Mr. V. Senthilkumar, managing director, talks about how the incorporation of technology in the equipment and related sectors is the latest trend, in response to questions asked by the Construction and Architecture (C&A) team.
How have you changed your business models and strategies? What new opportunities has the paradigm shift brought to your business as we are speedingly recovering?
The pandemic has forced us to turn to technological means to stay connected with our customers. Doing our best to break the chain and stop the spread of the virus is the big challenge. Ensuring the safety of the staff members has remained a priority. There are restrictions in the day-to-day operations. We are working around the industry, safety and health norms as prescribed
by the authorities, for the benefit of all. Only critical operations are being carried out. Office travel happens only when it is absolutely necessary. We have a detailed plan of action in place so that return to ‘business as usual’ happens faster. We have visualised the ‘new normal’ and our team is working towards it. Since geographical boundaries are no more a hurdle, we are able to reach out to many people virtually. As all the industries are in the reviving mode, we are hopeful of a steady boom.
What are your views about the reshaping effects on the E&C sector?
Lives and livelihood have been thrown out of gear in the last six months due to the pandemic but I see a bright road ahead for the engineering and construction sectors, both in the domestic and international markets. The construction and infrastructure development projects which have been lined up is sure to help the industry. The recent policies of the Indian government have also been structured in a way to benefit the sector.
Describe your recent product launches and new projects and give us some details of how they are distinguished from your pre-pandemic projects. What new digitalizations have you witnessed?
We have launched Gyratory Cone Crusher AVCG 600, Horizontal Shaft Impactor AVH1 250, Washing plant PW250, Jaw Crushing Model AVJ 508, Vertical Shaft Impactor AVV1 55, Air Classifier AVAC 200 and Thickener 12 meter AVTH 12 recently. We have also improved the quality and performance of our existing products.
Sharpening the focus on packing and forwarding solutions to give the best possible look and feel of our products has been the focus this year and it will remain so in the immediate future too. On the operational front, several cross-functional teams have been developed to raise the bar. Our service standards have improved and the access to spare parts across the length and breadth of the country have been made easier. We are also extending our operations to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. From end of March till now, we are doing everything possible to help our customers sail through these challenging times. We are using technological means to extend professional support.
We get SMS alerts from the machine directly to our service engineers for issues like oil and filter changes. We are working on IOT which will reduce manpower and increase operational efficiency. We are designing a digital roadmap which will be revealed to the market, soon.
Give us your opinion on the business principles and motives that you apply in difficult times to make it stepping a stone towards a strong rebound.
Firstly, I foresee the industry getting back to pre-COVID normalcy very soon. Propel Industries is driven as much by our core values of customer focus, teamwork, integrity and professionalism as passion. When the world was reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to design and manufacture PVS 201, an automatic emergency ventilator.
PVS 201 is being tested in Coimbatore hospitals. With additional inputs from the medical fraternity, we have developed a second model which is being tested at Kalam Institute of Health Technology, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. We wish the product goes through the testing processes and comes into use soon, for the benefit of the society.
As a growing company, we promise to stay agile in order to serve our customers better. Propel Industries will work on innovations while also continuously improving our present products.
We have learnt to embrace digitalisation in the post-Corona time and I think that is the way forward.
What are your views on the changed customer behaviour and the recent trends in the industry during today’s situation? How will you describe your near future plan move ahead competitively with these trends.
The impact of the pandemic is being felt on every sector and on everyone. We are trying our best to support our customers in every possible way. We are holding hands with them so that we wade through this phase without trouble. The incorporation of technology in the equipment and related sectors is the last trend. Automation in the engineering and construction industry is also helping the industry grow.
Track machines operated with electric power rather than by hydraulic means is the latest trend. They provide considerable savings in operation cost. There is widespread demand for all our products. Apart from maintaining our quality standards, our focus will also be on round-the-clock service and spare parts support. Huge investment is happening in the Indian aggregates
industry. The mining sector has made significant strides to steer through odds, but there are a whole lot of challenges like geopolitical landscape, technological disruption and increased demands from communities and investors.
We have upheld the ‘Customer first’ slogan always and it will remain so, in the future too. All our plans will be driven by this slogan.
This interview first appeared in the September-October edition of the Construction and Architecture (C&A) magazine.