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Construction : Viewpoint | October 2015 | Source : CW-India

Equipped to Succeed

Products and sales-and-service network can strengthen market position, says RAMESH PALAGIRI.

For the past two to three years, the construction equipment (CE) industry experienced a slowdown, and many infrastructure projects were stalled. But now, with the new government in place and many road projects being awarded, the CE industry is again seeing growth.

Growth and expansion
During this slowdown, we at Wirtgen India looked to strengthen our market position by increasing our sales-and-service network to reach out to retail customers and offering new products to the market. We also expanded our manufacturing base in India and will start producing the Kleemann range of crushing and screening plants for the Indian market shortly. We also launched tandem rollers for the Indian market, further to our first Indian product - soil compactors - and will soon start producing Vogele pavers for the local market in India.

From the sale of 100 machines to 600 machines in three years, being into the direct sales-and-service model, we immediately ramped up our sales-and-service network. We increased the number of service engineers from 40 to 200 and increased distribution network of parts to 20 locations.

R&D and training
Wirtgen Group has been focused on R&D and continuous development and improvement on our machines. The result of this approach has been that the average age of our machines is less than three years, and we are continuously upgrading our products. In most of our product lines, many new innovations are being introduced, ensuring that we not only enjoy leadership in market share but in technical innovation as well.

We are also focused on training and technical service support. We have a state-of-the-art training facility in our Pune plant, where regular training programmes are conducted for customers, our service team as well as machine operators. We also conduct skill development and application training for operators in the field and supervisors.

About the author:
Ramesh Palagiri,
CEO & Managing Director, Wirtgen India, has over 25 years of experience in the construction and mining machinery industry. He started his career in Chennai at Greaves Cotton & Co Ltd as sales engineer trainee and later moved to Mumbai, the HO of Greaves, where he served as all-India head of the construction and mining department. He was also one of the co-promoters of Schwing Stetter India.

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