Demtech 2019 - India’s First Demolition Conference: A True Success!

Published: 22/1, 2020

India’s ever first conference for demolition, recycling and remediation was held on November 13 at the Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai. The result of the event can be summarised in a few words: a true success!

Although PDa Magazine and Riverbends Publishing, LLC, were co-producers of Demtech that is not the reason why the event was such a success. “It was actually true”, smiles PDa publisher, Jan Hermansson.


Risky project

To arrange a new industry-focused conference was a risky project. Mohan Ramanathan, owner of the Indian demolition and recycling company ACT, located in Chennai, contacted the PDa Magazine staff at their booth at the bauma show in April this year. Ramanathan frankly asked if the magazine, and its sister magazine PDi, were interested in supporting and co-producing the event. The answer was: “Yes of course!”. The reasons were simple: PDa and PDi, are truly international publications for demolition, recycling, remediation, concrete sawing and drilling, concrete floor grinding and polishing, and related service and product sectors. Hence Demtech was exactly the kind of event PDa and PDi wanted to be involved in. After agreaing of cooperating with organizing the event, intensive work with planning and marketing campaigns started with several online meetings, numerous emails, and WhatsApp conferences. Livewire Media, a Chennai-based event and media company, was hired to assist with planning and practical actions.

“We had roughly six months to find sponsoring companies, and work out an interesting conference agenda with speakers that both could present the current situation on the construction market in India and what can be expected in the coming five to ten years,” says Ramanathan.


Strong support from the sponsors

Volvo India agreed to be the headline sponsor, with Epiroc, Hilti, Brokk, Aquajet Systems, and Sennebogen acting as associate sponsors. Husqvarna, Edifice, Pentruder, Shearcore, Kemroc, Kobelco, and Tyrolit were affiliate sponsors.

Initially it was decided that Demtech should have a rather small exposition area, only with small information booths for the sponsors and table top booths for companies that would only like to present their products with documentation. The interest for the exhibition area was so great that the sponsors’ were also allowed to exhibit actual products. An additional 10 companies wished to participate with table-top booths: Trevi Benne, Rotar, Demarec, Schwing Stetter, Hydrotec, Philtec E&C PTE ltd, SDT Sanwa, Indo-Spark, Terex, and Wirtgen Group.

Even with interest from manufacturers and contractors, we were not sure however how many people would be attending. As we approached the beginning of October there were still only around 70 people who had registered, but then something happened, in particular, when the social media campaign commenced. As more speakers, sponsors and exhibitors committed to come, the registered number started to rise, reaching 256 registered participants plus invited speakers and guests on the day of the conference.


A day rich in information

Demtech was formally opened by Usha Batra, special director general of India’s Central Public Works Department. Following greetings by other government officials, the day’s presentations began with topics including the current and future state of India’s construction economy.

A number of interesting case studies in the demolition and recycling sector were also presented. Uttkarsh Mehta, partner in the company Edifice, made a presentation on the advanced dismantling of the MG Sethu Bridge, while Sunilkumar Vishwakarma, head of planning Tata Projects Mumbai, related the construction of cross passages in the new Mumbai Metro. Youssef Hallak, head of Romania’s LT Diamond Cutting, explained decommissioning work undertaken on a nuclear plant in the country.

Attendees also heard presentations from the sponsors and manufacturers such as Volvo, Epiroc, Hilti, Brokk, Aquajet Systems, and Sennebogen. The day closed with a panel discussion on India’s potential in terms of extended demolition, recycling and remediation services.

Of course, Demtech would not be complete without an evening gala dinner that included the official formation of the Indian Demolition Association, the first of its kind in the country, and a long-time dream of Ramanathan. Along with Ramanthan, the IDA board of directors includes Jogar Chedda, a partner with Edifice; Shiram D. Matte, director of Matte & Associates; Akhil Jain, Jain Engineers & Consultants; Fazrulla Basha, director Abcon Concrete Surgeons Pvt. Ltd.; Mohanraj, director Rapid Cutting Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.; Kannan Paulthurai, director P. K. Cutting Tech Pvt. Ltd.; and Piyush Gandhi, director Genesis Engineering. The evening continued with music, and an Indian buffet with an open bar. At the end of the party, Ramanathan even accompanied the musicians in a couple of songs.

Demtech India was a true international event with participants from 18 countries: India, US, UK, Spain, UAE, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Romania, Russia, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, China, and Saudi Arabia

Demtech has also given India’s demolition industry a taste and appetite for more of this type of event. As part of IDA’s first meeting, the board approved staging a similar event in November 2020 at a venue to be determined in Bangalore, with a full exhibition area will be set up including room for live demonstrations. Watch PDa for details.

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