An event was organised by Loesche India at Bengaluru on March 5, 2020 to unveil its first Truck Unloading System (TUS). Rakesh Rao in conversation with Detlef Bluemke, MD, and Vikram Sharma, Jt. MD of Loesche India.
What is the significance of today's event? Tell us about the presence of Loesche in India?
Detlef Bluemke (DB): Loesche is not new to India, we are doing business here over about 50 years and we as a company exist since 1906 at global level. Today the markets are becoming far more difficult. With costs coming down and margins eroding, we needed more verticals to stay in the competitive business. With the acquisition of MHC Engineering Fördertechnik GmbH, we now have more than one product in our basket. The product line is going to be interesting, beneficial and attractive for our clients. MHC products are available from the beginning of this year to the Indian market and then to the world market. At the end it is going to be 100 per cent make in India product. There is lot of capability in India. Our Indian location has potential to grow, keeping in line with our high standards. We have to start somewhere and this is a starting point. The Truck Unloading System (TUS) is a first product in the line of this new development.
Is it only for the cement industry or for other sectors as well like power etc.?
Vikram Sharma (VS): It is for any process industry which receives solid raw materials in bulk via trucks. Majority of Applications are in the field of handling solid raw materials like gypsum, clinker, limestone, wet fly ash, FGD gypsum and coal, but it is also useful for receiving alternate fuels for waste to energy, waste to fuel, and waste to gas industries using fuels like municipal wastes, sludge, etc. to name a few.
Is it a global launch or launch only for India?
VS: We are preparing a blue print for global launch. The basic idea is to start with Indian market and makeproductsuitable and scalable to the world market. There are many other products associated with TUS like bin/Silo extraction hopper (BinEX®). But the first product is TUS.
Does it mean that that the manufacturing is done only in India?
VS: Our initial plans are to start with India. Under the MHC brand name, Loesche India is for the first time producing this TUS. Bin/Silo Extractor (BinEX®) is the next product that will be launched in about a months' time from now. Then there will be chain conveyors, positive displacement feeders, etc. Slowly we will get into the complete product range of MHC.
What is the market potential of truck unloading system?
VS: Annually about 70 to 80 units of TUS are sold in cement industry and taking into account other industries about 80 to 90 units of TUS will be sold in the next three years annually. The cost of one unit is approximately Rs 1 crore and we expect to make a business of abound Rs 8 to 9 crore annually. We are hopeful to capture about 10 per cent of the total business annually. We have an additional small workshop set up under the name of Loesche Energy Systems India (catering specifically to the Power industry) we would prefer to use this workshop facility after scale up to increase our production capacity. Till then we shall operate through the manufacturing facilities at our vendor's bases.
Is the demand coming from certain regions or it is all across?
VS: The demand is coming from the cement industry; it is also coming from coal-based power plants like NTPC, because the Government is insisting on them to install FGDs for protection of the environment. The orders are placed by the contractors of NTPC like GE, L&T, BHEL, etc.
When there are already existing players in the market what is the USP of your product?
VS: The product we are offering is comparable to any of the top class products available in the market. It is meeting the expectations of the clients. It is fully localised but the design is world class. And above of all, it is backed by Loesche, which is a well-known brand. We would like to cash on our brand equity. We would like to emphasise on our quality. We expect the same from our vendors. All the components for TUS will be sourced from India.
What is your growth plan for India business? How does Germany look at India?
DB: We trust very much on our Indian arm. Our Indian arm is sharing more responsibility with Germany. It is an extended work bench of Germany. Loesche is depending on India for better quality, more reliable products, and higher engineering inputs.It would not be just the extended work bench but also India is a backbone for Germany. We have 35 full time design and engineering resources in India and are planning to further increase the number. It may take a little time.
India has very ambitious plan to reach 5 trillion economies by 2025. Therefore Loesche India will have better opportunity to grow. What is the impact of coronavirus?
DB: Going forward we will improve on our product portfolio. With the present situation we can pray and hope and we would be monitoring the situation hoping for it to get over soon.
With the challenges posed by coronavirus, the companies like yours who have global eye view will be forced to shift their supply chain to multi locations. Do you think the manufacturing base in China will get shifted to elsewhere?
DB: Globally, today major suppliers come from China. But now companies will have to rethink. Yes, certainly the multinational companies would prefer to distribute their manufacturing base to different locations and India with its capabilities will be a preferred base.