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Mr. Arvind K. Garg, President of Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (iCEMA ) shared his views on the focus areas and activities of the association during the course of last 3-4 years and outlook for the future. EXCON 2017 would provide the CE industry an appropriate platform to showcase new product and technology which could cater to infrastructure development in the country.
CE&CR: Congratulations on being elected as the new President of Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (iCEMA) for the term 2017-19. You have already served as iCEMA vice president during the past two years. As its President, what are your commitments towards the Association, and how do you visualize its activities in the future? Arvind K. Garg: In the recent years, ICEMA has been playing a very important role in developing infrastructure in the country and contributing substantially for nationbuilding. iCEMA has been closely interacting with the Government on a regular basis. During the course of last 5-6 years, the association has grown tremendously in terms of expanding membership strength, cooperation with the Government, partnering with counterpart associations in other countries and focusing on policy initiatives of the Government. The ECE industry in India is quite mature now. Almost all the leading global construction equipment manufacturing companies have set up their manufacturing base in India with the objective of catering to the huge requirement of equipment for infrastructure projects in the country. World class companies such as Caterpillar, Hitachi, JCB, Komatsu, L&T, Schwing Stetter, Volvo, Wirtgen etc. are part of ICEMA members and thereby making the association a very strong body representing CE Industry in India. I am sure, the industry’s good performance would definitely have an impact on the policy initiatives of the government. iCEMA has been closely interacting with the Department of Heavy Industry and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for setting up an independent test & certification centre and creating a regulatory framework for off-highway equipment. On the basis of inputs and suggestions submitted by iCEMA, the Government is in the process of creating this new act - CEMM Equipment Act. The association also looks after technical issues such as homologation, safety, and energy efficiency to ensure high quality of products manufactured by the members of iCEMA and to follow the best practices. Our Technical Panel has been interacting closely with the government on a regular basis and takes up issues relating to technical matters. iCEMA has engaged Feedback Business Consulting to bring out a report on Indian CE industry. The report would give insights into the current status of CE industry and its growth prospects over the next few years. The report would be released on the inaugural day of EXCON 2017.

Generic placeholder image Mr. Arvind K. Garg
President
Indian Construction Equipment
Manufacturers’ Association (iCEMA)
CE&CR: What are the broader roles of iCEMA in the infrastructure development in India? A.K.G: iCEMA is the only association in India representing earthmoving, construction and mining equipment industry. iCEMA represents 65 leading companies that manufacture, trade and finance a wide variety of equipment. India has come of age and as an association, iCEMA would like to take the CE industry to the next level of growth by improving quality, reliability and services of equipment. iCEMA provides its views and suggestions on various policy initiatives of the Government and recommends suitable changes to promote Indian construction equipment industry. In the roads and highway sector, the CE industry has experienced sizeable growth in the requirement of equipment, especially in highway development. Some of the road sector equipment registered around 25% growth in the last 6-7 months compared to the same period in the previous year. iCEMA expects that Government would take positive steps in development of other segments such as real estate, urban infrastructure, mining, railways, etc., so that the demand for equipment from these sectors would grow to a great extent. iCEMA in collaboration with CII organizes regional exhibitions such as CONMAC, Guwahati, with the objective to cater to the needs of specific equipment for the infrastructure development in North East States and construction of roads in border areas developed by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Border Roads Organisation.
CE&CR: What will be the activities of iCEMA with reference to the Government’s focus on Make in India and Skill Development? A.K.G: Government has been very progressive and a number of policy initiatives have been taken for developing infrastructure in the country. iCEMA has been working with the Government on many issues and has received their unstinted support. iCEMA received great support from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and also from the Department of Heavy Industry on the Supreme Court’s order relating to BS IV norms on CEVs that severely affected the CE Industry. In view of this order, machineries manufactured by iCEMA members could not be registered for a period of around 40 days. iCEMA received tremendous support from the Government for an early redressal of the issue. The matter was ultimately resolved on submitting a petition to the Supreme Court, seeking clarity on their judgement. iCEMA in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation has formed Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) in order to impart training of operators and maintenance personnel. Most companies are actively engaged in training their customers’ personnel, but the training curriculum could vary from one company to another. The aim is to bring uniformity for a set of products and include both operators and mechanics. IESC’s objectives are to train a large number of operators and mechanics as per their training module and provide certificates after completion of training. All stakeholders, customers, NBFCs, insurance companies and others involved must appreciate the benefits that accrue to them by having trained operators. The Government is also looking into these initiatives and has set very ambitious targets for the industry. Many of the CE manufacturers in India have set up training facilities at various locations. L&T has also set up a simulator in Nagpur for training.
CE&CR: How will your experience in L&T help you achieve your goals to make the iCEMA as a stronger one? A.K.G: It’s very difficult to answer; it is not about only my own experience, it is about the experience and sound knowledge of all iCEMA members and the market. iCEMA is not about an individual, it is a group of well educated, experienced, successful veterans, who are from different industries, where not only L&T, but other companies as well are actively participating. Most manufacturers have strong processes and would like to devote time and energy to have the capabilities for making the CE Industry stronger to meet the emerging challenges. iCEMA’s associate membership represents banks & financial institutions, component segment, engine manufacturers, insurers, etc. iCEMA’s ultimate focus is to satisfy ourcustomers so that they can join hands with iCEMA on specific issues which could be jointly taken up with the Government.
CE&CR: How are the various panels of iCEMA functioning? Do you have any plan of modifying the panels, or adding new ones? A.K.G: iCEMA has seven Panels, which look after specific areas of work of the association. Each panel has its own work plan and focus areas with Convenor, Co-convenor and members. The details of the Panels are:
- Industry – Government Interface Panel: This panel looks after the issues of concern of the Industry and takes up matters with the authorities / Government departments concerned. The Panel members meet the Government officials from time to time and present the Industry’s concerns and recommendations of the association.
- Technical Panel: Technical Panel deals with various technical matters of the industry and interacts closely with the Department of Heavy Industries and Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. The Panel has been working with the DHI for setting up an independent test and certification centre in India and also creating a regulatory framework for the Offhighway equipment. Various issues relating to emission norms, homologation of equipment, Standards, etc., are being looked after by this panel.
- Market Data & Statistics Panel: The panel takes care of collecting sales data of various categories of equipment from members on monthly basis and release monthly and quarterly industry update. The industry data is very useful for the association to ascertain the size of the industry in terms of various equipment segments. Over 44 members (OEMs) provide monthly sales data for bringing out Industry update.
- Finance Panel: Finance Panel has been reconstituted now. The panel looks after the concerns of the Equipment financing and leasing companies and takes up the issues with the Government and other Authorities concerned. The composition of the Finance Panel covers equipment financing companies, leasing companies, insurance companies and Finance heads of select construction equipment manufacturers. Finance panel is also responsible in preparing Association’s Pre-Budget Memorandum for the Union Budget.
- Promotion Panel: The main focus of the panel is to promote the Association both in India and abroad. The panel brings out the promotional documents such as Association’s brochure, promotional brochures, iCEMA film, etc. The panel is also looking after iCEMA’s participation in International Construction Equipment Exhibitions such as Bauma Munich, Bauma China, CONEXPO in Las Vegas, INTERMAT in Paris, etc.
- Membership Panel: This Panel takes care of expanding the membership strength of the association. The panel draws up the action plan and approach prospective non-members on a regular basis.
- Conference panel: Conference Panel draws up action plan for organizing industry specific conferences in India and abroad. The Panel organizes major conferences during EXCON 2017 and also in Bauma CONEXPO exhibition.
CE&CR: iCEMA is a Sector Partner for organizing EXCON exhibition. What do you expect from the EXCON 2017 exhibition? A.K.G: EXCON actually is a platform for buyers, sellers, finance companies, as well as manufacturers. The exhibition provides an appropriate platform for the equipment manufacturers and customers (buyers) to explore possible business tie-ups and accessing to market demand. It is one of the leading platforms for tapping into this important growth market. Market leaders, global players and decision makers are present at EXCON 2017. EXCON is a platform to showcase the best of the equipment & technologies to aid India’s accelerated plans for infrastructure development. With each successive edition, EXCON has witnessed immense growth both in quality and in numbers. This will be the largest event on all counts in terms of number of exhibitors – both domestic and overseas exhibitors as also visitors. A number of new products would be launched during the show. A large number of senior representatives from project authorities of Government and private organizations visit the exhibition to look for new technology and specific equipment for various infra projects in the country. In EXCON, we get the opportunity to experience the latest & upcoming technologies brought up by our vendor companies & by incorporating them in our products. The 5-day exhibition provides a tremendous opportunity to CE manufacturers to present their technology and products. iCEMA is a part of the steering committee of EXCON and we are working very closely with CII for organizing the event. iCEMA is also holding a conference on “Scalable and sustainable infrastructure building in an era of disruptive technology”.
CE&CR: What are the challenges facing the Construction Equipment Industry now? A.K.G: The biggest challenge is to boost infrastructure and demand creation of equipment. For example in road sector, we have a very dynamic minister and he has a very clear vision and he is pushing the system to perform and realise his vision and it is surely for the benefit of the country. If you look at our infrastructure today, there is a big deficit. No doubt, there has been a lot of progress in construction of existing and new highways. Government is making all efforts in accelerating the road construction work to a great extent. CE industry hopes that the requirement of equipment in roads and highways would grow tremendously in the years to come. iCEMA strongly feels that real estate, mining, railways, etc would also have expansion plans and the requirement of equipment would steadily grow. Government needs to take further positive steps in this direction.
CE&CR: India’s infrastructure growth is on the increasing trend. In this context, how is the demand for advanced equipment required in the Indian market? A.K.G: Indian infra is changing rapidly; when construction companies are facing challenging tasks, they need advanced equipment, so now the demand is growing by 15% to 18%. We appointed an agency to assess the market growth and they are meeting with hundreds of stakeholders to understand emerging needs and market demand. Indian customers are now totally changing from earlier days. Now the young generation is taking charge, they are technologically very advanced; they are aware of global developments and benefits of high technology. So they prefer high quality, reliability and advanced equipment. They are preferring telemetrics to have clear visibility of equipment operation. There are two opposite forces - one is for economy and the other is for technological advancement. The young generation is now appreciating new technology and that is bringing change. Now the change is towards fuel efficient, technologically advanced equipment with proper safety and ease of work and above all easily available spare parts.
CE&CR: iCEMA is going to hold a Conference on “Next gen infrastructure” on 13th of December’17. What is the expected outcome of this Conference? A.K.G: There will be a one-day conference on Next Gen Infrastructure, which would take place on 13th December at Bangalore. The conference covers three sessions (a) Session I on Government policies/projects and their future plans (b) Session 2 to have panel discussion involving customers - to hold a discussion on customers’ views and their needs, and (c) Session 3 will showcase disruptive technologies from across the world, such as remote-controlled machines for use in hazardous areas, hybrids, and drones for mapping, etc. There is a lot of IT going into machines to reduce the effects of operator interface and make them more cost-effective. This is the first time that such a session is being organized with India-based companies such as JCB, Komatsu, L&T, Schwing Stetter, Volvo, Wirtgen and others. The theme for the Conference is“ Scalable and sustainable infrastructure building in an era of disruptive technology”.
CE&CR: What is your opinion about the GST as the leader of the Construction Equipment Industry? A.K.G: In my view, GST is a strong enabler for the country as it is necessary to have a large set of people in the formal sector. CE industry is happy that the GST rate of construction equipment has been brought down from 28% to 18% now, after taking up the matter with the Government strongly.
CE&CR: Earlier ICEMA was known as Indian Earth Moving And Construction Industry Limited. In 2012 it was changed to ICEMA. Can you enlighten our readers on the reasons behind it? A.K.G:: Initially it was formed in 1949 as Tractor & Allied Equipment Manufacturers and Importers Association Ltd, the outfit had just ten Indian members, most of which were remanufacturers and importers of tractors, earthmoving, and allied equipment. In 1986, the association was renamed as Indian Earthmoving & Construction Industry Association Ltd (IECIAL) for the purpose of making it a national point of reference for the Indian earthmoving and construction equipment industry. The association’s name was again changed in 2012 as Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (ICEMA) with the aim of making it a truly representative body of the Indian construction equipment industry and expanding its scope of services. The name has been changed to ICEMA with the objective to keep it at par with the Global Association such as CEMA, KOCEMA, CECE, CCMA, etc.
CE&CR: Would you like to share anything special with our esteemed readers? A.K.G: My best wishes to them. Nothing comes easily; you have to go the extra mile to reach your target. May be success is just around the corner but you don’t know. For all of us I believe that commitment is very necessary and you should be firm on it and determined in whatever you want to do. Good luck.