VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd, believes India has a lot of potential but the economy in India has been taken for granted because of the volume and also there is a big development gap.

What makes you optimistic regarding your products in the current market scenario?
India is a country of 1.3 billion people and nobody can say that infrastructure growth is not going to happen. We cannot compare our development to many of the European and Asian countries because there is a big gap in infrastructure, which needs to be filled at any cost. So, when there is a big gap and when there is going to be a mechanised way of construction of doing that, it is not possible to avoid machines and do all this infrastructure activity in any other method. So, we need to have modern machines to build India.The 3 – 4 months of slowdown in the business should not make one question the fundamental background in which the country is operating at this current point of time.

The economy in India has been taken for granted because of the volume and also there is a big development gap. There are cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which has got good development and on the other hand, you have states like Jharkhand, Bihar, UP. It’s like a case of two entirely different states in one single country. It is very important for any company to continue to innovate and build on the type of machines. We have opened two spare stores in Haridwar and Madurai and we have added 22 new products. Schwing Stetter has always maintained a good relationship with customers and they believe in our products.

Do you think that finance aspect plays a major role even as banks are not willing to go for rental finance?
It is like getting stuck between devil and the deep sea. It will automatically develop when there is a protection for payments and an assured contract where you are not disturbed then everybody will be doing rental business only. Now, that is not there. Today the rental companies at the time of the payment, which is outstanding, they pay GST and give their machines and they are not able to collect the money. So to pay GST, they have to borrow additional funds,otherwise their accounts will be locked.

How do you see foresee 2020 in terms of business strategy?
We are not too hopeful about the revival in 2020. It can happen in the second half of the year. We get more revenue and more growth out of the new product. Our regular product, which is an established product doesn’t move during this type of phase (slowdown in economy). You have to adapt and make required changes according to the market situation.

What is your take on projects not getting implemented on time?
The country has a lot of plans but execution is the key. Whether the contractors and the project owners are meeting all the timelines set, and are both of them performing what they’re supposed to perform in terms of timeline and business, if all this happens smoothly then rental business will become attractive again.

VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd

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