Our Vision is to Reach 500 Crore by 2022: Godse
- Nitin Godse, Managing Director, Excel Gas and Equipment,

Having served some of the big names in the global and Indian market viz, SBM Offshore, Qatar Fertilizer, Qatar Petroleum, Halliburton, Cipla, Reliance, NMRL, BHEL, BARC, NCL, Pfizer to name a few, Excel Gas and Equipments Pvt Ltd (Excel) has come a long way. The company has laid an ambitious roadmap to reach Rs 500 crore by the year 2022 and gradually executing that vision into success. Nitin Godse, Managing Director, Excel Gas and Equipment, spoke to CEW about the company’s plans, the present market scenario, R&D in a niche domain, HSE practices, expansion plans and more.

Having humble beginnings in 2000 with a capital of Rs 3 lakh, Excel is expecting a turnover of Rs 45 crore in FY15-16. In the last ten years, the company has experienced phenomenal growth rates of almost 200-300 per cent. Excel’s core business is to offer ‘turnkey solutions for gas, utility and chemical handling systems.’ The company also manufactures pipe settings regulators, valves, etc, for applications in nonhazardous gases, utilities. Almost 80 per cent of Excel’s revenue comes from the Indian market as the demand is more than what the company can offer today. The rest 20 per cent of the revenue comes through exports; it exports to over 10 countries from Africa, Middle East and USA. Presently, Excel is focusing on the Indian market but is hopeful of increasing its footprint overseas as well.

Niche Domain
Excel undertakes piping commissions, especially high purity gas piping, utility piping and process piping. It is a part of a market where a company has to be experienced to get contracts. There are not more than 5 to 7 companies in India. Nitin Godse, Managing Director, Excel Gas and Equipment imparts that that the market in India is a very large one but it is niche because of the entry restriction, the work involved which is highly skilled and the people involved must have great knowledge along with a track record.

Being a niche market, the raw materials, viz, valves, regulators, pipes, required for executing the project, are not available in India and must be imported.

The manufacturing capabilities are slowly developing in the last 10-15 years but it would require some more time for the perception to change. As high purity gas piping and chemical handling systems involve hazardous gases and chemicals, reliability plays a great role. A sought after aspect that the users look for is expertise. The next crucial point here is the quality and capability to carry out installation works since the volume of work involved is huge and the client has to be assured that a company is able to execute it as expected. So, it all comes down to the reliability of the contractor and the capability of the turnkey solutions provider.

The fact that Excel is able to give turnkey solutions gives it a unique position. When talking about turnkey solutions, the solutions provider should be able to handle any kind of situation that arises in the project. Many a times, the client themselves will not be aware of the kind of roadblocks involved. Being an experienced player, the solutions provider can very well anticipate these when setting up the whole system. Also, a number of approvals are required for many of the gases used. There are many specifications or standards that need to be met. Excel is able to undertake and meet all of these requirements.

R&D is a Niche Domain
Godse states that the researching capabilities in this domain are done a bit differently as compared to the conventional notion of research. It is about sharing knowledge with other players. When involved in high quality gas, it is crucial to collaborate with other players because there is no time for carrying out research, setting up the plant and starting production. In this domain, it is advisable to bring in an established player who has research capabilities. This becomes a win-win situation for the solutions provider and the established player as well. The established player gets access to a ready market while the turnkey solutions provider gets access to new technology. Jointly, both the companies then research, modify and develop newer technologies.

Process Automation Solutions
Excel also provides process automation solutions to its clients. Since it has to deal with dangerous, corrosive, oxidising or reactive gases like hydrogen, oxygen, hydrogen sulphide, handling these with safety is extremely crucial. A slight manual error can result in great tragedies. So, the company strives to bring in automation solutions which can take care of any loops in the system.

Excel does not manufacture the raw materials, like transmitters involved in the automation process. It uses these in designing the system first.

The raw material is procured from many MNCs, be it Honeywell, ABB, etc. The software required for integrating all the components are developed by Excel.

For a turnkey solutions provider like Excel, automation systems are about providing solution to clients for a particular action. For instance, if there is a gas leakage, it needs to be detected by a sensor and the system has to take some automatic action such as start up the fire hydrant system and probably shut down the electrical grid.

These kinds of actions have to be automated and it has been done logically. All of these actions cannot be labelled under one name or product as every project has to be customised as per the client’s requirements. This customisation includes installation of detectors using PLCs or some other programming techniques and preparing a control panel for them in communication systems. When the project is bigger the automation solutions involved also get complicated.

Health, Safety and Environment Practices
As a turnkey solutions provider, a company has to ensure that the toxic materials, inflammable and poisonous gases that it handles do not pose a hazard to the environment. The client should not face any trouble so the system should be safe from the HSE point of view.

Excel undertakes installation of scrubbers, neutralisation of gases. It ensures that all precautions are taken in the system itself and only then handover a prosperous system to the clients wherein there are no adverse effects to the environment. In most of the projects, the company gets the freedom to redesign the product.

Excel reviews the drawings, updates it and puts down the suggestions so that system is corrected as per the clients’ need and a safe system is handed over to them. Excel has well defined HSE policies which it follows in all its installations.

Diversification
Excel has set an ambitious target of reaching a turnover of Rs 500 crore by 2022 and the company is already treading the roadmap it has chalked out. It is in a transitional phase at present and has plans of expanding into the agrochemicals business in the next couple of years.

Godse elaborates, taking into account the agrochemicals market demand, the company plans of setting up a first generation bio-refinery using the conventional technology for extracting chemicals such as ethanol, furan, and castor oil derivatives from agriculture by-products be it bio-gas, corn cobs or cotton seeds. These chemicals are essential in the resins, high-end paints, petroleum sectors but are not manufactured in India. These are all imported from China, Dominican Republic and Brazil. Excel will be setting up a bio-refinery with a capacity of 6000 tonnes per annum in the next 3 years.

Godse is optimistic about the scenario for SMEs in the years to come with the government putting in concentrated efforts to encourage the industry to flourish.

He believes that India has all the capabilities and the highly talented manpower resources; stable and concentrated efforts could put India into a growth trajectory.