“The talks are in a preliminary stage. We are going slow for the moment because of the prevailing market situation, but we hope to finalise it by next year,” — Ranjit More, MD, Universal Construction

Pune-based construction equipment maker Universal Construction is in talks with a Tata Group company to set up a manufacturing facility in India.

The proposed facility will manufacture specialised material handling equipment for the construction industry, including vertical passenger lift.

The firm already has a marketing tie-up with Tata International Ltd, the international trading arm of the Tata Group.

“The talks are in a preliminary stage. We are going slow for the moment because of the prevailing market situation, but we hope to finalise it by next year,” Ranjit More, Managing Director, told Business Line. The Tata Group is already present in this segment through its group company Telco Construction Equipment Company, which was set up in 1961 as a division of Tata Motors.

It presently supplies a wide spectrum of construction equipment, including hydraulic excavators, mining shovels, dumpers, crawler cranes and backhoe loaders, besides exporting to African and West Asian countries.

Universal is currently competing with a handful of MNCs based in Germany and China in the Indian market.

The domestic market size for entire construction equipment is estimated at Rs 25,000 crore, with a major slice, about Rs 18,000 crore, is for earth moving and other heavy equipment.

The firm is in the Rs 2,500-crore concreting machinery. It is now in the process of consolidating its presence in the Rs 3,500-crore material handling segment.

More said the company was setting up a Rs 70 crore facility at Satara, which is expected to be completed by next year end.

“This unit will have an exclusive division for making material handling equipment, including passenger lift,” he said.

He was in Hyderabad in connection with opening of its ninth exclusive store.

It will be setting up another three, including in Chennai and Bangalore, in the next two months and reach 40 outlets by next year.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 29, 2012)
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