In a stellar show, the 10th edition of Excon 2019 rode on the growth momentum of the construction equipment industry and technological advancements.

Story by: Anwesh Koley

         

The 10th edition of Excon was a stellar show. Held in Bengaluru at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), the exhibition strongly echoed positive sentiments. Organised by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Government of India, State Government of Karnataka as the ‘Host State’, The Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (ICEMA) as the ‘Sector Partner’ at the event and ‘Supported by’ Builders Association of India (BAI), Excon 2019 rode high on the momentum of the construction equipment industry and the advancements in technology. At Excon 2019, the stakeholders of the industry vouched for the potential of a robust growth story in 2020. South Asia’s largest construction equipment and construction technology trade fair, Excon, this year chose the theme as ‘Smart i-tech- Next Gen India@75’. It showcased the role of smart technologies and design innovations in the manufacture of next-generation construction equipment and machinery. It complimented the rapid pace of infrastructure development in the South Asian region. India in particular boasted of significant infrastructural opportunities. It was unanimously agreed that the exhibition couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

Drawing participation from 1250 exhibitors including the presence of 390 exhibitors from 21 foreign countries, Excon 2019 saw a slew of new product launches, with happy customers taking possession of their new equipment. Chinese, German, Italian, Turkish, South Korean and UK pavilions displayed their technological prowess in the earthmoving and construction machinery. The 3,00,000 sq.m display area witnessed a footfall of over 70,000 business visitors. Inaugurated at the hands of Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, the tone was set for the 5 days of the fair. The Union Minister cited the centres’ plans to invest Rs.17 lakh crore in the road sector over a period of five years as a part of the vision of making India a USD five trillion economy. Averred Gadkari, “For the road sector alone, the centre is investing Rupees two lakh crores this year. The amount of investment for the next year will increase to Rupees three lakh crores”. “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,” he stated. The Union Minister urged private players operating in the construction equipment industry to focus on mechanisation, adoption and usage of advanced technologies and global best practices. Going by the need to go green, Gadkari also expressed hope to see the construction industry use more of LNG and biofuels and contribute in spearheading similar innovations in using waste materials as raw materials for their construction projects in order to reduce the cost of construction and curb pollution levels.

Echoing a similar sentiment, in his address, Vikram S Kirloskar, President, CII, said that the cost of doing business in India is set to come down as the government is keen on rebooting the infrastructure in roads, ports, railways, waterways by fast-tracking infrastructure projects. The construction equipment industry can face the tough market situation prevailing now by focusing on being ready for Industry 4.0 and reinventing itself. Averred Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council, “The construction equipment industry is witnessing a digital influx with the advent of artificial intelligence, telematics, Internet of Things, and Big Data making construction equipment intelligent and connected.” “These developments would increase the site efficiency and productivity of the construction projects in India,” he added. In a presentation on the status of Indian CE industry, Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President, ICEMA & Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Volvo Construction Equipment, mentioned that the CE industry has seen significant investments being made in infrastructure in the past decade, with nearly half-billion equipment installed pan India. The industry has provided employment to around 1.2 billion people, he said.

With India aiming towards becoming a USD five trillion economy in the next five years, the expected investment in infrastructure would be around Rs.100 lakh crores. It is predicted that the equipment required will be at least eight times of what it is today and it is expected to generate nine times of the employment. “To achieve this the industry will definitely require help and support from the government. Internally, to accomplish that kind of growth, as an industry we will be focusing on three major things that include investing in R&D, capacity enhancement and skill-building,” mentioned Krishnan. He was confident that with the active support of all stakeholders, this industry will be an able partner to the government of India in all development initiatives over the future.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Education Department (Higher) of Government of Karnataka and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Industry Institute Connect. The MOU will focus on creating a taskforce of government and CII on facilitation of skilling and teaching content in the construction equipment sector. The inaugural session also celebrated women in infrastructure by introducing, ‘Women Building India- Equal Opportunity Awards’ and recognised companies from the infrastructure sector who have taken critical and proactive steps to enable women to participate and continue in the workforce. Cummins India Limited won the inclusive ‘Workplace for Women Award’. JCB India Ltd won the ‘The Special Initiative (Shop Floor) Award’ with Feedback Energy Distribution Co Ltd (FEDCO) winning the ‘The Special Initiative (Unskilled Workforce) Award’. A report titled ‘Women in Infrastructure’ was released during the inaugural ceremony, which delves deeper into the current status of women participation in the sector and best practices that can enable the sector to include more women as it continues to develop. The inaugural session also witnessed the signing an MoU between the Education Department (Higher) of Government of Karnataka and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Industry Institute Connect. The MOU will focus on creating a taskforce of Government and CII on facilitation of skilling and teaching content in the construction equipment sector.

As part of the 10th year celebrations of Excon, CII organised special activities like exclusive pavilions on AI, IoT, robotics, startups, and components and parts. The exhibition witnessed multiple conferences and seminars like defence & paramilitary, MSMEs; components & parts, green buildings, smart cities, urban development and logistics among others. ACI

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