Krishnakumar Lakhotia of KK Enterprises
Krishnakumar Lakhotia of KK Enterprises has been in the cement business for the past 22 years. He is an exclusive distributor for Ambuja Cement Ltd. "We supply cement in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Mira belt areas", said Lakhotia. The company does not stock any cement. "Being an exclusive distributor, the largest selling cement company for us is the Ambuja Cement", said Lakhotia. "In Mumbai region the largest selling cement company is Ambuja Cement. Ideally OPC should sell more, but is the blended cement which is in demand because of higher margin by the manufacturer," said Lakhotia when asked about the largest selling grade of cement. "The increase in diesel/petrol prices or the additional taxes in cement by the government lead to increase in cement prices by the manufacturer, and dealers having fixed margins in rupees per bag and not in the form of percentage lead to additional cost and just adds more investment with lower margins", said Lakhotia, when asked about how the volatility in cement prices and increase in petrol/diesel prices affects him. "Our monthly dispatch is about 3,000-4,000 metric tonne. Sales can be improved provided there is an increase in commission and yearly incentives with timely supply of cement to the consumer", said Lakhotia. To increase sales Lakhotia said "I think the manufacturers are at their best doing sales promotion activities like wall painting, hoarding, sales meeting, visiting sales marketing officers, advertising in media, etc". "We directly place order to the company to supply it to our clients, ie, retailer, consumer, builder, etc, therefore increase in diesel/petrol prices does not affect our prices because delivery is done by the manufacturer directly," said Lakhotia. When asked how can delays at octroi checkpost can be speeded up, he replied "delays at octroi checkpost can be avoided if cement manufacturer can pay in advance when the cement truck enters the city, reducing the wait at the octroi post". The company has tie-up with banks and when the interest rates go up our profits margin gets affected. About Budget 2011-12 Lakhotia said, "In Budget 2011-12, excise duty has been restructure and import duty on input cost has been reduced, but simultaneously the cost, labour, petrol, diesel prices, etc have increased the prices of cement due to their input costs". Krishnakumar Lakhotia, proprietor of KK Enterprises is member of the cement stockists & dealers association of Bombay.