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Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training (FIRST) hosts 5th EQUIPMENT INDIA Annual Awards



  • Sandeep Singh, MD, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. is ‘Equipment India Person of the Year’
  • K. Vijay, MD, Ajax Fiori was presented with a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for his contribution to the industry
  • JCB India was honoured with a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for its contribution to the industry
  • 14 other BESTSELLER winners honoured, including JCB, CASE, BEML etc
  • Caterpillar won three awards

The Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training (FIRST) hosted the 5th EQUIPMENT INDIA Annual Awards
at Hotel LALIT in New Delhi on Friday 16th February, 2018.Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. was named the ‘Equipment India Person of the Year’ for 2017 at the 5th edition of EQUIPMENT INDIA AWARDS held in New Delhi on February 16, 2018, late evening. Also referred to as the Oscars of the Indian construction equipment industry, Singh was unanimously chosen for the EQUIPMENT INDIA honour by an eminent 11-member jury for his notable contribution to his organisation by engineering a turnaround of sorts, thereby winning the coveted award for 2017.
"I would like to dedicate this award to my team at Tata Hitachi as also dealers and vendors who have really supported us to produce good quality machines and take care of our customers," Singh said in a video recorded message that was played on the occasion.‘Equipment India Special Recognition Award’ was conferred on K Vijay, Managing Director, Ajax Fiori Engineering India Pvt Ltd for his contribution to the industry during the past year. "I am truly humbled that I have been chosen to receive this award. I see this as a token of recognition of the organisation that I have been privileged to lead for a very long time," he said.JCB India was honoured with the ‘Equipment India Special Recognition Award’ for its contribution to the construction equipment industry over the past 39 years. Arun Goyal, Special Secretary, Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, was the Guest of Honour in the function. In his special address, Goyal said, "Many of you who are into sales of industrial or construction equipment in different states must have had to deal with a number of authorities earlier. The tax rates, forms and procedures were different. The process was quite mind-boggling and difficult, and companies had specific departments to deal with it. All that is past now as we have been able to merge central taxes, particularly service tax, excise and VAT under GST."
"Now you just have to be on the IT platform, and the way the system has been designed, you don’t have to interact with the tax authorities at all," he added. He urged stakeholders to feel free to reach out to him if they had any concerns.
Referring to the gradual improvement in the economic sentiment, Pratap Padode, President, FIRST observed, "The budgetary expenditure on infrastructure has risen by Rs 1 trillion over last year. Given the momentum of projects and thrust on infrastructure, the sale of construction equipment units is likely to cross 90,000 units by 2021."
"The government obviously knows that if it has given the pain of the kind of demonetisation and GST, it now needs to push up public spending as much as possible and press the paddle for the economy," he added.EQUIPMENT INDIA AWARDS were also presented in 12 Bestseller product categories. The winners are: Case New Holland Construction Equipment India in Compactors; JCB India in Backhoe Loaders; Action Construction Equipment in Mobile Cranes; BEML in Crawler Dozers; Caterpillar India in Wheeled Loaders, Rigid Dump Trucks, and Motor Graders; Doosan Bobcat India in Skid Steer Loaders; Ammann Apollo in Asphalt Finishers; Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. in Crawler Excavators and Mini Excavators; and Atlas Copco in Mobile Compressors.
The winners were selected by an eminent jury comprising:

  • Ranjeet R. More, Vice Chairman & MD, Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment
  • SP Rajan, Head – Plant & Equipment, L&T Construction
  • Neerav Parmar, Vice President, Shapoorji Pallonji
  • Nishant Shah, India Head, Imaginarium (India)
  • Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India
  • Mitesh Shethia, President – Crane Owners’ Association of India
  • Prof. Satish Chandra, Director, Central Road Research Institute
  • Satish Sharma, President, Apollo Tyres Ltd
  • Samir Bansal, General Manager – India, Off Highway Research
  • Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall India Limited

A CEO forum on the theme of ‘Technology to Drive the Future of Construction and Infrastructure’ was organised before the awards ceremony got underway. The panel discussion was moderated by RK Pandey, Member Projects, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Copies of MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT INFOBANK and the 10th Annual Issue of EQUIPMENT INDIA were also released on the occasion.About FIRST: Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training (FIRST) is a non-profit body engaged in research and information on national development since 2003. It tracks infrastructure-related projects, right from the conceptual and planning stage to implementation and commissioning, in India. The trust publishes sector reports that provide credible information, is timely and useful for accessing and disseminating business opportunities. For more details, contact: Dheeresh Bangera on 022-2419 3000

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Price hikes, drop in input costs help cement industry to post positive margins: Care Ratings





Region-wise,the southern region comprises 35% of the total cement capacity, followed by thenorthern, eastern, western and central region comprising 20%, 18%, 14% and 13%of the capacity, respectively.

The cement industry is expected to post positive margins on decent price hikes over the months, falling raw material prices and marked drop in overall production costs, said an analysis of Care Ratings.

Wholesale and retail prices of cement have increased 11.9% and 12.4%, respectively, in the current financial year. As whole prices have remained elevated in most of the markets in the months of FY20, against the corresponding period of the previous year.

Similarly, electricity and fuel cost have declined 11.9% during 9M FY20 due to drop in crude oil prices. Logistics costs, the biggest cost for cement industry, has also dropped 7.7% (selling and distribution) as the Railways extended the benefit of exemption from busy season surcharge. Moreover, the cost of raw materials, too, declined 5.1% given the price of limestone had fallen 11.3% in the same aforementioned period, the analysis said.

According to Care Ratings, though the overall sales revenue has increased only 1.3%, against 16% growth in the year-ago period, the overall expenditure has declined 3.2% which has benefited the industry largely given the moderation in sales.

Even though FY20 has been subdued in terms of production and demand, the fall in cost of production has still supported the cement industry by clocking in positive margins, the rating agency said.

Cement demand is closely linked to the overall economic growth, particularly the housing and infrastructure sector. The cement sector will be seeing a sharp growth in volumes mainly due to increasing demand from affordable housing and other government infrastructure projects like roads, metros, airports, irrigation.

The government’s newly introduced National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), with its target of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025, is a detailed road map focused on economic revival through infrastructure development.

The NIP covers a gamut of sectors; rural and urban infrastructure and entails investments of Rs.102 lakh crore to be undertaken by the central government, state governments and the private sector. Of the total projects of the NIP, 42% are under implementation while 19% are under development, 31% are at the conceptual stage and 8% are yet to be classified.

The sectors that will be of focus will be roads, railways, power (renewable and conventional), irrigation and urban infrastructure. These sectors together account for 79% of the proposed investments in six years to 2025. Given the government’s thrust on infrastructure creation, it is likely to benefit the cement industry going forward.

Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, aimed at providing affordable housing, will be a strong driver to lift cement demand. Prices have started correcting Q4 FY20 onwards due to revival in demand of the commodity, the agency said in its analysis.

Industry’s sales revenue has grown at a CAGR of 7.3% during FY15-19 but has grown only 1.3% in the current financial year. Tepid demand throughout the country in the first half of the year has led to the contraction of sales revenue. Fall in the total expenditure of cement firms had aided in improving the operating profit and net profit margins of the industry (OPM was 15.2 during 9M FY19 and NPM was 3.1 during 9M FY19). Interest coverage ratio, too, has improved on an overall basis (ICR was 3.3 during 9M FY19).

According to Cement Manufacturers Association, India accounts for over 8% of the overall global installed capacity. Region-wise, the southern region comprises 35% of the total cement capacity, followed by the northern, eastern, western and central region comprising 20%, 18%, 14% and 13% of the capacity, respectively.

Installed capacity of domestic cement makers has increased at a CAGR of 4.9% during FY16-20. Manufacturers have been able to maintain a capacity utilisation rate above 65% in the past quinquennium. In the current financial year due to the prolonged rains in many parts of the country, the capacity utilisation rate has fallen from 70% during FY19 to 66% currently (YTD).

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Wonder Cement shows journey of cement with new campaign





The campaign also marks Wonder Cement being the first ever cement brand to enter the world of IGTV…


Cement manufacturing company Wonder Cement, has announced the launch of a digital campaign ‘Har Raah Mein Wonder Hai’. The campaign has been designed specifically to run on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

#HarRaahMeinWonderHai is a one-minute video, designed and conceptualised by its digital media partner Triature Digital Marketing and Technologies Pvt Ltd. The entire journey of the cement brand from leaving the factory, going through various weather conditions and witnessing the beauty of nature and wonders through the way until it reaches the destination i.e., to the consumer is very intriguing and the brand has tried to showcase the same with the film.

Sanjay Joshi, executive director, Wonder Cement, said, "Cement as a product poses a unique marketing challenge. Most consumers will build their homes once and therefore buy cement once in a lifetime. It is critical for a cement company to connect with their consumers emotionally. As a part of our communication strategy, it is our endeavor to reach out to a large audience of this country through digital. Wonder Cement always a pioneer in digital, with the launch of our IGTV campaign #HarRahMeinWonderHai, is the first brand in the cement category to venture into this space. Through this campaign, we have captured the emotional journey of a cement bag through its own perspective and depicted what it takes to lay the foundation of one’s dreams and turn them into reality."

The story begins with a family performing the bhoomi poojan of their new plot. It is the place where they are investing their life-long earnings; and planning to build a dream house for the family and children. The family believes in the tradition of having a ‘perfect shuruaat’ (perfect beginning) for their future dream house. The video later highlights the process of construction and in sequence it is emphasising the value of ‘Perfect Shuruaat’ through the eyes of a cement bag.

Tarun Singh Chauhan, management advisor and brand consultant, Wonder Cement, said, "Our objective with this campaign was to show that the cement produced at the Wonder Cement plant speaks for itself, its quality, trust and most of all perfection. The only way this was possible was to take the perspective of a cement bag and showing its journey of perfection from beginning till the end."

According to the company, the campaign also marks Wonder Cement being the first ever cement brand to enter the world of IGTV. No other brand in this category has created content specific to the platform.

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In spite of company’s optimism, demand weakness in cement is seen in the 4% y-o-y drop in sales volume. (Reuters)





Cost cuts and better realizations save? the ?day ?for ?UltraTech Cement, Updated: 27 Jan 2020, Vatsala Kamat from Live Mint

Lower cost of energy and logistics helped Ebitda per tonne rise by about 29% in Q3
Premiumization of acquired brands, synergistic?operations hold promise for future profit growth Topics

UltraTech Cement
India’s largest cement producer UltraTech Cement Ltd turned out a bittersweet show in the December quarter. A sharp drop in fuel costs and higher realizations helped drive profit growth. But the inherent demand weakness was evident in the sales volumes drop during the quarter.

Better realizations during the December quarter, in spite of the 4% year-on-year volume decline, minimized the pain. Net stand-alone revenue fell by 2.6% to ?9,981.8 crore.

But as pointed out earlier, lower costs on most fronts helped profitability. The chart alongside shows the sharp drop in energy costs led by lower petcoke prices, lower fuel consumption and higher use of green power. Logistics costs, too, fell due to lower railway freight charges and synergies from the acquired assets. These savings helped offset the increase in raw material costs.

The upshot: Q3 Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of about ?990 per tonne was 29% higher from a year ago. The jump in profit on a per tonne basis was more or less along expected lines, given the increase in realizations. "Besides, the reduction in net debt by about ?2,000 crore is a key positive," said Binod Modi, analyst at Reliance Securities Ltd.

Graphic by Santosh Sharma/Mint
What also impressed analysts is the nimble-footed integration of the recently merged cement assets of Nathdwara and Century, which was a concern on the Street.

Kunal Shah, analyst (institutional equities) at Yes Securities (India) Ltd, said: "The company has proved its ability of asset integration. Century’s cement assets were ramped up to 79% capacity utilization in December, even as they operated Nathdwara generating an Ebitda of ?1,500 per tonne."

Looks like the demand weakness mirrored in weak sales during the quarter was masked by the deft integration and synergies derived from these acquired assets. This drove UltraTech’s stock up by 2.6% to ?4,643 after the Q3 results were declared on Friday.

Brand transition from Century to UltraTech, which is 55% complete, is likely to touch 80% by September 2020. A report by Jefferies India Pvt. Ltd highlights that the Ebitda per tonne for premium brands is about ?5-10 higher per bag than the average (A cement bag weighs 50kg). Of course, with competition increasing in the arena, it remains to be seen how brand premiumization in the cement industry will pan out. UltraTech Cement scores well among peers here.

However, there are road bumps ahead for the cement sector and for UltraTech. Falling gross domestic product growth, fiscal slippages and lower budgetary allocation to infrastructure sector are making industry houses jittery on growth. Although UltraTech’s management is confident that cement demand is looking up, sustainability and pricing power remains a worry for the near term.

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