CHATTING WITH ...
Current, past and future leaders in the equipment rental industry
Published on August 3, 2020
Satin Sachdeva is the Managing Director of Equipment Planet and the founder of CERA (Construction Equipment Rental Association). Working in the equipment rental industry for 15 years, Satin now runs one of the leading equipment rental businesses in India, and started the first Indian Rental association, CERA.
Image: Satin Sachdeva from Equipment Planet & CERA
How and when did you get into the equipment rental industry?
I have been in the equipment rental industry for 15 years. As an automotive engineer, it was natural to fall in love with complex machines and therefore, I chose the construction equipment industry. Although it all started by providing valuation services for machines, which led to me starting Equipment Planet.
Today, our company Equipment Planet is one of the leading equipment rental companies in India. Also in our group is Evalue, which is a valuation & inspection, surveyor & loss assessor organization. I am currently, also the Secretary General of CERA (Construction Equipment Rental Association) that represents India’s equipment rental industry and also serving many prestigious industry bodies and in advisory councils to various corporate and infrastructure companies.
Equipment Planet was also one of the first to introduce an online platform for buying / selling / renting in India.
What type of roles and responsibilities have you taken on over your career?
Besides being the Managing Director & CEO of Equipment Planet and Evalue, I am also the Founder of CERA (Construction Equipment Rental Association) that represents India’s equipment rental industry. CERA’s mission is to transform the equipment rental industry of India and create and sustain a conducive environment for the growth of the rental industry. Currently, I am also serving as Secretary General of CERA and for the last three years.
We have been instrumental in training of operators in the rental industry. We have always brought in the best technology and always introduce a good work culture. We work with all top contractors and infrastructure companies in all prominent categories and brands, including Wirtgen, Caterpillar, Hamm, Power Pavers, Putzmeister, Dynapac, Komatsu, Escorts, Ammann, XCMG, Bomag and few more.
Who played a big influence in your career, and would you consider being a mentor for someone in the next generation?
Equipment Rental Industry itself had a big influence on my career. I have been an entrepreneur since the beginning and started at a young age. In addition to this, Tycoons like Azim Premji and Warren Buffet had a great influence on me especially the charities they support along with their business.
I have always believed in creating entrepreneurs and skilled people, and therefore I mentor every young person I see. I go to my local engineering college and interact with students there and create awareness about the career in the construction equipment sector. I always guide the new entrants in the rental business and support them.
We also organize interactive sessions on entrepreneurship and skill development for the industry professionals. We are working closely with several skill development bodies like skill India, Digital India, start-up councils and few more.
How has the equipment rental industry changed over the years?
India’s construction equipment rental industry is undergoing continuous transformation since CERA was founded in 2016. The industry is changing from being an unorganized sector to an organized sector. This has helped rental companies and industry grow in last 3-4 years. Today, majority of the industry has the latest technology fleet equipped with telematics and artificial intelligence gadgets. CERA is India’s biggest platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues related to the equipment rental sector. It brings changes by working closely with the government and industry experts on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for the rental industry through a range of specialized services and strategic linkages. It promotes the rental concept in order to facilitate continued growth of the rental industry by creating an open Indian market, at a much larger scale than any state market.
What one piece of advice do you think would have helped you early in your career?
There is no substitute for hard work with right focus and determination. Anything can be converted into a possibility and success with hard work. Achieving something with hard work it makes your soul happy and when success is earned it gives you immense happiness and satisfaction.
How do you define success and what was a defining moment or event in your career?
Success is when you are able to contribute something significant to the industry. My defining moment in my career was when I started conceptualizing about CERA was conceptualized and then founded it. It was at a time when there was no formal organisation to represent the Indian Construction Equipment industry at the national level. The Rental industry had a lot of scope for growth, but it was facing many issues that needed to be addressed. It was in this environment of hope and uncertainty that CERA was conceptualized and founded. I had been thinking about it for a long time, and one day, I floated the idea with the owners of rental equipment companies. Subsequently, CERA was born with the unanimous objective: ‘Let’s grow together’.
How can people connect with you?