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Technology evolution is the rule of any industry

Technology evolution is the rule of any industry

Suresh Kumar, MD-India, Kalmar Global, reveals the latest offerings his company has developed for the Indian market and details his strategies for future growth.

Tell us about the range of equipment in your fleet. What is the fleet size of each category of equipment?
Kalmar, part of Cargotec, offers the entire range of products for port and marine logistics. We supply quay cranes, RTGC, ASC, straddle carriers, shuttle carriers, reach stackers, empty container handlers, forklifts, terminal tractors and automatic stacking cranes.
We also provide handling solutions to heavy industries and rental segment customers.

How do you see the potential in India, compared to other markets? What is the scope for adoption and improvement in using technology solutions in the maritime and logistics sectors in India?
One cannot compare India with other markets as development cycles are different. We see great potential in India for businesses to grow as the recently announced Government of India initiatives like Sagarmala Project, National Capital Goods Policy under the Make in India thrust, possible GST rollout in 2017, etc., would create economic growth on internal demand based consumption and also help in exports, resulting in movement of goods. This helps Kalmar´s business of intelligent cargo handling solutions.

This year´s Budget has seen the allocation of Rs.2.21 lakh crore (approximately 30 billion euro) for the infrastructure sector to support and boost the limping segment. Today, the speed of delivery of cargo is affected due to congestion of roads. Hence, the allocation of Rs.97,000 crore for the roads sector alone is a good decision that should result in drastic improvements in this segment in future years.

Technology evolution is the rule of any industry to remain competitive and to add value to customers. Since India is endowed with large human resources, technology adoption is in the areas of productivity improvements and safety. This year´s Budget has special mention of a series of initiatives for modernising existing ports and building new ports along India´s east and west coasts.

Today our customers are looking for cost-efficiency through efficient and technologically advanced yet economic handling solutions. Kalmar is the pioneer in introducing path-breaking technologies in raising the standards of performance and setting benchmarks of productivity, reliability and efficiency.

Kalmar invests a lot of resources in exploring and developing green technology. Some examples on the work we do right now are LNG as an alternative fuel type and a new type of transmission in our mobile equipment. These are things that will reduce our carbon footprint as well improve the running cost for our customers.

Which policies of the government in India are you most excited by?
As mentioned, investments in modernisation and upgradation of existing ports, the Sagarmala project, inland waterways development, development of road infrastructure and the development of coastal economic zones are some of the key policies that would be keenly watched.

The Ministry of Shipping´s Perspective Plan ´The Maritime Agenda 2010-2020´ to develop the maritime sector would also add capacities in the ports sector. Apart from capacity enhancements, development of ports through modern technology, shipbuilding and improvement of waterways are key focus areas.

I think the present government is taking all required steps to improve the business environment in the ports and marine sector. In particular, I think steps like RFID-based gate automation, e-filing and integration with Customs software, inter-terminal trailer movements, etc., will improve efficiency.

The recently announced Capital Goods Policy and introduction of GST would improve the business sentiments and we hope that would help to build a transparent, efficient and stable tax administration.

What are your India-specific strategies?
Kalmar is a premium global leader brand in port industry and industrial heavy-duty lifting equipment. We would continue our focus on bringing new technologies which would add substantial value to our customers. We keep a focus on creating the ´Wow´ experience through our innovative technology and strong and dedicated team of experienced professionals. Total cost of ownership and increased safety features are key strategic initiatives where we will focus in India.

Increased investments will be done to maintain the leadership position in customer support services in areas like spare parts and services of our equipment. Another activity we would be keenly looking forward to is the increase in skill level of all related services like training of operators, technicians, etc., which would help our customers in becoming more efficient and save costs.

Tell us about the INTERSCHALT acquisition and what it will bring to your service offerings.
Modernisation and upgradation of ports and maritime sector is the key to improving efficiency, and software services are the backbone of offering advanced solutions. Our acquisition of INTERSCHALT strengthens Cargotec´s and its business areas, and MacGregor´s software strategy complements Cargotec´s strategic aim to be the leader in intelligent cargo handling.

There are systemic inefficiencies across the ocean supply chain of today. Terminal operators are facing the challenge of serving larger vessels that will require investments in bigger and more efficient equipment. They will also strain operations with higher costs. Both carriers and terminals will need to step up to the next level of efficiency by changing business processes and adopting new technology.

As Benoit de la Tour, President of Navis and Head of Software Business in Kalmar says, ´The acquisition of INTERSCHALT is an excellent strategic fit to our Navis and XVELA offerings and it will also bring new service business for MacGregor. Together, we will be able to bring benefits for carriers and terminals by leveraging INTERSCHALT´s position in loading computing, ship files, stowage planning, vessel tracking and optimisation.´

Do you have any plans to make India a manufacturing hub?
We already have a multi-assembly unit in India and we are supplying our Indian product from this unit in Bengaluru. Cargotec would take cognisance of the recently declared National Capital Goods Policy 2016 under the Make in India initiative by the Government of India and make plans in support of these initiatives, the scale of which will be known once details of the policy are released.

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