Interview

Executive Director, Elgi Equipments

Mr. Ramesh Ponnuswami

Q1. ELGi is a global leader in providing sustainable compressed air solutions, can you brief us about your journey till now.

ELGi was founded in 1960 and since then we have been making air compressors, we are one of the very few players in the world with a full range of air compressors. We have more than 400+ products in our range, which includes various types of compressors for different industries and applications. We also have our own technology and our products are among the highest performing products in the world market. Along with high performance, our products have low cost of ownership with great reliability and quality. We are present in Indian market from several decades and we are also very active in other world markets, significantly more than half of our revenue comes from the US, Europe and Australia. Our brand promise is ‘Always Better’ and that’s what we strive to deliver our every customer.

Recently, we won the Deming prize for Total Quality Management (TQM) from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers; the prize is for the sustained application and leverage of TQM across the organization. The Deming Prize is one of the highest awards on TQM in the world and since its establishment in 1951, ELGi is the first globally established, industrial air compressor manufacturer, to win the prestigious award in over 60 years. There are many other milestones that we have garnered over the years and we are known in the industry for launching new products which are ahead of time and for every product customer is our main focus point.

Q2. What are the different products available for the construction industry?

We have a fairly large range of products and if we talk about the construction sector, we have a complete range of portable compressors which are powered by diesel engines or electric motors. The market is shifting to electric powered portable compressors and for the industry we have products that range from 100 PSI to 330 PSI pressure and the flow range is from 125 CFM to 1200 CFM, specifically for the Indian market these are the products which we have for the construction segment. These machines are used for various applications in construction & mining industry for jackhammers, DTH drilling, sand blasting, cable laying, road cleaning, granite mining and stone quarrying etc.

Q3. How you help the customers in choosing best product for their applications?

We have a good experience and presence in the construction market; we have a competent team that understands the exact needs of the customers. Our products are designed to ensure the lowest life cycle cost, the value proposition of our products are very strong and we provide reliable machines with maximum up-time. Apart from all this we provide regular service support to our customers with our extensive service networks which are typically positioned at the points of concentration where customers are present. With all this we are able to provide suitable product and to provide a good service to the customers.

We pride ourselves when it comes to after sales support for our customers. Our reach and availability is the best in market, we are available close to customers user points to provide seamless service support. Our goal is to ensure that our customers can get the maximum availability of the machine and everything we do in after service support that is backed by our robust IT system.

Q4. There are many debates going on that India is a price sensitive market, how you feel about this?

Price is always an important factor in any decision and at the end of the day price has to be considered. There are different types of customers available; India has its share of customers who are price conscious and construction segment is also a price sensitive market. Our customers are looking for more fuel efficient products with maximum up-time, these are the two main factors for the Indian customers. The requirement in other markets are different from Indian markets, the overseas customers want lower footprints, high towable speed, lower noise levels and so on, we have a mix of customers and the Indian customers tend to be more conscious about more productivity, fuel consumption and availability of products.

Q5. Please enlighten us about your Research & Development (R&D) facility.

At ELGi, R&D is a core competence we lead with technology and we consistently keep innovating products for various applications with best life cycle cost. The heart of the compressor in construction and mining space is the airend which is like an engine in automobile and we are among one of the companies in the world to have technology for airend. Our R&D efforts are focused on making and delivering best-in-class airend with improved efficiency and longer life. We have several models in the pipeline for the market and we are preparing products for the new emission standards in India. Our R&D is continuously working to create new products which are best-in-class and future ready as well.

Q6. How ELGi is contributing to the society in form of CSR initiatives?

ELGi is leaned towards CSR in many ways, even before the CSR initiatives are mandated by the law, ELGi has its policy to keep aside 4 per cent of its profit before tax every year towards these initiatives. We use this fund primarily for education of deserving children, we run two schools with around 2,000 students and apart from this we have our own vocational training centre within the factory campus. We select and train students from economically weaker sections and further they get exposed to various technical skills along with behavioral training as well so that they can go in the society as highly capable individuals. This year we had an intake in which 50 per cent of students are girls and this is our tenth batch and all the students get absorbed in our own factory. Apart from the education program, we also have an active program where the company and employees jointly raise fund for the Coimbatore Cancer Foundation by participating in Coimbatore Marathon every year. We also extend help to the society in different natural calamities.

Q7. Did EXCON 2019 meet your expectations?

Absolutely, EXCON is a huge platform for us and this year it helped to connect with our customers and to know what is exactly happening in the market. This year we showcased our new line of products specially the electric ones and launched some new products as well.

Q.8 What are your views on Budget 2020? What are the future growth plans of ELGi? 

There is lot of optimism about investments coming in for the infrastructure industry, government has been talking about it. The main problem that still exists is the funding and liquidity of the projects, infrastructure growth is important and one of the key driver of the Indian economy. There are significant investments coming in the infrastructure space and when these investments come in there will be opportunities for us too. We are looking forward to the future and it will be good, it’s only a matter of time and the long term aspect of the market seems positive.