The third edition of the Bauma Conexpo show bC India 2014, international trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, and construction vehicles is all set to take place from December 15th to 18th, 2014 at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, NCR. The last event held in February 2013 in Mumbai attracted a total of 710 companies from 33 countries and over 28,000 trade visitors. The third edition of the premier event is being held at a time when the economy is looking all set for a resounding turnaround, after a period of turbulence and this factor has made it among the most eagerly watched construction equipment (CE)trade show globally.
One of the key changes that has taken place in this edition is the venue. The India Expo Centre at Greater Noida, NCR offers a huge outdoor area with concreted grounds. The premier construction equipment trade show will occupy some 120,000 square meters of space approximately 30,000 square meters of hall space and some 90,000 square meters of outdoor exhibition space.
In the aftermath of the 2014 General Elections, the entire global construction equipment industry is looking closely at India. The new government has set the ball rolling, with a slew of initiatives to speed up infrastructure development, as was evident from the proposals in the annual 2014-15 Budget. Some of the top projects include, the ‘Sagar Mala’ project connecting India’s ports and then the hinterland, a diamond quadrilateral project for high speed trains, freight corridors, expansion of railways in hilly states and northeast, development of inland and coastal waterways, etc., to mention only some. Plus the much in news ‘100 smart cities’ announcement has buoyed the sentiments of the CE industry in the country.
Almost every sector has been receiving equal importance in recent times. Take the example of airports. The government in the Union Budget 2014-15 clearly spelt out its plan by proposing the construction of 200 low cost airports in the next 20 years to connect tier II and III cities. The government intends to push the projects through public private partnerships. Similarly, urban infrastructure projects such as metro projects in various cities have been identified as key areas. In the recent past with burgeoning population and growth of cities, there are proposals to set up metro rail projects in several tier II and III cities as well. The mass affordable housing sector is also receiving much needed push with the government announcing an ambitious plan to build 3.2 houses for the poor.
Another interesting area of development has been the development of inland waterways, both for ferrying passengers as well as cargo. As part of the new project called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ an allocation of ` 4, 200 crore has been proposed to be utilized on a project on the mighty Ganga River. The development of waterways will involve development of infrastructure of strategically located centres, which means added demand for concrete batching plants.
There is also the proposal to award the development of 16 new port projects in the current fiscal. It has also been proposed to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai and Kandla. This is apart from the development of other existing ports that is an ongoing process. There has also been a spate of dam projects announced in recent times. With the country ‘s electricity situation demanding the construction of dams in large numbers and with the union government announcing steps to expedite delayed projects, as well as give a push to fresh hydro electricity projects, especially in the Himalayan region and the North Eastern parts of the country, which have been identified for their hydro electricity generation potential. In fact, over 100 dams are in the pipeline in these regions with the capability to generate over 50,000 MW of electricity.
The positive vibes created by the flurry of measures that the new government has taken means that the mood among all participants is buoyant. Going into details the key objectives behind participation in the premier CE expo, Anand Sundaresan, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, SCHWING Stetter India observed, “bC India 2014 is an excellent opportunity to showcase our new products and strengths to our existing and new customers.”
Sharing similar sentiments Ramesh Palagiri, MD & CEO Wirtgen India, said, “Our participation at bC India 2014 will provide us a platform to interact and network with our existing and potential new customers. The exhibition will also be a platform for us to display our state of the art offerings and an opportunity for our customers to witness our same and have hands on experience of the products on display”.
Airing his views, Debasis Bhattacharya, Head- Sales & Marketing, Ajax Fiori, another leading name in the fray said, “Ajax Fiori is a participant of bC India from its inception and bC India 2014 is no different. The sentiments in the market are positive and we hope after the recent announcements of fast tracking projects in the Infrastructure segment by the central Govt., the market is expected to move forward. We expect the BC India show will highlight the mood of the buyer which will be an indicator for the growth of the Industry”. Almost every leading CE manufacturer is confident that 2015 will be a watershed year for the industry. “With the new government announcing many new projects, I am hoping that 2015 will see a good growth rate”, pointed out B.Sridhar, Business Head, SDLG Products India.
The event offers an excellent platform for established players to further consolidate their position. The show offers them an opportunity to display their latest technologies or service offerings and gives them a chance to trigger the initial purchase interest among potential customers. Blesson Varghese, Managing Director of Marini India, summed up the expectations from such CE trade shows for major players when he said, “These kinds of shows are normally not where decisions for capital equipment and high end technologies are made, since these decisions go through several stages of technical and commercial evaluation. Our objective at the show is to demonstrate results which generate interests and open professionals to non-conventional possibilities of doing the age-old road construction activity”, a statement with which a vast majority of other leading established players in fray will also agree.
What the show had to offer visitors was perfectly summed up by Nishcal Mehrotra, Director Sales & Service, LiuGong India, when he said “bC India 2014 is an ideal platform to preview state of art products, new launches, to know about the technologies, innovation and development in the market”. Perhaps the best testimonial for the overwhelming positivity is reflected in the numerous new product launches that have been planned for the event.
Changing Face of the Market
The bC India 2014 CE trade show is happening at a time when the construction equipment market in India is going through a period of rapid churn, in terms of buyer behavior patterns. It is a market that is mimicking trends witnessed elsewhere in the developed west and neighboring China. It is being driven by a more aware, discerning customer. It is a customer who is not merely satisfied with a good machine. The present day Indian customer wants a comprehensive package, which will also include latest technology, fuel efficiency, adherence to emission control norms, and prompt aftermarket services.
Manufacturers on their part have been customizing their promotional strategies based on these changing market trends. The positive impacts are already here for everyone to see. An increasing number of globally leading construction equipment manufacturers are now setting shop in the country, either on their own or through tie-ups with domestic players. This is part of their strategy to stay closer to the customer in order to gain the competitive edge. This also helps the manufacturers to get constant feedbacks and study the market closely in order to come out with products that are ideally suited to the Indian working conditions.
Almost every market segment is witnessing interesting growth patterns. Take the earthmoving equipment market segment for example, where most of the action is expected to be during the show. While India is now the world’s biggest market for backhoe loaders, the gradually increasing scale of projects means that tracked excavators are now giving the former a run for their money. With the impetus on mining, tracked excavators are in fact expected to pip backhoe loaders in the near future, so far as market volumes are concerned.
The scale of projects has also had its impact on the concrete batching plant market segment. Almost every leading player is focusing on offering as wide a portfolio as possible these days. The emphasis on this particular market segment in recent times has been on concrete batching plants that are easy to set up, run and maintain, irrespective of the size. The emphasis has also been on self-loading mechanism, which has become important given the trouble faced by contractors in finding labour these days.
The emphasis in the case of concrete pumping systems these days seems to be on power. With the spurt in high-rise projects and large scale infrastructure projects, where vertical or long distance horizontal concrete pumping in involved, there are several new exciting models of powerful concrete pumping equipment that is available in the Indian market nowadays.
Technology seems to be playing a key role in the field of road construction machinery in recent times. Nowhere is it more evident than in the case of compactors. The advent of compaction measuring systems has been a trend that is being witnessed for the past couple of years. Similarly, in the case of asphalt mix plants, a wide variety of ‘green’ technologies have made their entry into the Indian market. From plants that can work with warm mix to the ones that can utilize reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), the sustainability bug is what is driving the road construction machinery market segment.
Emerging application areas are also spelling good news for equipment manufacturers. A good example for the sesame is available in the form of material handling equipment (MHE). Specialized cranes for wind energy projects for example are now a growing market segment. Similarly, access platforms designed for urban infrastructure projects is another fast growing market segment.
Grand Gala CE Bonanza
bC India 2014 has got every making of becoming one of the most crucial CE trade show in recent times. With the economy showing definite signs of revival, the show could be the perfect barometer to understand the demand patterns of the near future. The show would offer every visitor something to carry back, in the form of products, technology or business contacts. For the overseas manufacturers, especially those who are entering the market for the first time, the show would be the right platform to showcase their latest products. For all those manufacturers who already have a set base in the country, the event offers yet another occasion to further consolidate their position. It won’t be wrong to state that the entire world will be watching the show keenly, for expectations from the Indian market are sky high. The previous editions of bC India 2014 had set high standards when it comes to detailed planning and excellent organization. This edition presents the organizers with the chance to further raise the bar. Let the show begin.