During the pandemic many organizations had shifted their focus on R&D. Please share with us your R&D activities?
We are putting all our R&D efforts to make our machine equipped with best available technologies, initiated in the midst of Pandemic for HDD ‘A Series ’ specially ‘R Series’ for the Indian and International Market as well. Rigs, equipped with recent technologies will make it good looking, best available safety features, quick, fast, reliable, productive and easy in operations well controlled from the operator seat. In near future machine will be equipped with modern innovations like sensor controlled by programme (software). Sensor will diagnose the problems and same will be rectified from the service centre or from the production unit in case any problems persist. We are working on embedded systems specially in engines and Joy stick controls even to hydraulics also – a combination of a processor, computer memory & input/output peripheral devices which enable a dedicated function within a large mechanical or electrical systems controlled by sensors. We are in position to replace mechanical engines, manual control systems into electronic engines & Joy stick control in all machines in near future. We will be implementing internet controlled machines (IoT) by mid of 2021-22 in all our models. Already initiated working on software as service (SAAS). With the advent of the IoT product as a service has garnered increase interest to all OEM that will boost the profitability of the product, improve customer engagement and launch new line of business. Broader adoption of product as a service has been enabled by IoT, sensor technology, data analytics and personal mobile devices.
Apollo will initiate BATI (best available technological innovations) in HDD unit to make us more productive. At Apollo, we realize that technology is only one part of solution and the key factor lies in the ability to successfully implement the technology and drive change management with our vendors and within the organization. We favour the technology, so have a keen interest to make work all under one common norms wherein all the modern tools like (product as a service, sensor, IoT) should be well implemented and executed by us as on OEM. Our partner Ashok Leyland is already working on same with us for the norms for our HDD unit specially. We will get high productivity, lesser time to resolve the problems (troubleshooting), on site problem resolution, IoT can help tag all the equipment at a construction site and gives them a unique digital ID, This in turn, helps locate them quickly with the help of software and mobile applications, which increases accountability and quick resolutions and faster work. Connecting sites, enhancing safety, reducing accidents and improving working processes are all benefiting from the advance digital tools. This all technological innovations will make huge impact into our business with increased productivity. We have been in technological adoption which will make great shift and the revolution in our HDD /Construction equipments manufacturing.
Post lockdown the economy is slowing back on track. What are your plans for your organization for the next three years?
Economy hit by the Covid -19 outbreak has started coming back on track since the July-September (2020) quarter of this fiscal. Our plan for the next 3 years is aggressive and scientific. We are catering global market so lot of developments are projected specially in designing and technological specifications in all our ‘HDD-A’ Series & R Series as well. Undergoing through the technological demonstration with rock cutting tools specially Quality Mud Motor, Rock cutting reamers, Tricone bit, Rock sonde housing, Mud Pump (Separate unit) and other developments have been taken place in coming few years. Exploring worldwide vendor development for procuring the quality components, we will approach government agencies to get the benefit of production linked incentive scheme which has been announced in the 2021 budget that could be the major step ahead in making India a hub for manufacturing and exports.
How are you planning to increase your market share? What would be your marketing strategies?
The Indian government has recently invested in the infrastructure sector. Substantial investment in the development of infrastructure in India is supposed to increase the demand for different kinds of construction equipment. We are planning equipments manufacturing on the basis of projects (CGD gas project, long distance gas pipe line project, cross country project, SEB projects, OFC projects) with enhanced capacity and capability. We are focusing on the quality and prompt after sales support to all our retail and corporate customers. We are providing insights regarding emerging trenchless technology which makes a positive influence to create value edition that boosts our markets share and that would be exponential as our focus is towards the quality and the technical upgradations with wide range of rigs for the bigger diameter utility installations.
Please share with us your marquee product and its features including (IoT, Artificial Intelligence, fuel efficiency and other technical and technological features?
A 900+, A1000, A1200, A2000 HDD machines with e-engine with BATI are our marquee products. We are in position to adopt all the scientific tools and the practices in our HDD manufacturing unit. e-Engine (Electronic Engine) has already been replaced in our Maxi Rigs (>50 Ton) controlled by sensors and advance processors (AI) with the help of IoT, that’s would be modern advancement and scalable technology which will boost up the new business development in Indian and International market. IoT devices, Sensors are collecting job site data in more affordable , efficient and effective way than traditional method/old technologies. Smart sensors programmed with artificial intelligence help manage asset and prevent failure. Central command centre via IoT cloud and optimizing performances are the outcomes of scalable technology. E-engine are always fuel efficient. All the safety features have been provided in all our HDD rigs.
Adoption of modern technology can make everything quick, reliable, accurate, cheaper and enable us to give immediate solution in all our recently developed equipments. Being an OEM (HDD) we still need to be applied in all our machines which will be controlled by internet in near future. That will be implemented by mid of 2021-2022 with upgraded joy stick controls systems in all our HDD mini to maxi rigs.
What are the financial schemes you offer and please share with us your tie-ups for the same with banks and financial institutions?
We have gone through some recent development in the form of MoU with leading banks & NBFCs like TATA Capital and recently agreement signed with Axis Bank. Both financial institutions are providing assistance in funding against all our HDD rigs (5 ton to 120 Ton) to all customers across India. We also provide the links and references to those customers who are eligible for interest subsidy under MSME/SSI schemes through DIC.
Better sales & services and technical support is directly related to increase in sales of the products? What are the sales & services and technical support you offer to your clients?
Quality Equipments & Customer service, specifically excellent customer support, could be described as the true meaning of customer loyalty. It can result in business gaining repeat customers and referrals for new customers. Excellent customer service goes a long way and promotes more sale opportunities because you’re building a company with a reputation for always wanting to impress their customers. We sale Quality HDD rigs from 5 ton to 120 ton of various A series and R series for the Indian and Overseas markets. We provide prompt resolution on telephone as a trouble shooting, if it does not resolve then we deploy our service engineers on the immediate basis to rectify the machine problems.
It requires a definite set of skills to operate directional drill machines? What are skill nurturing training you conduct for the operators?
While executing the drilling operations the operators should have the skills and qualifications such as general precautions necessary for safety of structure and operators; general precautions necessary for safety of machine; necessary aids for safety are used without fail; given a set of drawings / sketch requirement of machine and related tooling worked out and the scope of work understood; the work is executed as per drawings / sketches; proper identification of equipment tools; proper parking/storage of equipment and tooling; proper use of consumables; proper use of tools; machine is properly connected to desired power points and all related accessories are connected properly; awareness about basic operator’s manual for HDD machines required for site works; understanding about different types of cuttings coming out of the drill holes and actions needed to avoid related accidents; operators should have broader skill set to operate the HDD machine like ability to manage torque, thrust, rotation, insertion of drill pipes soil strata wise, coordination with tracker is important; knowledge on the machine function and features according to the model wise (China/India/USA) is important for the operators. We provide training programme (classroom/onsite) at our Mehsana production unit and Bhopal office as well.
Are you planning to launch construction equipment for the infrastructure sector? If yes, please share with us the details?
We are going to manufacture Piling Rigs, Trenchers and advance toolings in addition of HDD machines in near future under Apollo Techo Industries (Indigenous breed) followed by international Quality standards.