Despite all the obstacles, uncertainties and challenges after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the 8th Annual Equipment India Awards 2020 was held successfully. In the prevailing global pandemic conditions, this year’s awards function was hosted virtually on October 15, 2020.

When the whole construction equipment industry was challenged by a global slowdown in 2019, there were certain players who stood firm in the difficult conditions of slower infrastructure activities and diminished equipment sales. In its eighth edition of awarding the performers in the construction equipment fraternity, this year, awards have been conferred on the top personality in the construction equipment industry and the top equipment selling companies in nine different equipment categories.

Deciding the winners

The winners of this year’s awards have been adjudged by eminent Jury Panel comprising professionals from across the value chain of construction equipment industry such as contractors, financiers, market analysts and component manufacturers. The Jury members discussed and deliberated the nominations by EQUIPMENT INDIA for deciding the winner of the Equipment India Person of the Year. After the detailed discussions and evaluation, the members were uniform in deciding the winner. Meanwhile, the winners of the Best Sellers in the various construction equipment categories were decided based on the findings of the global market research firm Off-Highway Research, the Knowledge Partner for the Equipment India Awards.

And the winners are…

All the nominees for the Equipment India Person of the Year award were equally important personalities of the Indian construction equipment industry and have contributed in different ways in the past years. However, after a close evaluation of the overall factors by the experts in the Jury Panel, VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India, won the award of the Equipment India Person of the Year 2020. Awards were also announced and conferred on the Best Selling companies in various construction equipment categories.

The winners in the Best Seller categories included: Ammann India (in Asphalt Finishers), JCB India (in Backhoe Loaders), Case New Holland Construction Equipment (in Compaction Equipment), BEML (in Crawler Dozers and Rigid Dump Trucks), Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Company (in Crawler Excavators and Mini Excavators), Action Construction Equipment (in Mobile Cranes), and Doosan Bobcat India (in Skid-steer Loaders).

Recognising the winners

The stage was all set for appreciating the achievements of the winners in the tough market conditions and felicitating them. In his welcome address, Pratap Padode, Founder & President, FIRST Construction Council, said that project execution has taken a turn for a better in India. He added, “Roads sector is in a better position today as more projects have been announced this year and more projects have been sanctioned compared to the same period last year. Mining is back in headlines these days due to the bold mining policy initiatives announced by the government. The various measures taken as part of the reforms will give a chance for technology to excel in the mining process. Projects like metro rail, roads, expressways, and now even bullet train projects are now likely to add some positive uptick in the equipment industry.”

Speaking at the event, Dominic G Martin, Head Marketing-Commercial Vehicles, APMEA Region, Apollo Tyres, said, “I would like to thank EQUIPMENT INDIA for creating this one-of-its-kind coveted awards that recognises exemplary efforts of the industry in the attempt to reach out to customers with new products, with innovative technologies and delivering higher values.” Referring to the current market scenario, he added, “Apollo Tyres is witnessing good growth in the aftermarket, largely coming from infrastructure companies, both large and medium scale contractors. In fact the second quarter, which usually sees a slowdown due to monsoon, has seen a reversal trend this year. Of course this may be partially attributed to the pent-up demand, but it also indicates a positive sentiment of the customer and better asset utilisation. We are also seeing increasing demand coming from the OEMs in the last two months and they have a very positive outlook in the following quarters as well.”

Winners of the 8th Annual Equipment India Awards received the awards in gratitude and thanked for the efforts taken to host the awards event this year also in spite of the pandemic. While receiving the Equipment India Person of the Year award, Sakthikumar thanked his organisation, the leadership team and all the employees, vendors and service providers. He further added, “During a year like 2020 when the COVID pandemic created big road block for the industry growth, we are able to grow in certain areas of business and I am sure that this award will motivate us to do more in meeting our customer standards and raise our own standards further by introducing new products for the years to come.”

Addressing the awards event, Sanjay Koul, Managing Director, Timken India, spoke on how his organisation is supporting the construction equipment industry in India with their products and solutions.

Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI, graced the evening with his virtual presence as the Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “The National Highways are only two per cent of the total highway network in the country but they carry 40 per cent of the traffic. “This shows the importance of the National Highways. We are supposed to spend around Rs 13 lakh crore in NHAI alone as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and a major part of this amount will be spent under the Bharatmala scheme.” He added, “This year, in the first six months, we awarded road projects worth Rs 47,000 crore. The target for this financial year is to award works worth Rs 2 lakh crore. Similar or slightly more is our target for the next financial year. There will be a lot of opportunities for business and equipment companies.”

India Construction Festival 2020

Like last year, this year also, the Equipment India Awards was being conducted as part of the two-day India Construction Festival (ICF) 2020, which was held online during October 15-16, 2020. The coinciding events during the two-day ICF 2020 included the 10th India Roads Conference, the Construction World Leadership Summit and the 18th Construction World Annual Awards.

Organised by FIRST Construction Council, the two-day India Construction Festival including the Equipment India Awards attracted large audience from across the industry.

Equipment India Awards – Jury Panel

  • Anant Raj Kanoria, CEO, iQuippo
  • Arun Sahai, COO, Ahluwalia Contracts (India)
  • Devendra Kumar Vyas, Managing Director, Srei Equipment Finance
  • Farid Ahmed, Divisional Head Marketing – OHT, Apollo Tyres
  • Gauraw Tiwari, GM – Mech, Dilip Buildcon
  • HS Mohan, CEO, Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council
  • Kennady V Kaippally, Country Manager, Bonfiglioli Transmissions
  • Mahesh Madhavan, Head - Construction & Infra Practice, Feedback Advisory
  • Neerav Parmar, Senior Vice President - Contracts and Procurement, Shapoorji Pallonji
  • Sameer Malhotra, Director & CEO, Shriram Automall India
  • Samip Desai, Director, Moba Mobile Automation (India)
  • Samir Bansal, GM India, Off-Highway Research
  • Sandip Shah, AVP-Head, Contracts & Procurement, Omkar Realtors
  • Sanjay Koul, Managing Director, Timken India
  • Sanjeev Nimkar, Managing Director, Kirloskar Oil Engines

  • Equipment India Person of the Year 2020 – VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India
  • Best Seller Awards - Winners
  • Best Seller in Asphalt Finishers – Ammann India
  • Best Seller in Backhoe Loaders – JCB India
  • Best Seller in Compaction Equipment – Case New Holland Construction Equipment (India)
  • Best Seller in Crawler Dozers – BEML
  • Best Seller in Crawler Excavators – Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Company
  • Best Seller in Mini Excavators – Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Company
  • Best Seller in Mobile Cranes – Action Construction Equipment
  • Best Seller in Rigid Dump Trucks – BEML
  • Best Seller in Skid-steer Loaders – Doosan Bobcat India