Global economic meltdown in the aftermath of developments in the United States and the Euro zone crisis may have had a telling impact on core sectors like Information Technology.
But companies, particularly those engaged in infrastructure and transport sectors, are unfazed over the developments and are confident that the State offers huge potential which still remains untapped. The companies are betting big on domestic demand, thanks to the vast population in the States like Andhra Pradesh, which is set to drive the economy in the days to come.
“Andhra Pradesh has given some of the best contractors who are executing irrigation, roads, airports and other projects across the country,” Universal Construction Machinery and Equipment managing director Ranjeet More said. The company has, therefore, decided to open an assembly unit here shortly besides reaching out all the major locations across the State.
Efforts are also underway to expand its operations by setting up full-fledged offices at Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam besides adding associates at Nellore, Tirupati and other major centres.
Universal, according to Mr. More, is set to introduce new technologies like passenger lifts that will be of immense use in the construction of high rises while another technology, suspended platform, will replace the traditional bamboo platforms bringing down risk to workers.
“The current slowdown relates largely to sentiment which is down. But minor hiccups are sure to be overcome and the activity will resume in the near future,” he said. While earthmovers and other heavy machinery is garnering major volume of the business, as is witnessed in the ongoing irrigation projects, the company will focus on small and medium contractors in the State who are yet to be exposed to the latest technologies and practices.
Leading transport finance firm, Shriram Transport Finance Company, part of the Shriram Group, is also confident that the infrastructure segment which is currently in a slow mode is poised to grow significantly and bounce back to normalcy any moment.
The company has decided to focus on expanding its presence in the rural areas of the State, adopting a model on the lines of business correspondent of the banks. “Given the buoyancy in the rural areas, we feel the next level of economic activity will be from these areas,” Shriram Transport Finance Company managing director Umesh Revankar said.
The company has already deployed field level staff, carrying laptops, in several areas to cater to needs of the local people, predominantly farmers dependent on carriers that transport their agriculture produce to markets. This is likely to witness steep growth shortly once the proposed optic fibre cable network project connecting major gram panchayats is put in place.
“The network connectivity will expose rural people to markets and this will give a significant boost to the business,” he said.
Keywords: economic slowdown