The Wirtgen Group includes four well-known brands: Wirtgen, Vögele,, Hamm and Kleemann. Wirtgen India Pvt Ltd offers a complete range of machines for road building, from crushing, screening, mixing, paving and compaction to repairing roads with milling and recycling. Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director & CEO, Wirtgen India, and Frank G Betzelt, General Manager, Sales & Service Subsidiaries, Wirtgen Group Holding GmbH, speak to SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
How is the current construction industry scenario?
Palagiri: The road sector scenario is improving. With most projects being awarded on EPC, which implies a completion period of two years, procuring will be done faster. In the next six months, demand for equipment will pick up.
What are the challenges you face in India?
Betzelt: As a European company, we had to learn the customers´ need in India and introduce a complete range of products for the market. We have made large investments in Pune to set up a complete production facility for rollers for the Indian market.
Are your offerings manufactured in India?
Betzelt: It makes sense to produce some of the products in India - like rollers and small pavers - as we do not have the adequate volume. But we can always fill requirements with products from Germany, if required.
How are products customised for the Indian market?
Betzelt: We collate inputs from local engineers and local product management and work closely with engineers in Germany. Despite customisation, we aim for highest quality in every country.
By 2017-18, how do you see Wirtgen´s growth in India?
Palagiri: The group company is growing faster than Wirtgen India, which is a challenge. The group touched 2 billion this year, and we expect the turnover to increase much faster, around 15 per cent. In India, we aim to reach 5-10 per cent in 2017.