The 7th Annual Equipment India Awards 2019 recognised and rewarded the top performers of Indian construction equipment industry. In a colourful ceremony held at Hotel ITC Maurya in New Delhi, the winners received the awards for their achievements in the respective segments.

The mood was upbeat at the 7th Annual Equipment India Awards, in spite of the ongoing slowdown in the industry, as the construction equipment industry stalwarts gathered at Hotel ITC Maurya on October 16, 2019 to celebrate their achievements. The event saw the top performers who beat the slowdown and emerged as winners in the respective award categories and been rewarded for their remarkable achievements.

Recognising top performers
Equipment India Awards, constituted in 2013 and now in its 7th edition, has been instrumental and one of its kinds of initiative in the construction equipment value chain in India in recognising and rewarding the deserving companies and personalities in the industry for their performances and valuable contributions to the industry. This year, the awards were given away in Bestseller product categories, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Person of the Year Award. In order to bring in more value and popularity for the awards across the construction equipment value chain, Equipment India introduced two new awards this year to recognise new and innovative products and technologies - the Best Debutant and Best Innovation awards.

Selection process
The winners of the 7th Annual Equipment India Awards were selected through a transparent process by an eminent Jury Panel of eight professionals from the industry and the Knowledge Partner Off-Highway Research. The winners of the Bestsellers in different equipment categories have been selected according to the findings of Off-Highway Research. While the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was chosen unanimously by the Jury Panel after discussions, the Person of the Year was hand-picked by the Jury Panel after an in-depth discussion and deliberation on the nominations at the Jury meet held on September 27, 2019.

The Jury Panel included:
DK Vyas, Managing Director, Srei Equipment Finance; Arun Sahai, COO, Ahluwalia Contracts (India); Shiva Nand Pandey, AVP and Head - Plant & Machinery, Montecarlo; Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall; Farid Ahmed, Head Marketing-OHT, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Apollo Tyres; Neha Singhal, Associate Director-Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare (IGH), KPMG; Mahesh Madhavan, Head-Construction & Infra Practices, Feedback Business Consulting Services; and BB Goyal, Deputy General Manager-Procurement, Patel Engineering.

And the winners are
The 7th Annual Equipment India Awards 2019 hosted by the FIRST Construction Council recognised and rewarded 12 winners in Bestseller product categories. And the winners are: CASE India in Compactors; JCB India in Backhoe Loaders; Action Construction Equipment in Mobile Cranes; BEML in Crawler Dozers and Rigid Dump Trucks; Caterpillar India in Wheeled Loaders and Motor Graders; Doosan Bobcat India in Skid-steer Loaders; Ammann India in Asphalt Finishers; Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co in Crawler Excavators and Mini Excavators; and Atlas Copco in Mobile Compressors.

The winner of the newly constituted awards of Best Debutant and Best Innovation are Escorts Construction Equipment and JCB India, respectively.

Sumit Mazumder, Chairman and Managing Director, TIL, was unanimously chosen by the Jury Panel for the Equipment India Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 for his remarkable achievements over the years that have propelled both his organisation and the industry.

Vijay Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Action Construction Equipment was adjudged the Equipment India Person of the Year 2019. The Jury conferred on the award, considering the company's growth under his able leadership in not only cranes, but also in other equipment categories, and also the overall performance of the company last year.

Felicitating the winners
The stage was all set to recognise and reward the winners. The evening started in an auspicious way by lighting the traditional lamp. Welcoming the guests, winners and industry stakeholders present, Pratap Padode, Founder & President, FIRST Construction Council, said, "The equipment industry must integrate strongly with the contracting sector for the businesses they do. The problem we are facing today is because of legacy. Over the years, we have been adapted to work in specific verticals. But today all the verticals are converging. Unless somebody understands and unravels at the converged end, you cannot resolve the problem. Today, the government is in a mood to listen to the problems and solve them. We know that the entire economy is facing liquidity issues because the money is locked in legal tussles. The government is making some acclaimed signs of resolutions, so that these issues will be resolved soon. It may take some time to yield the benefits of these measures. But I am sure that 2020-21 is going to be a positive year."

Speaking on the occasion, Sandeep Mathur, Group Head-Institutional Business, Apollo Tyres, said that his company was committed to work in the off-highway tyres segment in a big way. He added, "We are almost doubling our capacity of off-highway tyres in the next two years. We want to be a complete range player in this segment as we are investing in both bias and radial segments across the applications. We have just launched our crane tyres which are designed for specific applications. We also take pride in having tyres for 240 tonne dump trucks."

The awards instituted by Equipment India have played a significant role in ushering in an era of transparency and corporate governance. The Knowledge Partner and the eminent panel of Jury were instrumental in selection of the winners in a highly transparent way. The Jury members and the Knowledge Partner have been felicitated for their efforts.

The winners have been felicitated and awarded in the presence of Guest of Honour, Steve Jones, Senior Director, Industry Insights Research, Dodge Data & Analytics. Receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mazumder said,"Infrastructure industry is the indicator of economy of any country. I have been involved with this industry and worked extensively for this industry on various aspects. I really enjoyed every minute of my work in this industry and look forward to do more."

Vijay Agarwal received the Equipment India Person of the Year 2019 award from the last year's winner Deepak Garg, CEO, Sany India. The audience and the key personalities on the stage have given a standing ovation in respect of his achievement. Receiving the award, Agarwal said, "This award holds a special place in my heart for bringing in a sense of reassurance that I have lived up to my dreams and beliefs keeping the values inherited by my parents intact." Continuing his speech, Agarwal recalled his humble beginning as "dreams fuelled by passion" wherein he overcame all the challenges in pursuit of developing cost-effective and innovative cranes.

KPMG Report
Before felicitating the winners, Shatanshu Agrawal, Associate Director, Metals and Mining, KPMG, spoke on the recent KPMG report on contractors in Indian coal mining sector. The report focused on coal mining contractors, mine developer-cum-operators (MDOs), and active mine managers. Elaborating on the report, he added, "Though this segment is so vast, the understanding on the segment is rather sketchy. The current market size is around Rs 150 billion, which is expected to grow four-fold at least Rs 600 billion by 2030. The market is going to mature in the coming years as the contract size is growing bigger. With this, we expect better practices in future with bigger players entering the market. It will have implications to equipment industry also. Currently, the mining sector in India uses the lower end of the equipment spectrum. This is expected to change when the time progresses." In his special address on the occasion, Jones said, "India is poised to make incredible progress in the next few years. What I learned in the last few years is that there is interest, manpower, intelligence and skill, all the factors in place to make amazing amount of progress." He praised all the winners for their achivements during the period.

Jury Panel & Knowledge Partner
Arun Sahai, COO, Ahluwalia Contracts (India)
Shiva Nand Pandey, AVP and Head - Plant & Machinery, Montecarlo
DK Vyas, Managing Director, Srei Equipment Finance
Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall
Neha Singhal, Associate Director - IGH, KPMG
Mahesh Madhavan, Head-Construction & Infra Practices, Feedback Business Consulting Services
BB Goyal, DGM - Procurement, Patel Engineering
Samir Bansal, General Manager-India, Off-Highway Research

Supported by: Ministry of Commerce and Industry-Department of Commerce, Government of India; Sagarmala; Skill India;
National Highways Authority of India , Presenting partner: Apollo Tyres , Gold partner: Larsen & Toubro , Associate partners: Action Construction Equipment; Escorts Construction Equipment; Sany India ,Knowledge partner: Off-Highway Research , TV Partner: CNN News 18.