Group and the products made at our Pune plant are exported all over the world. We have access to all the latest technologies which are relevant for the Indian market.

What would you say are the primary challenges for global CE players like you going ahead?
For us to grow the overall infrastructure market has to grow, and I feel the new government has taken the right steps to move in this direction.

What is your forecast of CE demand in the days ahead?
It should grow between 15 to 25 percent over the next three years depending on the product.

Which are the equipments you believe will see a growth going ahead? Lastly, any new products and services expected to be launched at bc India 2016?
At bC India we have 10 new launches which would come from Wirtgen, Vogele and Kleemann. Wirtgen would display four new slip from pavers and cold milling machines. Vogele would have four new pavers in the 13m, 10.5m, 7.3m and 6.0m class and Kleemann would have the EVO range of Impactor and Screens.

“For us to grow the overall infrastructure market has to grow, and I feel the new government has taken the right steps to move in this direction.”

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