Sundar More, Sales Head, Apollo Concrete SolutionsCustom duty is the biggest expense when importing spare parts. Sundar More, Head of Apollo Concrete Solutions, talks to ICR about the challenges faced by the concrete equipment sector, their alliance and the future plans of the company.What is the market share of the company and how to envisage increasing the same?Since it’s just been three years that we have been in the market, our market share is 8-10 per cent. Of course we do envisage increasing our share to 50 per cent in next two years.Could you express your views on the current scenario of the concrete industry?Currently the industry is going through a low phase however there is a lot of construction happening in the III Tier cities. Also a lot of project has been stopped or incomplete or on half way, so the time required for completion has gone up. The situation is expected to improve in the upcoming year since the projects which are pending will get clearance. This increases the over all cost of the project.There have been companies which have faced a slump of 20-25 per cent, how has this affected the financial of the company?Our sales have not gone down to that extent, but out sales also have gone down to 10-15 per cent. And for the same we are coming up with new products equipped with latest technologies.What is your forecast for the year 2013 and highlight your strategies for the same?We have already planned to launch a couple of new products for the upcoming year with bCIndia coming up in February 2013.With the launch of these equipment our capacity will go up by 30- 40 per cent. Our main focus in the upcoming year will be on self loading transit mixer, precast application and concrete batching plants and might launch a couple of more equipment since we have tied up with Hawkeye Pedershaab, a US based company. The AHCT manufacturing facility is spread across 40,000 sq mt and strategically located in the state of Gujarat.For the industry, real estate is expected to grow, since the RBI also has asked the banks to reduce interest on housing loans this will lead to an increase in purchase power of the people. Thus our sector will improve.What support do you require from the Government on the policy level?Our industry needs to import a lot of spare parts and thus we pay a lot of import duty. Thus my suggestion to the government would be to reduce the import duty.Do you think that the Chinese products in the market have been a major threat for the equipment industry?The Chinese products are no doubt cheaper but the people now know that they can vanish from the market. Since Sany suddenly stopped their production in the concrete equipment. Also the after sales services are not assured so people have lost trust in the Chinese equipment.What according to are the challenges faced by the ready mix concrete industry?The greatest challenge that the RMC equipment manufacturers face is the lack of faith. The people in the industry still have the notion that the equipment produced by the foreign companies are better than as compared to the domestic.What is the USP of your products offered?Our concrete batching plants are equipped with contemporary Redundant Systems as well as SCADA based real-time control systems with both the process visualisation system and user friendly touch screen. This helps you to get effective and reliable solution for complete management of concrete batching plants. We use exclusive planetary mixers and twin shaft mixers that are of latest technologies with a view to provide homogeneous mixing of aggregates. Apollo assures that all its finished products are meant equal with global technology. Our focus has always been on quality. We do not compromise on quality come what may.What is the annual capacity of production and kindly highlight which countries do you export your equipment to?We can produce equipment worth 200 crore per annum and we export mainly to the countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kenya.Do you customise your equipment for the international needs and what is the major difference between the domestic and the international needs?Yes we do customise our equipment for the international needs. The needs do not differ to a huge extent. Only concrete pumps are different due to the geographical conditions.What are the latest trends dominating the concrete equipment sector?The concrete equipment sector is going through a lot of changes since the Indian manufacturers are also embracing new technologies. In terms of latest trends I would say fuel efficient equipment is becoming more and more popular. Also due to space constraint, the people are opting for high-rise buildings and to do so, we need machines that can pump up concrete to that level.