Indian market started accepting the crane technology in the light of the infrastructure project development in the country. Last two years have been good and the market is steadily growing. Though, due to the pandemic COVID-19 there was a setback during the lockdown, the market has revived back, and the demand has started gearing up with acceleration. The challenges faced are getting the right material at the right time.
Due to the lockdown, the suppliers are also are facing the challenges of meeting the supply demand as there has been migration of resources and some of the ancillary units have closed down. We have been sourcing from alternate suppliers and these are small time suppliers who cannot meet the demand of large quantities.
Also, there were earlier material availability from neighbouring countries and with the restriction on imports from these countries; this has also led to a different challenge. Though there are new ventures coming up in India to cater to that gap of demand, it will take some time to stabilize the supplies.
“The major expectation from our clients has always been short deliveries. Though there are longer gestation for manufacturing the cranes, customers are trying to catch up with the gap created by the long lockdown implemented. We have been trying to speed up the manufacturing capacity by increasing the number of shifts,” says Clifford Sanctis, Managing Director, Hydrolift..
“We are a growing organization. Though our background has been in the field of manufacturing cranes with experience of more than 20 years, but the Indian setup is pretty new and gaining the importance over competition being the “Made in India” product. Design and technology is in collaboration with and European technology partner who are pioneers in designing and manufacturing of the truck mounted Cranes. We have been manufacturing the cranes indigenously only with few critical components being imported from Europe.
The major factor is that we have been manufacturing 80-90 percent of the parts required, in-house. Also, some of the raw materials which are critical to the operations are of European origin. Keeping the costs low over our competitors has given us an edge into this segment,” adds Clifford.
Apart from manufacturing the truck mounted Knuckle Boom Cranes and T-Cranes, Hydrolift has been concentrating on Tailgates for Material handling, Block Grabs for brick and concrete block application, Wreckers and Recoveries for handling the accident vehicles or break-down vehicles, Wheelchair lifts for transportation of physically disabled persons. The company also manufac-
tures cylinders for various applications including customized as per customer requirement and specifications.
“Tailgate is a new concept which is mounted on the vehicle which helps the driver to single handedly load and unload the cargo from one point to another. This reduces the manpower, eases the operation and speeds up the output. Block Grabs has been extensively used in the construction industry for faster transportation including loading and unloading with less damage to the blocks and bricks during the handling. Wreckers and Recoveries are not new to the Indian market; however, the previous models used were very conventional and did not have any safety built into it.
The ones we manufacture are of international standard and have safety features, limiting the misuse by the operator. India is now moving towards providing aid to the physically disabled persons and helping them to have an ease in travelling or their movement. These wheelchair lifts are fitted on to the buses, personal vehicles, Taxi’s, ambulances, etc. which help in smooth transportation of the persons or patients,” says Clifford.
Hydrolift has a team of dedicated engineers spread throughout the organization for technical support. The team is backed up by R&D to improve the product and making it more and more price competitive
The Growth Story
Hydrolift’s journey goes back to late 2000 when it started the mounting of different brand of cranes on to the vehicle. This unit was first started in the Sultanate of Oman and slowly expanded to UAE, and other middle east and then to India. Initially, in India, the operations started for repair and servicing of cranes, cargo body building, fitment of cranes, building tailgates, skip loaders. The Prime Minister’s program for Make in India gave them the impetus to take up the manufacturing of the cranes.
“Having knowledge of Hydraulics and Crane technology, it was decided to engage with a European technology partner to get the design and build the cranes in-house with indigenously available materials. The plant was set up with the state of the art technology for sheet metal cutting, shearing, bending, welding and CNC machines for manufacturing the machined parts, paint booth with shot blasting to ensure that the final product was in line with the international brands.
There was a period of 2 years for developing the prototypes and thoroughly testing before launching the product. Meantime, there were some international orders received for supplying the cranes from Kuwait Municipality, Rajasthan Electricity Board, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. hence, the production started in the year 2019. By end of 2019, we had sold about 200 cranes in various market segment,” states the MD.
“The market was just picking up, then, the pandemic hit which slowed down the production till July 2020. In spite of this, we had bagged some prestigious order from government and semi-government bodies, from construction companies, etc. which has put us back onto track with our regular production. Currently, we have a dealer network spread throughout the country serving the domestic market and there have been dealers in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East. We are also working with the Pan-Asian countries for establishing the dealers and developing this market,” he adds.
Hydrolift has a team of dedicated engineers spread throughout the organization for technical support. The team is backed up by R&D to improve the product and making it more and more price competitive.
They have a strength of 70 employees with the combined experience of more than 100 years and several experts in fabrication, machine shop, painting section, assembly section, service and quality department. The commitment of the employees who work in a family environment has enabled to meet all the market challenges and support the company’s customers.
“Currently we have cranes ranging from 1 tm to 20 tm in our line. The plans are to introduce 25 tm, 32 tm and 48 tm in the year 2021-22. The design and drawings are getting ready and will be ready for the proto by end of 2021 in order to introduce them in the market by 2022. The factory expansion is also on its way to increase the production capacity by threefold by end of 2021”, concludes Clifford.