In April, this year, Dulevo International opened Dulevo India Private Limited to make available the complete range of its cleaning equipment in the Indian market. Vincenzo Geddes Da Filicaia, Managing Director of Dulevo International was in India recently. He, along with Sumeet Khurana, Director, Dulevo India, spoke to Clean India Journal.
Globally, Dulevo is a very well established brand…
The Dulevo brand was conceived in 1976 by a group of technicians from the area around Parma region in the Northern Italy. The sweepers were well received and the company grew with its own manufacturing facilities. The real turning point came when Lampogas S.p.A., a leader in distribution of LPG, bought Dulevo in 1992 to form Dulevo International. Guareschi is the family that owns Lampogas and now Dulevo too indirectly. Dulevo International is one of the 64 companies of the 1.2 Billion Euros Lampogas group.
With a turnover of 54million Euros in 2007, we hope to reach 60 million in the year 2008. The company has 200 people only in Italy and many more around the world. It is a fast growing company and we built a new factory in 2006 right close to the A1 highway between Milan and Bologna in 200,000 sq meters.
You are relooking at India with opening your own operation…
Dulevo India is importing the complete Dulevo range like scrubber dryers, sweepers, vacuums and also other brands of Italian origin into the Indian market. It is composed of staff that has good technical, commercial and management experience in the sector. The group has been consolidating for some years and was very keen on entering India directly. The India office has our complete support- logistical, commercial and technical- and we are investing not just for business expansion, but also in image building and in proper communication to the clients. Our managers will be visiting the country periodically for training and support.
How any machines have been sold for Delhi city cleaning?
Three machine in Delhi, three in Chandigarh. There is a new tender for 36 machines in Delhi before the Common Wealth games and we believe that we can have an important share in that market. Dulevo in India is working in three separate verticals:
- Cleaning Vertical (All cleaning contractors, FM companies, purely cleaning)
- Industrial Sector (Steel plants, Cement plants, Aluminum companies, companies where the requirements are process driven)
- Municipal market
Our focus will the Municipal sector and will approach directly but, may look for partners to deal with the industrial sector.
Can you elaborate on your different strategies?
All the different sectors are different and have different needs. So, when I talk about cleaning companies or FM companies, their needs are purely cleaning needs which have to be addressed in a certain manner. In industrial sector, the cleaning needs are of a different magnitude. Also, many of our equipment are not just cleaning equipment but also industrial problem solving ones. For example, our industrial vacuum cleaner can also be used in a packaging unit or to collect spillage of cement. So, it’s not just a cleaning application, but an application that could have many facets to it.
Dealing with the civic departments can be a completely different ball game. They have a different approach, where there are tenders, there is a long gestation period, and politicians are involved. The approach is different here with a different product mix. Different approach also in terms of the kind of partners we have to have. When it comes to partners, for FM, we will go with people who are purely into cleaning related jobs and for industrial, with someone who sells forklifts or other similar equipment.
What we are doing today is getting ourselves organized to work systematically in all these three systems.
What are the kinds of machines you plan to bring in?
For cleaning, we have the professional vacuums, single disk machines, scrubber dryers, high pressure water jet machines and the small range of sweepers.
In industrial, we have industrial sweepers, big industrial scrubber dryers, big industrial vacuums, which either for cleaning applications or for industrial problem solving.
As far as municipal is concerned, we have big road sweepers.
What is your presence in the other Asian countries?
We are present in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and we just delivered six big road sweepers to Singapore in June and will probably deliver more soon. This is a big reference because we sold them to an important contractor called Veolia. Another important reference for us is the formula 1 race track. We will get to clean the formula1 race track at night during the Grand Prix this year in Singapore.
We also clean at Montecarlo, Monza, Imola, Monaco, Bahrain. We have specialized in formula one track cleaning. This is quite a complex cleaning. It has to be done very quickly first of all. It cannot be too aggressive. The race car tyres leave a slight film of rubber on the asphalt and we have to ensure that we clean the track/asphalt without removing the film. The rubber film that is left on the tracks helps the other cars get a better grip. We clean the track after tests and classification. Cleaning is also done when there is an accident, or when oil or gasoline is spilled. A special material that looks like saw dust, but is made of petrochemical absorbs the oil when spread out on the ground. It is very dusty as a material and therefore we have to clean it up after it has absorbed the oil. The cleaning has to be done very quickly making sure that the rubber is not removed in the process.
Airport cleaning also requires fast speed equipment.
The kind of sweeping we do at the airports, the kind of material we use there are similar to that of at the race track. We use special magnets in order to sweep and take away all the metal parts that are left behind when planes take off.
We have three machines at the Delhi airport. One, Dulevo 200 Quattro is being deployed by L&T to clean the runway and the other two being used by a service provider to clean the outside and the apron areas.
Since the specialty of Dulevo road sweeping machines is the speed, they are considered to be best machines for highways also. The technology which the machine employs allows it to sweep at very high speeds.
What about after sales services?
We have a warehouse in Noida for Dulevo spares and consumables. There is a team of seven engineers who only do after sales work. They have been trained very thoroughly in Italy in the Dulevo factories on all technical aspects of the machines.
Unlike any other foreign player in big machines, Dulevo has a critical mass of machines in India! We have over 40 installations of machines of a certain kind in India. This allows us to invest in spares and consumables, in people and in training much before anybody else. Since we believe that this is going to be a very big market and Dulevo believes that this is an important market, we are putting in place the foundation. When you sell an expensive machine, it is very crucial to look after it. The first Dulevo machine came in 2002 and it came to a steel plant. Steel plant conditions are extremely tough, very dusty with very high temperatures. But, now it is 2008 and after that first machine, we have sold five more machines to the same customer. This shows that there is a certain commitment behind looking after these machines.
The general impression is that imported machines may not exactly be suitable for Indian roads.
Many machines designed in Europe, Northern Europe are designed for European conditions, which are very different from Indian conditions. Why are they different? Indian conditions are very dusty. You don’t have dusty conditions in Europe and Dulevo machines were not designed for Europe. The first Dulevo machine was born in a cement factory in 1997. So, it was designed for a cement factory. It was designed to work on dust. And over a period of time Dulevo machines got evolved for handling dusty environment. In countries like the Middle East, Iran, Bahrain, Qatar – 70% of the market is with Dulevo machines. Because for dusty conditions Dulevo has the appropriate technology. A suction sweeper designed in Germany for German or European conditions is not successful in Dubai, India or the Middle East or countries where the dust levels are quite high. So what is happening is that unfortunately many Municipal bodies go for machines without realizing the capability of the machines.
We want to go a step forward. In order to be more inline with the philosophy of the Indian policy towards reducing the emission of gases, we have presented a sweeper with CNG and with zero emission to the Delhi Municipal body. Our sweeper will control dust and emission of very fine dust and will use very little water or none because it can sweep without the use of water. It will be fueled by CNG which is at the moment the most ecological friendly and practical source of energy. This is very important because at the moment in Europe there is no CNG. We presented the first one at the last AIFAT exhibition in Munich in the month of May, exactly the same week of ISSA/Interclean. In Munich we also presented a new kind of filter, which we are using especially on our sweepers. The filter is made of a very special kind of a fibre which is called Gore.
Gore Text is an American company which produces mainly filters for steel plants and is active in different fields like, the pharmaceutical companies and sports wear for snow and even space . For example, all the tissues used for Astronauts or fire brigade are made by Gore. With Gore we made a very important research towards filtering of dust and we have achieved 99% in filtering smallest particles of dust. In fact, we are applying these filters on our sweepers as an option. The filters give a filtering quality never been imagined before. It gives an advantage of increasing the airflow of the sweepers, so basically, there is a better dust control, better suction and therefore better sweeping quality. Most important is the zero maintenance of the filter, as it makes all kinds of dusts and grease slip and fall even when it comes in contact with oil, acid, greases, water or any other material. It is a good evolution for our machine and that is what we presented at Amsterdam also. We have a five year agreement with Gore for the application of the filters.
More plans for India…
We are known in the market for our industrial sweepers. We are now focusing on and investing on scrubber dryers in a big way. This is a segment where in India we are not well known. Certain number of new scrubber driers have come out and certain new ones are going to come. Last year, we presented the A15 – the little ride-on and in December we will present the smallest ride-on of the range called the 610. In Amsterdam, we presented the Plus 20, which is the largest ride-on scrubber dryer we produce. This is a very important segment for us and we will push even more.