Robust expansion of the Indian shipbuilding, construction and energy, particularly wind power, sectors will underline strong growth of the Indian welding market over the medium- and long-term.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (industrialautomation.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Indian Welding Equipment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $208.0 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $311.5 million in 2015.
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"While the financial meltdown has adversely affected most end user industries for welding equipment in India, energy, construction and shipbuilding sectors have, to a large extent, been recession-proof and have been generating moderate demand," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Archana Chauhan. "A key driver boosting market revenues has also been the gradual move from manual to automatic and semi-automatic welding equipment."
The welding industry in India has generally been low technology with infrequent innovation. However, the adoption of automatic and the semi-automatic welding systems has been rising in recent years. At the same time, the recession and reduced budgets have underlined the continued popularity of economical, manual techniques.
Enhanced foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflow in India has supported projects in the oil and gas sector, offshore activities, aerospace and heavy machinery industries. Several foreign automobile companies have established their manufacturing base in India. Such trends have had a positive impact on the uptake of welding equipment and consumables.
However, the recession has affected the flow of FDI into the country. Hence, demand for welding equipment in India is expected to decline over the short- term.
Although global steel demand slumped in the past year, India's steel market has experienced nearly 10 per cent growth. The spiralling demand for steel is promoting the use of innovative, state-of-the-art uses of steel while triggering the uptake of high volumes of welding equipment.
"One of the major challenges faced by the local market in India is the substantial import of welding equipment," cautions Archana. "With expanded imports, the market share of domestic participants is continually declining in several industries, especially automotive and transportation, shipbuilding and the white appliances."
Another challenge faced by Indian welding equipment manufacturers is the unorganised sector that currently occupies close to 50 to 55 per cent of the market. This sector is continually growing due to the lack of specifications and approvals required for welding activities in end-user industries. Although some approvals are required for high-risk jobs in power and offshore, there are no such requirements in the fabrication industry where welding finds extensive use.
"To be competitive, welding manufacturers need to provide standardised goods with a focus on product differentiation," advises Archana. "With lower profit margins and intensifying competition, manufacturers have to improve on their service, performance and delivery."
An additional challenge will be to optimally integrate distributors and dealers within a complete solution model. The technical capabilities of distributors will be vital in any solution-oriented strategy. With advanced technologies and sophisticated machines, it is critical that there be trained experts in key identified regions.
Many large multinational companies have started imparting product knowledge to end users. Manufacturers have attempted to maintain historical relationships with end users. Continuous technological upgrades, novel technologies such as electron beam and friction stir and the introduction of innovative base metals have resulted in the enhanced penetration of welding equipment in India.
"Manufacturers should improve their service portfolio and broaden their market reach," concludes Archana. "They should increase their penetration into new end user industries such as wind and nuclear power and traditional end user industries such as fabrication and automotives as well as explore opportunities in other general industries which have only lately moved to higher automation levels."
Strategic Analysis of the Indian Welding Equipment Market is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of the Global Welding Market for Energy, Central and Eastern European Welding Equipment and Consumables Market, Global Welding Market for Automotive Applications and, Asian Resistance Welding Equipment and Consumables Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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