Seeing unprecedented growth
The equipment sector is always on the go with a never-give-up attitude! And the 10th edition of Excon in 2019 once again saw a gathering replete with optimism - new launches, key handovers, live demos and companies showcasing the latest technology and upgraded machines. It was a future-ready event, completely in sync with its theme: Next-Gen Infrastructure.
Adding to the buoyancy was Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India. Delivering his inaugural address at CII's Excon 2019, he reiterated the prime minister's vision to make India a $5 trillion economy and said the government is embarking on major infrastructure and industrial projects worth Rs 100 trillion to achieve this. "For the roads sector alone, the Centre is investing Rs 2 trillion this year," he said. "The amount of investment for next year will increase to Rs 3 trillion. Within the next five years, the total government spend on road infrastructure will be about Rs 17 trillion. The construction equipment industry can hope to expect a 40 per cent increase in sales in the near future, as the government is pumping huge amounts of investment in road and other infrastructure projects such as the development of waterways, airports, ports and smart cities."
Guest of Honour Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that the State is an emerging hub for construction equipment and a component outsourcing and design base. The state presents huge business opportunities for the construction industry, as it is embarking on major infrastructure development projects in roads and flyovers, industrial infrastructure and power.
Delivering his theme address, Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council, said the construction equipment industry is witnessing a digital influx with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), telematics, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data, making construction equipment intelligent and connected. These developments will increase site efficiency and productivity of construction projects in India.
Proposing a vote of thanks, Sandeep Singh, President, ICEMA & Vice Chairman, CII Karnataka, said reducing cost of construction is possible when the usage of equipment is maximised. For this, the government needs to ensure the flow of funds to infrastructure projects.
Celebrating women in infrastructure
The inaugural ceremony also celebrated women in infrastructure by recognising and awarding companies that have taken proactive steps to enable women to participate in the workforce. Further, a report titled Women in Infrastructure was released that features the current status of women participation in the sector and best practices to enable the sector to include more women as it continues to develop.
Embracing the future In its 10th year of organising the expo, CII organised special activities including exclusive pavilions on AI, IoT, robotics, start-ups, and components and parts, among others.
Part of the expo was a conference on "AI, IoT & Automation". The session focused on the paradigm shift from machine training through programming to achieve automated solutions with AI and IoT under the Industry 4.0 wave. The Industry 4.0 revolution has witnessed a convergence of digital computing, telecommunications and increased use of sensors. These technologies have eased and simplified processes in the industry, leading to improved productivity and quality.
Challenges and opportunities
What's more, an interactive session on "Construction Equipment Industry: Challenges and Opportunities" was organised. In his presentation on the status of the Indian construction equipment industry, Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President, ICEMA, and Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Volvo Construction Equipment, said, "The industry has seen tremendous investments in infrastructure in the last decade with about half billion equipment installed. The industry has employed approximately 1.2 billion people. In the next five years, as India aims for a $5 trillion economy, expected investment in infrastructure will be Rs 100 trillion and equipment requirement will be at least eight times of what it is today; and it is expected to generate nine times of the employment."
Explaining key initiatives to accelerate growth of infrastructure to regain market share, SK Mishra, Executive Director (Infra), Ministry of Railways, said, "The government has already taken the decision of allowing 100 per cent FDI in railway infrastructure. There will be a substantial increase in the capital expenditure and Indian Railways will invest over Rs 10 trillion in the next five years on various projects."
With regard to major initiatives planned in Karnataka, RK Suryawanshi, RO-Projects, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said, "Over 17 projects amounting to Rs 180 billion covering a length of 1,386 km are under implementation by NHAI. Another five projects amounting to Rs 61.16 billion covering a length of 280 km are awarded and the work is likely to commence soon during this financial year in the state."
Additionally, a session on "Over-Dimensional Cargo (ODC) and Infrastructure for Armed Forces" was held where industry experts shared their insights on efficient project cargo movement and emerging requirements and smart technology solutions in defence. The session also addressed procedural developments in project cargo, challenges faced while handling heavy lifts ports and cargo carrier innovations in road, rail and inland waterways. Industry experts also shared their views on managing project cargo complexities in road, rail and inland waterways transport and the next steps towards project cargo logistics excellence in India.
The 10th edition of CII Excon 2019 was spread across 300,000 sq m of display area with over 1,250 exhibitors, including more than 390 overseas companies from 21 countries, besides country pavilions from China, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Turkey and the UK. The five-day exhibition attracted over 70,000 business visitors from India and abroad.