May 21, 2024

An exhibition so massive that you need a helicopter to view it all. EXCON, the largest construction equipment exhibition in South Asia, covered an exhibition display area of 3,20,000 square meters for over five days from December 12 to 16. It featured over 1,000 exhibitors, including representatives from 15 countries.

EXCON 2023 was based on four pillars: technology, globalization, sustainability, and inclusiveness. This event celebrated innovation and progress in the construction equipment industry through cutting-edge technology showcases, international collaborations, industry leader displays, specialized pavilions, rural connectivity and urban renewal, government and industry interactions, networking opportunities, future-ready solutions, and more. It aimed to elevate India’s status as a global hub for construction equipment manufacturing, with a target industry valuation of $25 billion by 2030.

“EXCON 2023 is being organized as a celebration of 23 years of India’s achievements in advancing sustainable infrastructure growth. it brings together visionaries, industry leaders, policy makers, and stakeholders to highlight the critical role played by innovations and initiatives in infrastructure development to ensure the country’s economic, social, and environmental growth,” said Chandrajit Banerjee director general of Confederation of Indian Industry.

This article explores a journey of 5 days of EXCON 2023 where India is propelled into a new era of progress, sustainability, and inclusive development.

The first day of EXCON 2023, was a grand affair with prominent industry leaders such as JCB, TATA Motors, and SANY, to name a few, unveiling their latest products and technologies. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, along with Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry, and Mr Vivekanand Vanmeeganathan, President of the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association. In his inaugural address, Shri Nitin Gadkari highlighted the vital role that the construction sector plays in the Prime Minister’s vision to make India a carbon-neutral economy. The government is undertaking several infrastructure and industrial projects that utilize sustainable fuels to achieve this goal. Nitin Gadkari’s speech emphasized the importance of adopting sustainable practices in the construction industry to reduce the carbon footprint and help achieve India’s ambitious climate goals.

“The construction sector in India currently ranks as the world’s third-largest. Yet, by fostering collaborative endeavours among stakeholders, and corporations, and through substantial government support, we have the potential to propel it to the top spot within the next five years,” said Shri Nitin Gadkari
Later that day, Mr Nitin Gadkari, attended the inaugural CII Vikram Kirloskar Memorial Lecture on the theme of ‘Future of Green Mobility and Green Fuels’. During the lecture, Mr Gadkari shared his vision and dream of making India a carbon-neutral country by 2030. He highlighted the multifaceted challenges faced by the Indian transport sector, including severe air pollution and a heavy reliance on fossil fuel imports.

“Vikram Kirloskar believed in cutting-edge technology and innovation that would contribute not just to his own business but to the industry, to society, and the nation also. It is with this conviction and unity of purpose that he worked with both his joint venture partner companies and with CII. I remember the passion and commitment with which he always engaged with the institution,” said Ms Geetanjali Kirloskar at the lecture.

The second day was bursting with exciting conferences, press meets, and several eminent brands showcased their latest products and innovations, leaving the attendees in awe. Among the most remarkable brands were L&T, JK Tyre, SHANPARTS, Doosan and many more.
CASE Construction is now ready for BS (CEV) V compliance and they have showcased their top products at EXCON 2023. They launched their Backhoe Loader & Soil Compactor, highlighting their marquee Backhoe Loader – 770 NX Plus and Soil Compactor 1107 NX-PD. In addition, CASE Construction displayed 10 new and upgraded products and services, including an Electric Mini Excavator and a range of industry-leading Vibratory Compactors, Excavators, and Motor Graders with a host of attachments. They also introduced the all-new FLEETPRO™, a value line parts offering.

India’s first patented truck-mounted mobile concrete plant, by Hasber, was unveiled at EXCON 2023. Hasber is an innovative asset management system that offers advanced engine diagnostics, fuel efficiency analytics, and protective vehicle maintenance. Its unique compact size provides tremendous cost savings, and it is also IoT and GPS-enabled, eco-friendly, and can produce fresh concrete. The plant is mounted on a 28-tonne truck chassis, allowing it to transport higher loads. Overall, Hasber is a game-changer in the industry, offering highly efficient and environmentally friendly concrete production.

At Wipro PARI’s Automation Solutions section, visitors had the opportunity to engage in a virtual commissioning simulation for cloud-based Tipper Trucks. This simulation included comprehensive data and analytics provided by Wipro Linecraft. Additionally, Wipro Aerospace showcased its capabilities in the aerospace and defence sectors by exhibiting actuators and stub beams. Finally, Wipro 3D’s Additive Manufacturing business displayed their F300-2 printer and printed components, highlighting the printer’s exceptional quality and precision.

Mr Pratik Kumar, CEO of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering and MD, of Wipro Enterprises, said, “Wipro is proud to play a pivotal role in the construction and infrastructure industry providing innovative and cutting-edge technology solutions enabling our customers to achieve their goals efficiently and sustainably.”

Mr Sitaram Ganeshan, President, of Wipro Hydraulics said, “We are set to inaugurate our state-of-the-art Jaipur factory by the end of FY23. We are poised to cater to global market growth by delivering high-quality products.”

Day three at EXCON 2023 was a buzzing hub of activity with numerous conversations and VIP visits. The event was focused on bringing about a positive change in the industry and the world.

One of the most interesting sessions was the ‘Exploring Opportunities in Defence & Border Roads Projects’ by the Border Roads Organization (BRO). This session shed light on the BRO’s extensive contributions to infrastructure development and outlined their future initiatives. The speakers provided a detailed overview of the organization’s work in creating and maintaining roads in challenging terrains, such as border areas and military installations. The presentation also highlighted the BRO’s role in enhancing national security through its work on border road projects. Overall, it was an informative and enlightening session that left attendees with a deeper understanding of the BRO’s important work.

Lt General Raghu Srinivasan, Director General of the Border Roads Organisation, remarked, “Through engaging with our industry partners, the BRO effectively conveyed its precise requirements for a model bridge, emphasizing the necessity for increased width, two lanes, and enhanced support for larger spans with a higher load classification. In response to these clearly defined needs, the industry has successfully delivered a model of the bridge that aligns with these specifications. Mr Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Pvt Ltd and Mr Anand Sundaresan, Managing Director, Ammann India also spoke at the Session.

During the EXCON 2023 CEO Roundtable, industry leaders discussed the challenges and opportunities in India’s construction equipment sector. The discussion covered sustainability, following Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, and the challenges faced by companies, like Reach International, in supplying aerial work platforms for construction sites. The panel acknowledged the significance of private-sector funding to support the government’s infrastructure initiatives.

Participants highlighted the importance of using digital tools, minimizing Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), and the collaboration between industry and academia to address the skills shortage in operating construction equipment. The session concluded by recognizing the important role the Indian CE industry plays in the country’s long-term growth and development.

On the other hand, Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankar emphasized on the essence of yoga, encouraging individuals to establish themselves in the infinite nature of their being at the special session, ‘A Spiritual Reflection with Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankarji.’ “Spirituality comes into play in 20 minutes of meditation. You can energize your body, mind and spirit,” he added.
Day four of EXCON focused on two important topics in the construction equipment industry. The first was “Future Trends and Adaptability”, and the second was “Building the Future: Exploring Research Frontiers and Career Opportunities.”

During the conference, industry experts talked about the changes happening in the industry and the trends that are emerging. They also discussed the importance of being adaptable and the role it plays in navigating the future of the industry. Additionally, they explored the frontiers of research that will shape the future of careers and advancements in the construction equipment sector.

While discussing the skilling and opportunities in the CE industry, Mr M Vijay Kumar, CEO of the Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) said, “With a growing workforce entering the market monthly, the challenge lies in ensuring both job availability and skills alignment. Recognizing the industry’s value chain, from manufacturing to distribution and operational usage, we’re dedicated to setting up skilling institutes and collaborating with manufacturers to address the demand for about 2 Lakh technicians for the 1 Lakh equipment entering the market. As technology integration becomes pivotal, operators now require advanced skills in IoT, AI, ML, and more.”

Other speakers on future trends included: Mr S Manjunath, Country Head – Sales, Doosan Bobcat India Pvt. Ltd; Mr Moses Ebenezer Eddy, Executive Vice President of KOBELCO Construction Equipment India; Prof Sridhar Raju, Associate Dean of the Department of Civil Engineering at BITS Pilani and Dr M M Bagali, Director, Management Studies at East Point Group of Institutions. Dr Shailashree Haridas, Dean, Faculty of Management and Commerce and Advisor, Faculty of Law at PES University, Bangalore and Mr Riaz Nawaz, Head of Product Design and Engineering at AJAX Engineering, who were among other panellists provided their perspectives on skilling and career opportunities. Collaboration between academics, industry professionals, and experts has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the current industry landscape, innovative approaches, and a roadmap for enhancing knowledge in the field. CII EXCON 2023 has played a crucial role in driving progress and a shared vision for the future of the construction equipment industry.

On the fifth and final day of the EXCON 2023 journey, there was a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in the air. The organizers were delighted to have delivered a spectacular show that had a lasting impact on the growth of the industries represented at the Expo. The connections that were made during the event were invaluable and had the potential to pave the way for many exciting collaborations in the future. Overall, it was a fulfilling and enriching experience that left everyone involved feeling energized and inspired.

Key Highlights