Rakesh Modi, Chairman, Mtandt Group, a pioneer in bringing aerial work platform, mobile access platforms and fixed fall protection in the Indian markets believes the market potential for access equipment is immense but the challenges pertaining to awareness of the products and manufacturing it need to be addressed.

Access equipment industry is going through a very challenging patch in last couple of years, what potential do you see in this market?
The biggest challenge which access equipment still faces in India is the awareness. Only few people are aware of the product and its application. A decent majority continues to remain oblivious about it. So, awareness is the biggest challenge. The market potential is hundred times more than what we are doing today. It’s just that people need to be aware that such an option is available to them.

Even though banks are open to the idea of equipment finance, when it comes to renting equipment it takes a back seat
I think today, silencing AWP Material Handling is not an issue at all. You can always get it financed easily. Most of the financing companies recognize this product. So that’s not an issue. The challenge is that people are not aware that such an options available to them.

What are you doing to enhance awareness of your access equipment products?
We are doing everything possible; to ensure that there is a requisite dose of awareness about the products. But India is a huge country, and to be able to spread the message along the length and the breadth of the nation requires tremendous effort. The solution is everybody should start talking about it in every possible way. You have to do your bit, and we have to do our bit too.

What equipment’s did you display at Excon?
At Excon, we have launched a new product called the Powered Mobile Access Platform, a hybrid of mechanical and electrically operated aluminium scaffolding, operating at 15m free-standing height and up-to 50m with support. We also showcased our 5m and 8m push around Scissors and Personal lift respectively, which is cost-effective for indoor maintenance applications, and a 7.5m Manual Duct Lifter, ideal for lifting pipes and AC Ducts during installations at site.

What are the different sectors are areas you address as a solutions provider?
When it comes to reach and work at height. We have solution practically for every area including ones that require regular industrial maintenance. We provide special trucks, whose boom are insulated to work on live transmission line towers. And now, we are even able to provide firefighting trucks with 100m reach.

While going for procurement of this kind of equipment, credibility of the manufacturing facility and the service network of the company is question are closely looked at, how do you present your case?
We are the largest player in India and a leading pioneer in this field. Generally, none of our clients got a chance to ask us this question about our credibility. Mtandt has a pan India presence with a very hard-working team. And Moreover, they know that if it is from Mtandt, it is hundred per cent safe.

So we do not even go by 99.99 per cent safe, it has to conform to a minimum – national or international standards. We want our clients to retain us as their unanimous choice, so we cannot afford to do anything other than providing a world class service.

What is your expectation from the government to help this industry grow?
I think the government needs to bring in a regulation to ensure safety of people beyond a certain height. This willensure that access equipment, finds a good use in necessary areas. Today in the metropolitan cities, major construction companies are already using it. Once people realize this is an economical option than steel or bamboo scaffolding, they will use these products.

What challenges do you face from the manufacturing point of view, what needs to be done?
Manufacturing in India will truly work if we start manufacturing in India and not only for India, but for the entire world. So, government needs to support manufacturing by incentivizing the exports and providing the infrastructure on rent. Today If I want to put up a factory 50 per cent of my investment goes up in buying the land, and other half in setting up the manufacturing facility and associated infrastructure cost. So, should I invest this money in acquiring the raw material or on any other factorwhich is of more importance? We can’t see a way out of this. In China and other developed nations, the government makes production facilities available to entrepreneurs on rent, one can just go and start their production. A similar program in India will go a long way in encouraging potential entrepreneurs too.

Rakesh Modi, Chairman, Mtandt Group

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