EXCON, South Asia’s largest construction equipment trade fair, once again made the headlines this year with its 10th expo which opened in Bangalore on December 10. The five-day event was inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MEME) and Karnataka Chief Minister, B S Yediyurappa at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. Despite the ongoing slowdown in the economy, a good number of OEMs and suppliers put on a robust display of products, technologies and services targeted at the construction and infrastructure industry. New demand from this sector could help the auto industry buffer the sales decline from their main operations.
Held on the overall theme of ‘Smart I-Tech – Next Gen India@75’, the event is conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and supported by the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (ICEMA). The expo, spread across 260,000 square metres, has drawn participation from over 1,250 exhibitors, representing 918 exhibitors including 281 international companies from 21 countries, including China, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the UK. The expo saw 300 new product launches and drew 55,224 business visitors. Speaking at the inauguration, Nitin Gadkari said the construction equipment industry can expect a 40 percent increase in sales in the near future. “The Prime Minister has a vision to make India a $5 trillion (Rs 35,350,000 crore) economy. This requires a lot of investments in infrastructure and industrial projects. Keeping this in mind, the government is investing a lot in roads and other infrastructure projects to develop airports, ports, waterways and smart cities.
For the roads, the government has invested around Rs 2 lakh crore, this year. This will eventually increase to Rs 3 lakh crore by next year. And, within the next five years, the total government spend on the road infrastructure will be about Rs 17 lakh crore.” He urged private players in the construction industry to focus on mechanisation, adoption of advanced technologies to reduce the cost of construction and pollution. Azim Premji, founder and chairman, Wipro, stated that India should increase its GDP spend towards infrastructure developments to 6 percent which at present is around 5 percent.
Vikram S Kirloskar, president, CII said: “With the government concentrating on the infrastructure projects, this will eventually bring down the cost of doing business in India. The construction industry has to be ready with Industry 4.0 and connected solutions to manage the market situation in the coming years.”
Vipin Sondhi, chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council, said: “The construction equipment industry is witnessing a digital influx with the advent of AI, telematics and IoT. These developments would increase the efficiency and productivity of the projects in India.” Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII and Sandeep Singh, president, ICEMA and VC, CII Karnataka were also present at the event. The event highlighted the growing contribution of the women and recognised initiatives through ‘Women Building India – Equal Opportunity Awards’. Among the winners, Cummins India was recognised for its Inclusive Workplace for Women Award, while JCB India got The Special Initiative (Shop Floor) Award.