Interviews

Hyundai New Excavators get Overwhelming...

Dheeraj Panda
“Hyundai excavators are among the premium products available in the Indian construction equipment industry and we plan to showcase them during Excon 2013. We would display a range of 20T excavators besides the small and large tonnage. Our recently launched R210-7v and R140LC-9 excavators have received pleasantly good response from the market. These are high-end, most advanced excavators in the Indian industry in terms of technology being offered. Besides these, our excavators are best known as value for money and eco-friendly equipments. With our robust and advanced technology, we conserve environment and offer optimized output at the same time,” says Mr. Dheeraj Panda, GM- Sales & Marketing, and Hyundai Construction Equipment in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

Recent developments at Hyundai suggest that the company is in a big expansion mode in India to manufacture a wider product range by setting up additional lines in a year or so. Would you please share some of these details with our readers?

We recently launched R210-7v value for money excavator during BAUMA ConEXPO 2013. This product was specifically designed for value conscious Indian customers. Versatile excavator for varied application from Rental to Hiring business, R210-7v is equipped with mechatronics for optimize d fuel consumption and productivity, lowest operating cost in 20-22T class of excavators, stable in the toughest and most rugged working terrains and powered with Kirloskar 6R1080T engine. Besides R210-7v, Hyundai also added 9 series excavators in 14T and 22T. These are high-end, most advanced excavators in Indian industry in terms of technology being offered. Our excavators are best known as value for money and eco-friendly equipments. With our robust and advanced technology, we conserve environment and offer optimized output at the same time.

Hyundai is an important player in Excavator lines with a manufacturing capacity of nearly 5,000 units at its facility in Maharashtra. Recently, it has launched its new 14 tones capacity of Robex 9 series. What is the market response of this innovative product so far?

We were pleasantly surprised with the customer response towards R140LC-9 when we launched in the market as our R140LC-7 machine was highly accepted and appreciated. With the appropriate training and understanding of the advanced technology, customers started to experience its results and found the Hi-Mate Remote Management System to be a necessity. With the India growing technologically, there was always a need for this product in the market. All Hyundai did was listen to the tacit needs of the customers and made the technology available.

India being a vast market for CE products; how does the company propose to manage this vast market through placing a strong dealership network and distribution channel, pre- and aftermarket sales support services for the users of Hyundai products and services?

In the current market scenario, repeat buyers, value added services and developing India specific machine is the key to sustainability. I am extremely proud to say that this has been Hyundai’s strategy even before Indian juggernaut started experiencing the turbulent economic waves.

Hyundai has always been conscious of its customers’ needs and constantly strive to reach close to them. To cater to the rapidly growing customer base in south, Hyundai recently added 2 new dealers- V Engineering Enterprise and Asha Atuomines Pvt. Ltd. Amplifying the dealer network to 29 with 100+ touch points. Apart from this, Hyundai also has its efficient 24 x 7 customer service no. to be available for the customers round the clock.

To facilitate equipment financing, Hyundai with the support of its parent company, has a very stable financing arrangements. Over the years, how well the scheme has shown results facilitating buyers to acquire equipment?

Apart from having collaborations with all major financial institutions with presence at national as well as at regional level, Hyundai is walking an extra mile to delight the customers by providing tailor made solutions as per the financial requirements of the customers depending on their profile.

What would be the focus of Hyundai’s participation in the forthcoming CE mega event -Excon 2013-scheduled to take place in Bangalore in November this year? What new products and services are expected to be launched by the company there?

EXCON undoubtedly being one of the largest trade fair of CE industry in India, the exposure and the opportunities will be big providing an excellent platform for exhibitors, buyers and delegates who share a common outlook towards, joint venture, technology transfers and strategic business alliances. Hyundai excavators are among the premium products available in the Indian Construction Equipment industry and we plan to showcase them during the exhibition. Hyundai will showcase a range of 20T excavators besides the small and large tonnage excavators.

NBMCW November 2013

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Wirtgen India Continuously Bringing New...

Ramesh Palagiri
“Wirtgen group have always a long-term view of the market. We are now focusing on optimizing our process, improving efficiencies and at the same time stepping up investment for the future. We are now building a new facility in China and expanding our Pune facility. The paver project is on and we expect it to be available by 2015. For the Indian market, we have now started offering the award winning Vogele ‘Dash -3’ Range of pavers and the latest generation of recyclers - Wirtgen WR 240. We are continuously bringing new products and technologies for the Indian market and at Excon we would introduce our new Tandem roller ‘Made in India’ to all the visitors,” says Mr. Ramesh Palagiri, MD and CEO, Wirtgen India in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

There is a view that country’s slowdown spell is more due to missteps and not just due to only global meltdown. Instead of worrying too much on the fall of rupee, current account deficit, external borrowings which indeed are the problematic areas, the industry and the government should concentrate on improving manufacturing, rejuvenating supply and demand to offset these impacts which are more driven by speculations. What is your take on it as one of the captains of industry?

We have to focus more on manufacturing as it not only generates jobs, but can also cut down our current account deficit as a number of imports can be substituted locally and then can also be exported. This is exactly what China has done over the last two decades.

Wirtgen enjoys a reputation of progress and growth under all circumstances. How has the company handled pessimism set in within and outside organization due to slowdown and still remained stable in its business and technological performance?

The Wirtgen group have always a long-term view of the market. We are now focussing on optimizing our process, improving efficiencies and at the same time stepping up investment for the future. We are now building a new facility in China and expanding our Pune facility.

What is the current status of development of new Tandem Roller and the new Vogele designed pavers for the Indian market and now being manufactured at Wirtgen manufacturing facility in Pune?

The Hamm HD 99 tandem roller has been launched and the first lot of rollers have rolled out of Pune facility in August 2013. The paver project is on and we expect it to be available by 2015.

As a new entrant in the crushing and screening segment, how Wirtgen is positioning itself for Kleemanan range of crushers and screening plants and new line of mobile jaw crushers, which enjoys appreciation in terms of high efficiency and versatility across the globe?

For Kleemann, we are still learning, with regard to the kind of product which are required for our market and also on how we can compete with Metso, Terex and Sandvik. We will come with a solution in two years.

Having invested a sizeable investment in setting up state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India with four strong brands at its command¬--Wirtgen, Volgele, Hamm, and Kleemann; how do these attributes enable Wirtgen an innovative solution provider in the road and mineral technologies business in India, adding value to facilitate smooth work at the construction site, mine or quarry?

For the Indian market, we have now started offering the award winning Vogele “Dash -3.”

Range of pavers and the latest generation of recyclers - Wirtgen WR 240. We are continuously bringing new products and technologies for Indian market.

A word about Wirtgen new workshop facilities for refurbishing machines. How is this programme proceeding meeting the set targets?

It has been well accepted by our customers and we are operating at 70% of the installed capacity.

Over a period, Wirtgen has emerged as a very strong player in surface miner segment. How have these products proved to be eco-friendly as well as cost-effective in the mining sector comparing others available in the market?

HAMM
Wirtgen are the pioneers in Surface Mining worldwide with the Widest range of products. We are the market leaders with 75% market share worldwide including India. We are continuously working to improve productivity and towards the end of this year we would launch a new high productivity miner for Indian local market.

A word about Wirtgen participation in the 7th edition of Excon 2013. How do you perceive this mega CE event as an appropriate platform for showcasing your company strength, enabling the customers to get a hand on experience of the performance of your products and services? What are the products and services expected to be unveiled in this mega event?

Excon and bC India are the two exhibitions where we participate to showcase New technologies and innovations of the Wirtgen Group.

At Excon, we would have our new Tandem roller “Made in India,” and also the award winning Vogele range of “Dash- 3” pavers alongwith Wirtgen Recycling equipments WR 240.

NBMCW November 2013

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ECEL – Stresses on Exports & Cost...

Rajinder Raina
“As of now we are focused on increasing our export business and Africa is one of the targeted markets. It is the time for some homework particularly on the cost front. We revisited all the cost centres & cut the avoidables. A mass customer contact programme called “Sampark” was run for 30 days to reach out to all our existing customers for free health check up of their machines. It has given us more than what was expected from it and also helped us to work out the way forward on after sales support,” says Mr. Rajinder Raina, General Manager, ECEL, in an interview with S. A. Faridi.

What would be your business agenda to dispel present pessimism set in and around ECEL business?

When things are not too bright outside, it is the time for some homework particularly on the cost front. Industry has seen brilliant growth in the past decade & half and I am sure the current phase will pass.

Escorts probably is one of the few Indian companies who has developed its products indigenously. What has been the driving force to maintain an indigenous identity when most of the Indian companies have at one stage Joint Venture with multinational companies?

TRX-1250
Ecsorts Construction started off with pick–n–carry cranes developed indigenously keeping Indian market in mind. Built up an engineering development/design team that responded to the voices captured from the application/work sites. Instead of pushing products into the market place, the objective was to provide solutions. Technology had to be in keeping with the evolution of the local market. We are not averse to technical collaborations that help us absorb modern product technologies & manufacturing practices. The indigenous identity has helped us move the market to the next higher level of technology that caters to the new project requirements. This very strength resulted in Escorts giving the first totally indigenously developed Backhoe Loader ‘DIGMAX’ to the Indian market that ranks at the top of technology, performance & reliability.

Present spell of slowdown is a big challenge but it is also an opportunity to introspect and fine tune your operations. What has been the company’s current focus on expansion and strengthening of its products support and market reach?

The slowdown is certainly a challenge. We revisited all the cost centres & cut the avoidables. A mass customer contact programme called “Sampark” was run for 30 days to reach out to all our existing customers for free health check up of their machines. It has given us more than what was expected from it as also helped us to work out the way forward on after sales support.

How has this fall of Rupee impacted Escorts business operation? What enabling steps you are taking to minimize the impact? Don’t you think export to SAARC and developing countries, can be an option?

The sharp & unexpected erosion has impacted our manufactured products wherein imported aggregates are used & the traded equipment business has been hurt. Whereas the increase has to be passed on through price hike increased focus on exports is needed. Besides SAARC countries, Middle East & African countries are on our radar.Export benefits help in more than one ways.

As one of the captains of the industry, don’t you think that instead of worrying too much on the fall of rupee, CAD, external borrowings which no doubt are a matter of concern, the industry and the government should concentrate on improving manufacturing, rejuvenating supply and demand to offset these impacts which are more driven by speculations?

In the past decade, given the boom & the outlook of the industry, most of the companies ramped up their production capacities & attendant investments were made as also, new players entered into the Indian market. This was natural. However, the negative growth in the last 18 months impacted everybody and the impact was sizeable, between 30 and 35%, computed Y-o-Y. Govt has to chip in because it is the biggest spender in India. This will enthuse foreign players to regain their confidence & invest in India. These concerns have been raised with govt at various forums. It is hoped that the industry will look up from here on.

In materials handling business certification of equipment like definition of performance, safety and operation is a big issue as there is no specific/unified guideline, and everyone interprets it as per his/her own preferences and understanding. Hence there are lots of confusions among end users. What are your suggestions on the same?

The answer is yes and no. For anything to get a standard shape, there has to be a necessity for it & the rest will follow. Safety is becoming a feature of necessity & premium. It has become a qualifying criteria in majority of the cases & this entails safety of men and materials. Measurement of performance does have a definition in the form of guaranteed percentage performance, measured on uptime basis. Measurements of production per hour & fuel consumption are still more of a product differentiator. As the sales narratives change, international practices come into play, standards shall be available for the end users in a definitive form. However, even globally, different sets of standards are followed & not one/uniform global norm.

Waking up from its policy paralysis phase, the government has cleared/announced a number of new infrastructure projects and took necessary steps to fast track their implementation as well. How do you link it with the revival of the CE industry in spite of the Parliamentary election due early next year?

Our industry has a direct correlation with infrastructure projects getting started. The shorter the time allocated for completion, more mechanistion is needed & thereby increase in demand. If sufficient number of works get awarded, there will be an increase in demand. There is a little movement but what is needed is awarding of major work packages. Elections generally tend to result in slowdown in our industry.

Entry of many big brands in the backhoe business in the last 2-3 years coupled with negative growth has put a question mark on market potential. Where do you see the market in the next two three years and increasing Escorts market share?

Backhoe industry being the biggest one in India is bound to attract players. It can’t be wished away. Escorts Digmax has been able to create sufficient visibility across the country. The latest version DIGMAX II has all the features to rake in 7 percent and 10% of market share during the next two years. We have a product in hand, strategy in place & requisite infrastructure to provide the after sales support. As for the market size the market is expected’ to touch a double digit growth next year & improve further there from.

There was a plan at ECEL end to set up CE manufacturing facilities in African countries. Is there any development taken place in this regard to report?

As of now we are focused on increasing our export business & Africa is one of the target markets. Manufacturing facility is not on the cards at this point of time.

NBMCW November 2013

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LiuGong Betting Big on India

Rohit Punjabi
“For India, we are strongly committed to bring in the latest technologies, products and best business practices from around the world to serve the local market with Liugong four-level of technical support and strong dealersip network. We believe Excon 2013 will go a long way in promoting CE business in India.The main attraction at our booth will be the presence of new members in our product family- Wheel Loaders. We sincerely hope that the visitors to our booth will be getting an incredible experience beyond their expectations,” says Mr. Rohit Punjabi, Asst. Director (Strategy Development and Marketing) during an interaction with S. K. Khanna.

What has been the impact of the fall in rupee on the business and technical performance of LiuGong India during this year? Is the company looking for more localization to minimize the impact?

Though, the Indian economy is still expanding faster than many economies of developed nations, the never-ending downfall in rupee value is merely a small exposure to the country’s deteriorating financial health. At present, the economic downfall in the Indian economy is not showing any positive signs. Moreover, Capital has dried up for the sector due to varied reasons including stringent norms for lending by RBI and lower risk appetite of the banks/ sectoral cap limits. We have had a flat year after experiencing growth from the past few years. We have invested in improving our service offerings thereby engaging with them and creating a value added partnership.We have also invested in localization to remain more competitive in the emerging scenario.

The summer months for the CE market has been a dull spell; will the coming winter spell be more harsher for it and market could spring up during spring season next year? What is LiuGong assessment of the CE market situation?


Owing to the overall slowdown in the Indian economy, the current fiscal year has been a bit sluggish for the construction equipment industry. The industry will gain momentum if the government starts implementing the delayed projects and carries out the active reviews and monitoring to ensure timely completion. Rising input cost, increase in the fuel prices and depreciation of rupee have also taken their toll on the market. However, the market is likely to pick-up by mid 2014 as the government is focusing on infrastructure development.

Liugong

Tell us something about LiuGong Monsoon Magic programme. What are its objectives and features and their impact in the market?

Liugong, one of the leading manufacturers of the construction equipment, has rolled out monsoon scheme “MONSOON MAGIC” offer. The main motive behind this scheme is to provide more benefits to the customers during the monsoon as compared to any other season. The scheme will provide special benefits to the customers like upto 60 days EMI holidays, tenure availability up to 4 years and much more. The basic idea is to be more close to the customers and to ensure that each customer should get relief from the economic slowdown. The construction industry, which is battling the worst slowdown in a decade, has been trying new marketing efforts to kick start demand. This is a part of the company’s monsoon strategy to push the equipment demand in the market.

Would you please spell out details of the initiatives the company is taking to capture more market shares?

We are reasonably confident that Liugong has planned capacities well in India and will grow into the market and win share over time. We can also foresee our ability to take share increase with time, as we bring more of our products and capabilities to bear in India and related markets. The equipment industry has seen fluctuating growth in the last few quarters and we foresee that this will continue for the next few months, so we will keep watching the market.

How does the company propose to strengthen its pan India presence in the country deploying a vast network of dealers equipped in a position to render 24x7 technical services and products support?

With high growth potential, India is an exciting market to work on. Indian market is different from others-large, heterogeneous, and diversified requiring different solutions vis-à-vis other markets. It is both as a challenge as well as an opportunity. Liugong can successfully navigate these challenges and avail the opportunities in them. For India, we are strongly committed to bring in the latest technologies, products and best business practices from around the world to serve the local market conditions.

Liugong Wheel Loaders

Liugong four–level of technical support involving operation support, basic maintenance support, annual maintenance, and timely parts support backed by our network of 20 dealers pan India will continue to ensure optimum customer and product support.” Our dealership support encompasses training for our overall competence levels within our dealerships.”

What are your plans to participate at Excon 2013 to be held in Bangalore? What new products, services, and developments are expected to be unveiled in this CE mega event?

Excon has always been an essential platform for all CE manufacturers to come closer to the customer. It has been a trend-setter in terms of spreading awareness about new CE technologies available in India as well as across the world. We believe that this edition also will go a long way in promoting CE business in India. We are going to display our complete range of products. The main attraction at our booth will be the presence of new members in our product family- Wheel Loaders. We sincerely hope that the visitors to our booth will be getting an incredible experience beyond their expectations.

NBMCW November 2013

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Schwing Stetter Geared up for Excon 201...

Anand Sundaresan
Schwing Stetter Group has now access to very wide range of construction equipment. XCMG’s investment in Schwing Stetter Group has brought in great synergy between the two companies. “Our majority of the products are receiving positive response from the market. We are planning to introduce some new products and many improvements in our existing products during Excon,” says Mr Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India, in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

Are we not too much obsessed with discussions on the fall of rupee, current account deficit, external borrowings which no doubt are important issues, but don’t you think the need of the hour is to focus on productive growth, rejuvenating of supply and demand to offset some of these problems which are more driven by speculations. As one of the important captains of the industry; what is your candid view on this?

To some extent, I do agree that we are quite obsessed with the fall in rupee, current account deficit and so on, which are repercussions of matters not falling within the internal growth of the economy. Our only way to counter the fall in rupee which is a by-product of current account deficit is, to reduce our dependence on imports by indigenizing to the maximum extent possible. We should not tweak around with our fiscal policies and bank rates too much, to arrest the fall in rupee etc., which should be allowed to behave the way it should, based on market forces. Tweaking around with fiscal policies and bank rates will have aftermaths which could be seriously thwarting the prospects of growth.

Has the fall of rupee disturbed the business or technical performance of Schwing Stetter during this year?

The fall of rupee has definitely affected the bottom line of Schwing Stetter India because there are many components which are still being imported by us and their costs have gone up substantially. Whereas on the positive side, this has forced us to speed-up our process of indigenization.

Following XCMG acquiring stake in SS, what is the new business matrix worked out? How well it is promoting the synergies between the two companies?

Undoubtedly, XCMG’s investment in Schwing Stetter Group has brought in great synergy between the two companies. Schwing Stetter Group has now access to very wide range of construction equipment. The partnership itself is in its initial stage of integration and it will take some more time for us to come out with concrete steps towards expanding our products range.

S43

In the last CE industry mega event, SS unveiled 6 exclusive products for the Indian market. What has been the market response so far?

Majority of the products are receiving positive response from the market. However, unfortunately the market itself is sluggish at the moment with very low demand for such high quality, state-of-the-art products. We are hoping that soon, the infrastructure projects will be rolled out and these products will definitely attract good business.

Do you think that the coming winter is going to be a harsh winter for CE market in the country or perhaps the spring time might spring up market improvements for it?

It depends on what actions the current government will take in the next couple of months before the official election dates are declared. We have the mega CE fair Excon in November in Bangalore where as usual, we are participating in a big way. We have seen over the years that always, business starts booming immediately after the Excon fair. So we are quite hopeful that this Excon also will bring momentum in business for the CE industry.

How is SS empowering its employees/customers with new technical knowledge and expertise through its Training Centers? How many beneficiaries have gone through the portal of the unique Training Centers so far?

We strongly believe that training our own employees as well as the operators and technicians of our customers on the state-of-the-art products that we produce is extremely important. Thus, the operators and maintenance technicians substantially improve the performance of our equipment and also keep the operating expenses lowest. Therefore, we are putting a lot of thrust on training and development. Earlier, we had our training centre only in Chennai. But in the last couple of years, we have opened new training centres in Delhi and Kolkata too. We are in the process of acquiring land in few more locations where we will have full-fledged training centres as well as service centres. So far, we have trained more than 8000 people for short-term course in concrete pumps as well as batching plants. We have also trained more than 600 operators. These operators are sponsored by companies who use our equipment. In the last couple of years, we have seen that many people are directly enrolling themselves to the operator training courses and before finishing their course, we are able to find employment for them with our customers. Many such trained operators have also gone abroad to countries like Libya, Kenya, Muscat, Afghanistan, Oman, and Maldives.

SP3600

How is SS programme of repair, overhauling, and reconditioning proceeding? What has been users’ response to this facility?

Here again, we strongly believe that an authorized service centre for repairing, overhauling and re-conditioning of all our equipment are extremely essential to support our customers. Most customers prefer to get their equipment repaired only at authorized service centres. Similar to the automobile industry, it is only when such authorized service centres are not available, do the construction equipment owners look for grey-market parts and road side mechanics to repair their equipment. We would like to expand our service centres pan India to offer repair, overhauling service and supply of genuine spare parts for our equipment. We already have 26 spares depot and 7 service centres across India. Wherever service centres are not available, onsite service is provided by us.

SP8800
A word about SS preparations for the participation in the forthcoming edition of Excon 2013. What are the new products, services, and developments proposed to be unveiled at this mega CE event?

As usual, we are participating in Excon 2013 in a big way. We are of course planning to introduce some new products and many improvements in our existing products. We invite you to visit our stall to see our latest developments.

NBMCW November 2013

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Tadano India: "India has been a go...

Nishida san
"India has been a good market for us; the Indian customers have been using our products for over two decades. We have made good inroad with the customers who are more safety and quality conscious. Our focus now is to bring the entire cranes market into our fold by continuously engaging and educating the benefits of the latest updated technologies and the quality & safety standards to the end-users," says Mr. Chihiro Nishida, Managing Director, Tadano India in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

Having been in India for quite some time, what is your assessment of the technological status of Indian Mobile crane industry? Are its products and services best in the market place within the country and abroad?

The majority of Indian mobile cranes market is dominated by the used crane import from Europe, Middle East etc, in the absence of strict safety rules and proper guidelines from the government, the old outdated used machines are continued to be imported and used in India.

There are few customers who are more quality and safety conscious who adapt to the latest products with advanced technology. This trend is slowly growing and it is positive sign towards development.

It is said that one who can succeed in the Indian market can succeed anywhere in the global market. With Tadano having entered into the Indian market which is indeed complex and heterogeneous in demand; how has the company established its footprint as of now?

India has been a good market for us; the Indian customers have been using our products for more than two decades. We have made good inroad with the customers who are more safety and quality conscious. Our focus now is to bring the entire crane market into our fold by continuously engaging and educating the benefits of the latest updated technologies and the Quality & safety standards.

What are the product offerings of the company and total population of your crane products in the country, including a large number of reconditioned machines working in the rental segment? What technical supports your clients are availing from your trained service teams?

We are offering in India All Terrain Cranes from 40 to 400 tons, Rough Terrain Cranes from 12 to 145 tons, Truck-mounted Telescopic from 35-60 tons, and Telescopic Crawler Cranes from 27.2 to 100 tons.

The total population of our cranes in India is over 200 Nos which includes the machines sold by us directly and also used machines working in the rental segment, which were imported to India from across the globe.

A dedicated and factory trained service team attend to our entire Customer’s service requirements. They train and guide our Customer personnel in doing proper maintenance, Troubleshooting and repairs.

We have all the necessary spares and consumables stocked at our warehouse to address the immediate spares requirements.

A word on your rental business, dealership network, spare parts support mechanism, and initiatives to have a stable vendor base.

A dedicated and factory trained service team attend to our entire Customer’s service requirements. They train and guide our Customer personnel in doing proper maintenance, Troubleshooting and repairs.

ATF 400G-6

We have all the necessary spares and consumables stocked at our warehouse to address the immediate spares requirements.

How do you see Rupee devaluation against major currencies affecting companies like Tadano? What steps are you taking to minimize its effect? Is localization there on your agenda?

The reducing rupee value has big impact in the market; many of the customers who had procured the machines through foreign currency loans are very badly affected.

This volatile condition has put a hold on many of the decision making, which directly impacts the sales of our products. We hope the Rupee to recover in the coming days.

Our ultimate goal is not limited to sales and service but extended to local manufacturing in the future.

Your plans to participate in the CE mega event-Excon 2013 to be held in Bangalore. Products and services and related developments expected to be unveiled by the company? Do you think that this event would pep up CE market?

We are one of the sponsors for the Excon 2013, we shall be displaying our ATF220G-5 All Terrain Cranes of 220 MT capacity & GR800EX an 80MT Rough Terrain crane.

Excon 2013 has given the immense opportunity to the players in the construction Equipment industry to showcase their strength to the prospective customers and also to analyze their competitors’ strength and weakness, I am sure that the show will be great and eagerly looking forward to.

NBMCW November 2013

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SMM: A Classic Rock Breaking Solutions ...

N Satish Kumar
SMM, which was set up in late nineties, in a short span of over a decade has established itself as an undisputed leader in providing unmatched rock breaking solutions. The company is one of the fastest growing Rock Breakers brand in India and currently ranks amongst the top Ten Rock Breaker manufacturers/sellers in the country. Alongside, it also created hundreds of successful entrepreneurs who also shared the growth momentum gainfully in hiring and mining Industry. SMM with operations in Southern States across India offers a range of mining products and services. The group, which has been supplying world-class products including its latest range of Rock Breakers and other accessories and services to the Indian Construction Equipment and mining industries, is all set to add more hi-tech products and to spread its dealership network in every nook and corner of the country, said Mr. N Satish Kumar, Managing Director, SMM.

Rock Breaking Solutions
Elaborating further, he added that initially the group decided to create a new set of ownership as at that time industry neglected small time hirers and contractors. It started Importing Used Excavators and Construction Equipment and sold to these petty players, who were not in a position to buy new machineries but the move was turned out to be a mismatch between the aspiration and ability as their equities were not sufficient to support the financial levels required to buy new equipment. With the help of few banks and NBFCs we were able to elevate their status from the small level to the next level by using the talent of our experience technical team providing services through our well oiled network round-the-clock and this in turn helped them to run their equipment smoothly and trouble-free.There is no looking back since then and the day we acquired a customer base of 1000 plus, we decided to import equipment in our own name, he explained.

Moving ahead Mr. Kumar informed, in fact, we started with Rock Breakers, Quick Couplers, Ripper Tooth and Vibro Rippers and mainly focused on building relationship by providing cost effective solutions to the utter satisfaction of our customers. As a result of which today, the group is in a position that none of its equipment stands idle due to minor or major breakdown. The group is dedicated to deliver excellent quality products at cost-effective prices purely by using quality raw material and cutting edge technology to design and manufacture an array of technologically advanced Hydraulic Rock Breakers machines for Indian conditions. It is due to its Dedicated Service Engineers based out of Branches & Clusters (Residential) and reaching their sites before the time with our service vehicles. We are the first in the industry to offer Round the clock service to customers at sites and always try to fix that in less than 6 hours time.

Rock Breakers
Revealing the company's current strength and future expansion plan he said that as of today, we have set up a 30,000 sqft corporate office in Coimbatore with a spare inventory of over Rs.500 Lacs and state of art workshop facilities and also have offices in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. By March 2014, the company will have a direct Pan India presence through its dealership network. Apart from this, we are also exploring opportunities in South East Asian Countries for selling our equipment and also weighing the option of marketing its products to Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar, Laos & Thailand for RB & other attachments. We are also planning to launch our own Hydraulic Excavator Brand during 2014 as our customer need not shop outside for meeting their requirements. In addition to our focused segment, we have also diversified into various business activities from Road Contracts, Textile Dyeing / Printing, Constructions, Equipment Spare Parts, and so on.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Kumar says, "I see every equipment as my own; I don't like them standing idle without care/support. As a contractor and fleet owner I underwent lot of service issues, fake commitments, and bitter experiences from manufacturers for my equipments. I don't want my customers to go through those Pains. We have sold over 1000 equipment in South India and are accessible round the clock to customers for any escalations. We value customer feedback very seriously and have implemented various changes in our products based on their experiences. I'm very proud to share that 50% of our sales were from our customer references."

NBMCW November 2013

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Greaves Focuses on Delivering Value to ...

R Nandagopal
"Having been in the industry for decades, Greaves has gone through several business cycles and emerged unscathed from these downturns. As such we have the DNA to see through this one also. Simultaneously, we have worked on delivering value to the customer with a more robust support offering. Greaves entered into a marketing arrangement with Japan’s Nikko to sell its hot mix asphalt equipment in India for the usage in road construction projects. This has been a conclusion of our strategy to move up the value chain in road construction," says Mr. R. Nandagopal, Chief Executive Officer-Construction Equipment Business, Greaves in an interview with Maria R.

How do you visualize the business potentials of the Indian construction equipment market for the current fiscal 2013-14?

The current fiscal year has been quite difficult. As we all are aware that there has been a very negative sentiment overall. The fact is that there are few major projects, funding for Infra not being seen as secure, high interest rates etc. have had a very adverse effect on CE during the current year. We have seen a significant drop in the industry numbers from March 2013 levels. Looking forward to H2, we will see some upturn with the country coming out of the Monsoon effect due to incremental activity, but do not anticipate a radical change in either the sentiment or the ground realities. As such we can expect the current fiscal to be subdued and industry to be lower than the last Fiscal.

But the potential for growth in Construction Equipment Industry is very substantive and can be re- kindled with some positive policy measures and incentives. Some of the new policies introduced by the government like the Real estate bill, regulatory mining policies, fast track clearances etc are the right steps to rekindle growth and create a better sentiment although these will not bear fruit immediately. However, the need for infrastructure continues to be a burning platform for India and as such the potential to get back on track for the earlier high growth percentages for CE are still real and possible.

What sort of innovative strategies the company is currently evolving to stave off the toughening competition scenario in the country?

Greaves Concrete Pump
Having been in the industry for decades, Greaves has went through several business cycles and has emerged unscathed from these downturns. As such we have the DNA to see through this one also. We reviewed our strategy and have evolved a two-pronged approach: Increase Market play and Market share. We have been very aggressive in increasing our market play by continuously working on new products and offerings to the customers. You would be aware that we recently launched our S-Valve stationary pumps and have also tied up with new partners for introducing adjacent products. Along with this increase in portfolio which gives us a larger market play in the Domestic market, we are exploring markets abroad and have achieved good success in exports. We have worked very assiduously on strengthening our sales networking including activating our Channel Partners for stock & sale and the combination of more products and stronger sales channel has actually contributed to increasing our market share in the product categories where we are playing despite a downturn in market size.

Simultaneously, we have worked on delivering value to the customer with a more robust support offering. Greaves has a wide network of branches, service points and dealers across India to provide the necessary assistance and supply of spare parts to our customers anytime. We treat our dealers and top customers as partners, as long-term sustainable relationship is most important during tough times. In our industry, referral and word of mouth makes a huge impact on the brand and keeping the customer happy has been our effort.

In its quest to expand further into area of the construction segment, Greaves Cotton has recently launched three models of Greaves S-Valve stationary concrete pump. Please tell us the technical attributes of the products and the response it is getting from the market.

The changing Indian market scenario is the shift from flat gate valve to the S- valve concrete pumps. Keeping this in mind, we have launched three S-valve concrete pumps – GCP 5500, GCP 6500, and GCP 8500 of increasing capacities. The GCP 5500 model is our compact and portable model, powered by KOEL engine it delivers a maximum output of 51 m3. The GCP 8500 model is our high capacity pump powered by CAT engine delivering a maximum output of 82 m3 of concrete and withstanding maximum concrete pressure of 105 bar. These variants were launched after conducting extensive market research, trends in the concrete industry and customer requirements in India. We have modified our pumps with larger hopper capacity, centralized auto lubrication systems, wear resistant Tungsten Carbide plates for the S-valve which gives Greaves a noticeable edge over our competitor products.

The first set of customers who have purchased GCP 5500 were satisfied with its pumping efficiency and no complaints have been brought to notice so far. As the market picks up in the coming fiscal year, we expect more demand for these pumps given the value proposition of these products.

With increasing fleet size, managing of assets has become difficult for equipment owners. How are manufacturers helping them to keep equipment fit for optimum utilization?

In order to support the customer in more effectively managing his fleet and also to get optimal output from his machines, the equipment suppliers have been resorting to more technology intensive products with greater degree of automation, reduced cycle times, higher durability of components to reduce replacement costs, and packaging the products with guaranteed availability, assured cost per hour, and a slew of other initiatives to get the best out of the equipment. Take for example, our Automated batching plants; equipped with PLC based control systems, sophisticated software, superior accuracy and safety features offer not only tightly controlled uniform concrete quality but also eradicated human errors. Similarly, all our machines are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, carefully designed lubrication joints ensuring minimal friction giving optimum performance with minimum maintenance. The focus has been to provide easier maintainability, more automation and better componentry along with fleet management system which help the customer in both operation and maintenance.

Greaves entered into a marketing arrangement with Japan’s Nikko to sell its hot mix asphalt equipment in India for the usage in road construction projects. A brief on this tie-up and what led the two entities to join hands and came up together?

We have been a significant player in the compaction segment of road construction for a long time now. It was only a logical extension for us to look at Hot Mix Plants to take us closer to being a solution provider in road construction. This has been a conclusion of our strategy to move up the value chain in road construction.

Greaves Soil Compator
Nikko Co Ltd is a Japan based company established in the year 1919 and its main products are Asphalt plants, Batching plants, and Recycling plants. They have a very large presence in Japan and are a major player in China. India is indeed a major market wherein Nikko was very keen to enter into and hose Greaves as its Indian partner looking at the pedigree that Greaves has in Road Construction. They have set up branches in Taiwan, Germany, and China. The partnership provides for Nikko Plants to be sold and supported by Greaves in for the Indian market and will also extend to certain overseas markets. In our joint association with Nikko, we sell the entire range of Hot mix plants of varying capacities: 120 TPH, 160 TPH, 180 TPH, 200 TPH, and 240 TPH. The industry trend is moving towards the higher tonnage plants showing an increase in market size of these plants. This business tie-up is a win-win for both parties allowing us to venture into the market space of Hot mix plants which has few competitors in India and allowing Nikko to enter into Indian Market.

Trained operators & technicians and preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance. Please brief us on your services.

Training and skill development of operators & technicians are vital for the optimal performance of any equipment. All of our service manpower and dealer service engineers undergo Classroom trainings as well as on site training by our experienced service professional. We have our full fledged training centre in our factory to cater the training requirements. They are trained on Problem identification, root cause analysis and problem solving skills. Knowledge transfer and skill improvement training programs are conducted regularly at regional level and pan India level to hone their skills.

Operators are factory trained as well as trained at site under the guidance of GCL Service persons. The customers can nominate their operators & technicians for such training programs and they will be trained, tested and certified by GCL. This additional supporrt increases their employability. They are thoroughly educated about the operation & maintenance of machines, Safety procedures, occupational hazards and methods to minimize it.

Service camps and on spot trainings are done at periodic intervals. This provides the opportunity to the customers to interact with GCL after market team to streamline their maintenance activities to increase the machine uptime with lesser cost and efforts. Also it provides us the opportunity to understand the field conditions and service requirements directly. Eventually, we also learn from the customer and it helps to improve our products & services.

The preventive and periodical maintenance plays a key role in reducing the machine downtime and reduces the chances of breakdown maintenances. This will result into the effective utilization of machine, which in turn will increase the profitability of the project or business.

We offer AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract), OMC (Operation and Maintenance Contract) depending upon the customer needs and requirements after carefully studying their projects and applications. We draft these agreements after analyzing the customer requirement of output and machine utilization. This is a win-win solution for both GCL & our customers as the customer need not to invest in additional manpower or spares inventory. Moreover, he has to pay only on the output/consumption basis, subject to some minimum fixed cost. We also offer maintenance kits for the various sub systems of our machines.

In case of our batching plants, we offer turn key solutions right from the unloading of machine at site to the bringing out of first concrete. Erection and Commissioning of batching plants are also done by us as an option as some of our customers, especially the builder segment wants to de risk themselves from their non-core activities. In case of our road equipment, we also offer comprehensive package solutions where the customer is having more numbers and type of greaves equipment in a particular project.

The equipment market has reached at such a critical point where key competitive differentiator would be after market and innovations; how are you looking on this aspect?

Aftermarket is the differentiating factor for equipment buying decision and hence in order to improve focus on Aftermarket and enhance the service level we have made a separate business vertical as Aftermarket. Today, we are the only construction equipment company in India having a separate vertical for Aftermarket solutions. This is absolutely necessary in today’s scenario as this helps to focus on the wide market available. Of course this is made possible because of our group’s multi-functionality. Exhaustive analysis and mapping is done to identify the machine population and identify the support requirements. In fact, we are also utilizing latest CRM tools and External consultants to shape our aftermarket functions.

We have a separate business plan along with our dealers to support all our equipment all across India. As a strategic initiative we are working towards enhancing Greaves AM capability as well as Dealer capability. We are also working on field support structure for faster response and restoration. In addition to that, we offer various value- added services to customers and tailor – made solutions on site support structure.

Innovation is not just the key to success for any business but an essential component in survival of the company in today’s market conditions. At Greaves, we strive to bring in innovation as a culture and incorporate it in product development, cost control, quality maintenance, marketing network etc. Being a 150- year old company, we have learnt a lot from history, market dynamics and the ever changing customer needs. The efforts have not only been to keep up but also to outrun the market trend. Forecasting the needs of the Indian customer is not too difficult as the changes in foreign countries catch up slowly but surely in our country overtime. Take for example, the high capacity Boom pumps earlier used extensively in highrise projects abroad is now sought after by domestic players for big infrastructure projects such as airports, ports, bridges to expedite their project execution.

With increasing competition from muti-national and local players, the innovation is required for smarter ways of reaching the customers and retaining them for longer time.

What are your plans to participate in Excon 2013, and what would be your focus on showcasing Greaves at the show?

Excon is an excellent forum for exhibitors to reach out to a large and diverse audience be it suppliers, builders, manufacturers, contractors etc. making the desired impact immediately. To reach out to this range of audience in a short span of time and communicate to them makes a huge difference in brand building.

Since the last Excon in 2011, we have renewed our branding strategy, the range of equipment offered, dealer network and service and spare parts availability. Our products are branded as Greaves Infra and promotion of the Greaves Infra brand will be one of our major focus this Excon and our new branding will be an eye catcher to all customers visiting our stall.

We will displaying our entire range of products in Road and Concrete with a special focus on our new equipment – the S-valve concrete pumps, low capacity batching plants and Greaves Boom Pumps for which we have rented a larger space than last time. We will launch Greaves first Boom Pump at Excon GBP 3709 Z which can pump concrete upto 37 meters high.

In the face of tough market conditions, it becomes all the more imperative for the businesses to show greater visibility, strong fundamentals and continuation of businesses making this platform ideal for Greaves to nurture the trust and confidence of its customers.

NBMCW November 2013

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Zoomlion Strategy: To Understand Local ...

Tao Siyang
In its quest to expand its business network across the globe, Zoomlion has fast paced the entire process by leveraging its global R&D platform, streamlining its manufacturing and marketing resources to offer best pricing and configuration solutions to its customers worldwide. In view of this, the company is investing heavily to augment the capacities of its local manufacturing facilities and also adding to sourcing, logistics, warehousing, information system, training and financial offerings to cater to the capacity enhancement. “India is one of our most important strategic markets with huge business potential and to make the most of the emerging opportunities, we are adequately expanding our product line by manufacturing more products locally. In this context, we are currently studying the exact requirements of local market and its customers and it will take a while to decide on the quantum of investment in the country. We work closely with our Indian partners and during Excon we will jointly participate,” says Mr. Tao Siyang, Deputy GM, Zoomlion in an interview with S.A Faridi.

It is now almost a year since you have forged a joint-venture with Electromech for tower cranes and with Universal for concrete pumps. How are these ventures firming up? Are you looking to manufacture some of the other products under same umbrella?

Yes, we have made a substantial progress to ensure smooth and normal operations of our joint ventures in India. Apart from setting up legal entity adhering to the local legal norms, accounting and taxation regulation, we have also created a local working team comprising professionals drawn both from India and China. More importantly, we are practicing to make it more local market-oriented that perhaps was the most important reasons to set up local joint ventures. It will take care of pricing pattern, configuration and service decisions before the cranes are actually manufactured in India. Taking tower crane as an example, after years of market study of local customers, our competitors and market potential, we are configuring to our potential customers based upon the fundamental functional requirement, as well as the local service solutions in terms of training and spare parts support with the right sourcing solution both from Indian market and our Chinese Manufacturing Headquarters. Our overall pricing will be competitive, especially on the basis of investment in our local manufacturing and assembling facilities, local sales and service team set up, local IT infrastructure implementation and on putting in place allied facilities.

Zoomlion is fast pacing its globalization process by emphasizing on leveraging its global R&D platform, manufacturing and marketing resources to offer best pricing and configuration solutions to its global and local customers. We are also investing heavily to augment the capacities of our local facilities in terms of sourcing, logistics, warehousing, information system, training, and financial offerings. We will not only have our local employees and business infrastructure set up, but also more crucially is to operate as a local company that has local economic, social and corporate responsibilities. India is one of our most important strategic markets and we perceive huge business potential here. Yes, we will have more measures to make more products manufactured in India only after we are able to address the exact requirement of the local market and its customers.

During the on-going slowdown in infrastructure sector; what has been the business performance of Zoomlion in the last one year?

You’re right. We are experiencing the slowdown in the infrastructure sector not just locally but also on the global platform. Certain customers and partners also adjust to the prevailing situation and make certain changes on orders previously planned. But the charm of global market is the balance of business requirement and demand scenario. Along with the general slowdown, we also experience the emerging market sectors in South America, Russia and South East Asia and new infrastructure projects in developing countries.

We still secured an increase numbers of sales orders in the first half of 2013 as compared with the corresponding period last year. Apart from the new market and projects identified, it also largely attributes to improvement of understanding of local markets and customers, improvement of technical innovation and product quality and also improvement in management efficiency to keep a pace with global and local competitors.

How has the fall of Rupee impacted Zoomlion India business operations? What enabling steps are being taken to minimize the impact?

Frankly speaking, we do suffer from negative impact due to the devaluation of Rupee. Our products have become less competitive to local competitors. At the same time, it is the fairly similar market situation to majority of players in construction machinery industry. Again, our way out is still try to make ourselves a local player in sales, service and on-site support, with a more powerful global players in R&D, sourcing, manufacturing and logistics solutions. As part of our aggressive business expansion strategy in India, we are speeding up the progress of local R&D, manufacturing and service facilities set up with our current joint venture partners in India to make our solutions competitive. Understanding local market, customer request, and make decision and investment matching local requirements. It is our strategy in India, regardless the devaluation or the appreciation of Rupee.

What kind of growth do you expect for your company in next two-three years in India and innovative strategies to stave off toughening competition scenario?

India is a great country with profound cultural impact upon human evolution history. Taking into account the sound legislation, accounting and financial system in place, second largest but still increasing population, lower urbanization rate and relatively poor infrastructure in both cities and rural areas, we expect the dramatic increase of business opportunities in India. Huge demand in residential housing, highrise buildings, railway, bridges, power stations and agricultural infrastructure to name a few hold huge business opportunities for equipment making players.

India will welcome its new government after the election in 2014. We are very optimistic and expect that economic development plans should be released by the respective parties separately before elections. More infrastructure projects, like the current two Corridor Projects between Delhi and Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta, will be soon put on to the infrastructure building agenda.

Zoomlion  Crawlr Crane
Zoomlion has comprehensive project and product experience of infrastructure building in China and elsewhere of the world. We are more than willing to share our experience with Indian partners and customers aiming to improve the infrastructure facilities in urban and rural areas. We have already made the planning for the next three years and certain efforts already in place though the current market demand and sales orders are not satisfactory. In Chinese, we have a saying, which goes like, ‘Sharpening your axe will not delay your job of cutting wood’. We are more than happy to be a part of the progress of improving local infrastructure in India that by the end of the day will improve the living standard of Indian masses.

What are your company’s important technical services including system to promote effective customization and back-to-back customer support?

To offer a better customer support, in the first place we need to have the competitive, efficient and scalable technical platform that protects both quality and flexibility. Jost platform and standard for tower cranes and carbon fiber technology for concrete machinery are the type of our technical platform. It adds to our competitive edge in different market where we have manufacturing and assembly facilities. Being the birth place of Chinese construction machinery technology for decades and our over 60% CAGR business expansion practices in China and world market for the past two decades, Zoomlion is capable to lead and innovate the standard in the market we are more familiar than our nearest competitors.

Apart from the well defined R&D and technical strategy, choosing the right partner is also a crucial way to fulfill that. For example, partnership with ElctroMech and Universal will make it possible that our strategy and technical innovation is to be accomplished via our local technical professional employment, joint product features and performance study, technical documents formulation, business and cost structure optimization, sourcing solutions fix and service delivery system and process design, etc. We adopt a holistic approach to any customization solutions.

Trained operators & technicians and preventive & periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance. Please brief us on your services.

Well we have our dedicated service team in India based in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Calcutta. They also travel a lot within the region to offer warranty services, preventive maintenance services, on-site technical support and certain level of training services. Regular training program is arranged on customer side, our training center in Delhi and Mumbai, and our training center in China Headquarter, according to different service level requirement. It covers technical lectures, service operation instructions, interactive discussion, and operation on machinery simulators, etc.

Zoomlion Cranes

We do consider our service offerings being one of the edges over our competitors. Another effort crucially important is the timely supply of service parts, along with the regular training for service personnel of customers/partners. Other than direct transport from China Headquarter, we have a regional warehouse in Mumbai to offer service parts supply to customers in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Due to our positive and optimistic perception of Indian market, we are currently enlarging our administrative, warehousing, and technical training facilities in India. You are more than welcome to our visit stall.

The equipment market has reached at such a critical point where key competitive differentiator would be after market and innovations. How are you looking on this aspect?

Again, we differentiate ourselves from competitors via our local penetration strategy. That is to taking into account local market and customer first, before coming up with our local pricing, configuration and service offerings. We we’ll keep achieving more regarding this by leveraging the R&D, manufacturing and marketing resources from business units, and more investment with our partners in local market like India in local facilities and platform enhancement, in terms of logistics, financial services, warehousing, trainings, and information structure.

Is Zoomlion participating in Excon 2013? What are company’s plans about showcasing new products and services and business deals at this mega show?

Zoomlion works closely with its Indian partners and we are jointly participating in Excon 2013. It is one of our measures for being local. Our main message this year is our determination of offering local products and service solutions to local customers, esp. for the crane business. We are currently under business negotiation for major infrastructure projects with one of the partners. Due to confidentiality purpose, sorry I cannot elaborate more on the issue. Welcome to Zoomlion stand to get more information about the company and its future plans.

NBMCW November 2013

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Case - A Strong Market Leader in Backho...

Anil Bhatia
“Case is a strong market leader in Backhoe Loader and Vibratory Compactor segment and continuously upgrading its products according to the market expectation to hold its leadership position. We have launched 752 tandem compactors in February 2013. Besides this, we also have a strong base of other products such as wheel loader and motor grader. Currently, we have pan India leader network with over 200 outlets and a rich history of innovation. So we are confident of maintaining and strengthening our position. With all this offerings, we can satisfy most of our construction equipment needs and would look forward to add more products in our range to become a one-stop shop for our customer,” says Mr. Anil Bhatia, Director Sales and Marketing, Case New Holland Construction Equipment India Pvt Ltd (Case India) in an interview with S. A. Faridi.

Waking up from its policy paralysis phase, the government has cleared/announced a number of new infrastructure projects and taken necessary steps to fast track their implementation as well. How do you link it with the revival of the CE industry?

The govt has announced many new projects and made a few policy changes, it will take time for the allocated funds to be sanctioned and reach the executers. The interest rates continue to be high and there is a reduced flow of money. If we think the short-term perspective it is still not very good. The long-term perspective is positive looking at growth of Indian economy.

How do you see Rupee devaluation against major currencies affecting CE industry?

Due to depreciation of rupee, delay project clearances, and land acquisition procedures, the construction equip- ment industry is getting affected. The rupee depreciation would make the imports costlier, impacting the production cost of the manufacturers. The rural markets will show more growth potential as soon as the project will kick start. Rural market has more potential of development so we expect the more projects to come up.

All clouds have silver linings and so has the fall of rupee. Don’t you think that depreciation of rupee could initiate big measures to reduce dependence on import by way of enhancing localization, optimizing of designs, developing strong vendor base and increasing exports. Of all these, where would Case put its sharp focus?

We already have a strong local vendor base with most of the quality components available in India. Case in India manufactures products that can compete with best in the world. We have our focus on export as well. We are strongly moving towards developing models which are fuel efficient, provides better operators comfort which you will see in the coming months.

Entry of many big brands in the backhoe business in the last 2-3 years coupled with negative growth has put a question mark on its market potential. Where do you see the market in the next two three years? How confident Case is of maintaining its second position in BL market as its market recovers?

Case is a strong market leader in Backhoe. It also has a strong products base. Pan India leader network with more than 200 outlets and a rich history of innovation. So we are confident of maintaining and strengthening our position.

The overall demand has been slow. Currently, the total industry volume of backhoes loader is down. The loader backhoe market is 45% of total construction equipment industry i.e., still pretty high. We expect the market to stay strong for 2-3 years.

A few months ago Case launched its wheel loaders and motor graders. What has been the market response so far? Please also brief us about their fuel efficiency, electronic control features and monitoring systems.

Case’s Motor graders and wheel loaders are for special category. It is the market which is still in the development stage in India. This product has been launched keeping in mind the potential of this market and moving Case becoming full liner in India.

Case has a strong presence in Vibratory Compactor segment. How do you propose to consolidate this position through offering new versions and remain a market leader in this segment?

Case is a strong market leader in this segment and continuously upgrading its products according to the market expectation to hold its leadership position. We have already launched 752 tandem compactors in February 2013. The Vibratory Compactors are fitted with BS III emission norm engines. The 9-ton Case 752 vibratory compactor with water cooled engine, which results in a substantial temperature reduction, will benefit customers with the engine’s longer life and lower fuel consumption. The machine layout with the new engine also provides better access to components for servicing, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. The product has got great response in the market and you can expect the further improvement s in the coming months.

Case Loader

The equipment market has reached at such a critical point where key competitive differentiator would be aftermarket and innovations. How are you looking on this aspect?

After market service is the key to customer hearts/success in this industry. We have a strong network and ever ready service support looked to expand our market and customer base. For this, we have introduced many new ideas like mobile service vans, ERP enable part support which results in low downtime of the machine.

Don’t you think that present limited products range at the command of Case is a constraint on its growth in the CE market place and there is a need to diversify its product offerings for which the Case is working on a plan too? What is the time frame and by when the company is expected to expand its product offerings to become a full-liner in construction equipment market?

Case Compactor
Case is a market leader and its compactors with all its variance are available. We have already launched skid steer in July 2012, Motor graders and wheel loaders in February 2013. So we have introduced 3 new product lines in a span of about 1 year. With all this offerings we can satisfy most of our construction equipment needs and would look forward to add more products in our range to become a one stop-shop for our customers.

Trained operators & technicians and preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance. Please brief us on your services.

Operators and service engineers are solely responsible for the machines health after the equipment is purchased. So it’s absolutely necessary for them to be trained on all features of the machine along with the correct procedures for operations and maintenance to improve the life of the machine and avoid failure. We have a dedicated training centre at our factory at Pithampur along with many on- set training program at customer site to keep them continuously updated about our machine.

NBMCW November 2013

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"Continued Emphasis on Economising...

Muralidharan
Mr. Muralidharan, President, Volvo CE India has chalked out a multi pronged strategy to build up its presence in the Indian construction equipment industry both for the mid and the long-term, given the sound demand fundamentals of the construction sector. He spoke to P. P. Basistha on the company’s approach towards tackling present volatile demand situation Excerpts:

Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) India has been growing in difficult and comfortable times. In the present spell of slowdown, how has the company been able to handle the present pessimism within and outside the company and remained stable to contribute to the global Volvo’s business targets?

We have adopted a multipronged business strategy to build up our presence and stability in the important Indian market with strong existing demand fundamentals in infrastructure sector. Our most vital initial strategy to build up presence has been our large scale capital expenditure at our Indian facility in 2012. To gain better recognition in the Indian construction equipment market, we have continued with our thrust to economize total cost of ownership, which has been our core value behind product placement. Volvo CE has continued to introduce newer products such as soil compactors and tyre rollers with better fuel efficiency for the Indian market. Introduction of D-series excavators with five–seven percent fuel efficiency has also been one of our major initiatives for the Indian market towards retention of our presence. Response for the new D-series excavators along with our other medium and heavier products have been quite positive that has allowed us to stabilize our position among top three excavators manufacturers, eventually allowing Volvo CE contribute towards its global business targets.

To make the products cost competitive, we have been able to attain 10% indigenization. Further localization will be carried in phases.

From time to time, the government has been tweaking its policies to fast track the road construction business. Why have such policies failed to dispel gloom pervading in road sector, where lies the business fortune of construction equipment industry?

It is an irony that despite having well formulated road project development models through public private partnership or viability gap funding, road projects have not taken up to the targeted desired levels of the government. This is despite the fact that the government has been looking at issues to check exodus of project developers from the sector in the recent past. The causes are not hard to decipher. Foremost, there has been dearth of clarity in business models in PPP projects, primarily on the terms of revenue sharing, that should allow the contractors get proper returns. Appropriate revenue sharing models has brought some good private participation in developing and operating airport projects in a sustained manner in the country. Second, policies have been short in addressing issues of tardy land acquisition process and environmental clearances that have continued to plague the road construction sector. This is despite the fact that National Highway Authority of India has been announcing slew of projects from time to time. The issues need to be addressed on right earnest to fast track road construction business.

Appropriate project management is also a vital issue for enhancing the pace of road construction in India. What has been Volvo CE’s initiative towards improvisation of the same?

Project management is absolutely essential for targeted completion of the road projects as per their schedule set and also for ensuring proper quality of roads. India has made good progress on both the fronts, ever since mechanization of construction gaining grounds. However, there lies scope for optimization of efforts at par with western countries. On part of Volvo, for appropriate project management, we have our training programme ‘ Raasta’. The programme imparts training to site engineers teaching them vitals of project design and better project management. We have been carrying the training in collaboration with couple of state highway authorities. Besides, we have formed an affiliation with Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, for imparting valuable information on bridge and road project construction. The information is being disseminated by lecturers with prolonged global exposure in road projects. I will like to explain that there are wide benefits of proper project management as it will enable the contractor derive the benefits of an advanced machines since issues of synchronization in availability of materials viz timely availability of asphalt or aggregates are being addressed in the same.

How has devaluation of rupee affected Volvo’s business in India. What are the measures taken to neutralize the impact of currency devaluation?

As like other original equipment manufacturers, importing good volumes of their components, we have also been impacted by currency devaluation. However, we have opted to go for indigenization of our products. Localization of critical components of our D-series excavators has been a major initiative in this direction. Taking the initiative further, we are planning to localize components going into our road construction equipment being sold in India. As a concurrent measure to offset the weakening of local currency, we have also taken up exporting excavators and road construction equipment to Middle East and African countries. This has allowed us to hedge the volatility of the local market to a certain extent.

However, as a long-term measure, to build up our business, we are looking towards making our products better oriented for Indian work site applications by carrying out modifications in the buckets of the excavators, attachments of the wheel loaders, and in the piping kit of the hydraulic rock breakers, making them more adaptable to work in various quarrying areas.

But what about cost reduction of the products, so as to make them more attractive for Indian buyers, precisely through your telematic control system ‘Care Track’ ?

Our products deliver on high productivity while minimizing cost of operation throughout their lifecycle. Based on our knowledge on product we will look to carry out engineering improvements so as to reduce total operating costs in spite of the higher initial buying expenditure.

Excavator

To supplement further towards enhanced product uptime, Volvo has its own telematic control system ‘CareTrack’. It has delivered immense benefits to end users of the products in terms of operation and productivity. It monitors the utilization pattern of the equipment on job site, taking the cue of which the operator can carry out improvisation in operation and altogether productivity. There are numerous operational bottlenecks at the construction job sites, precisely backward and frontward integration for removal of overburden through timely deployment of the tipper trucks at sites or availability of boulders for aggregates preparation. Care Track tracks the gaps, which can be evaluated for improvisation in productivity and thereby reducing operational cost of the equipment. The other benefits offered by Care Track is that it can detect the fault of the equipment and pass on the information to the dealers, which will allow the dealer to plan the maintenance services accordingly enabling the dealer ensure optimum products and timely parts support.

What is Volvo’s plan to participate in the 7th edition of Excon 2013. How will your participation in the mega construction equipment event help the company to promote your products and services and add fresh business dimensions to the company?

We would be showcasing our entire range of advanced products including SDLG wheel loaders. The participation will indeed add brand value to the company. There are also certain plans to unveil newer products all which expected to add fresh business dimensions to the company.

NBMCW November 2013

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Atlas Copco Focuses on Products Innovat...

Nitin Lall
“Atlas Copco strongly believes in strategically timed innovations based on genuine market needs/demand. In today’s high pressure competitive environment coupled with the current economic slowdown, the company continues to innovate for sustainable productivity. We have introduced new products in the market, especially for the demolition industry and are also focusing at localisation of a select few products which will give us the desired growth, both in short & long-term. We hope to double revenues in the next 3 years through continuous product innovations, new product launches and empowering customers through value additions and stronger partnerships,” says Mr. Nitin Lall, G.M, Atlas Copco Construction Technique in an Interview with S. A. Faridi.

At Atlas Copco end, what are the measures initiated by it in the present slowdown spell to tweak its business models, business areas, exploring new growth avenues to dispel the prevailing pessimism in and around their businesses?

In today’s high pressure competitive environment coupled with the current economic slowdown, Atlas Copco continues to innovate for sustainable productivity.

Generator
Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area which provides construction and demolition tools, portable compressors, pumps and generators, lighting towers, and compaction and paving equipment, is highly customer focused, product driven and committed to delivering high quality solutions at all times. To tide away the present economic downtrend, we have been aiming at improving our territory coverage to reach new markets. We have also introduced new products in the market, especially for the demolition industry and lastly, we are focusing at localisation of a select few products which will give us the desired growth, both short & long term.

Recently, government has cleared/announced a number of new infrastructure projects and taken necessary steps to fast track their implementation as well. How do you link it with the revival of the CE industry in spite of the Parliamentary election due early next year?

There have been various projects which have been declared in the last 12 months. However, we see there is a huge time lag between projects getting announced & actually started getting executed. I feel this speed will continue to be very similar till the elections are done & the new government is in place. However, the Metro Rail Projects, the Freight corridor, both east and west will give a boost to the CE industry as the financial closure for them has already been announced.

Financing to small and medium contractors has become a big issue as banks and financial institutions have become very selective.How you are helping genuine buyers in getting finance?

Atlas Copco Construction Technique has a strategic tie-up with one of the leading financers in the industry. We are also launching various regional schemes which are designed in such a way that the end customer benefits via credit days or similar as long as the payments are secured.

The equipment market has reached at that critical point where key competitive differentiator would be after market and innovations; how you are looking on this aspect?

As mentioned earlier, Atlas Copco Construction Technique strongly believes in strategically timed innovations based on genuine market needs/demand. This year, we have extended our reach in at least 6 different states of India, via direct & dealer participation.

Atlas Soil Compactor
You are absolutely right, after market is going to be one of the key differentiators. Last year, Atlas Copco created a dedicated Business Line focused wholly on After Market. Almost 50% of our work force is focused at post sales activities. We are offering tailor made solutions, entering into long term service agreements, offering high quality spare parts at India Centric prices, extended warranty programs, toll free number to register customer queries/complaints, regular equipment health checkup service camps etc, to enable Atlas Copco Construction Technique to enhance its offering to the end customer.

Trained operators & technician and preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance.Please brief us on your services.

Atlas Copco Construction Technique Service has a strong team of highly skilled and trained service technicians. These technicians play a key role in preventive maintenance as well as resolving equipment breakdowns. The Construction Technique service team successfully conducts over 30 service camps every year where free inspection of equipment is done and parts are offered at special discounted rates. Service is a core strength of the Atlas Copco Construction Technique business and is a key contributor in creating customer delight.

What kind of growth do you expect in next two-three years for your company and innovative strategies to stave off toughening competition scenario?


Atlas Copco Construction Technique is a growing business area in the Atlas Copco India group. We hope to double revenues in the next 3 years through continuous product innovations, new product launches and empowering customers through value additions and stronger partnerships. We are also ably supported with our own competent sales force coupled with our 50+ strong distributors and growing each year.

How are you planning to participate in the forthcoming CE industry mega event Excon to be held in November this year at Bangalore? What would be the focus of your projection in this mega show?

We are participating as an “Associate Sponsor” in Excon 2013. We will be showcasing key products from our Construction Technique Business Area such as Hydraulic Attachments, Portable Compressors, Road Equipment, Lighting Towers and products for Light compaction & concrete. Excon 2013 will also be a platform to showcase our new products in the demolition equipment segment and new Road Equipment from our Dynapac range.

Our focus will be to heighten the customer experience in a unique and impactful manner. The live demos will result in innovative customer interactions which will contribute towards increasing the flow of prospects/customers.

Atlas Hydraulic Breaker
Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had 39800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90.5 (BEUR 10.5). Learn more at www.atlascopco.com.

Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area provides construction and demolition tools, portable compressors, pumps and generators, lighting towers, and compaction and paving equipment. It offers service through a global network. Construction Technique innovates for sustainable productivity in infrastructure, civil works and road construction projects. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, China and Brazil.

Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It provides hydraulic, pneumatic and petrol-driven breakers and drills and of hydraulic breakers and silent demolition tools attached to carrier units. The products are marketed under the brand name Atlas Copco. The equipment is fabricated in Sweden, Germany, India, Bulgaria, China and South Africa and sold via a worldwide operating sales and service organization.

NBMCW November 2013

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"At Sandvik, our Focus is on Long-...

Raghavan Ramaswamy
"Sandvik's strategy is to focus on the construction and mining sectors as these areas have been identified as sources of major potential growth, which will make significant contribution to the company's top line. Our new manufacturing facility, which will come up in Chakan, Pune, is expected to be up and run by 2016. Although due to global slowdown,there is a pressure on the company to retain its market share in order to maintain momentum which is a tough challenge but as a world-leading company we are geared up to overcome this too. At Sandvik, our focus continues to remain on long-term growth and profitability," says Mr. Raghavan Ramaswamy, Vice President, Global Markets, Sandvik Construction in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

At Sandvik's end, what are the measures initiated by it in the present slowdown spell to tweak its business models, business areas, exploring new growth avenues to dispel the prevailing pessimism in and around their businesses?

Due to the global slowdown and the government's instability, the positive signs from the first two quarters unfortunately did not continue as was anticipated. Demand remains in some segments, but has weakened further in some other as a result of reduced investment activity across the industry. This has increased the pressure to capture market shares in order to maintain momentum even in weaker business climate. At Sandvik, our focus continues to remain on long-term growth and profitability. This is a tough challenge but as a world-leading company, we are geared up to overcome this too.

In its attempt to target the focused area of business, Sandvik Asia, has decided to manufacture India-specific construction equipment as part of its strategy to focus on the construction and mining sector. How is the progress in this regard so far? When the manufacturing unit is expected to go on stream?

Sandvik in India has recently announced the acquisition of 50 acres of land located at Chakan, near Pune (India). This facility has been acquired for the purpose of manufacturing equipment as part of Sandvik's strategy to focus on the construction and mining sectors. These areas have been identified as sources of major potential growth, which will make significant contribution to the company's top line and the facility is expected to be up and running by 2016.

Financing small and medium contractors is becoming difficult these days as the banks as well as the financing companies have become very selective in their financing approach. How can financing to the genuine buyers be eased and ensured?

It is true that financing small and medium contractors is a challenge as institutions have become very selective. In order to ease financing to genuine buyers, it is important to include certain features in the deal that will attract buyers. For example, good discounts or subvention, introducing loss pool or buy back option in the deal. Having said this, financiers could in turn work toward providing certain riders like Guarantee or Warranty Terms, which can have an impact on positive decision making. Promotional Schemes can also be floated for limited period with financers and credit policies can be introduced to customers who are interested.

Tata Hitachi Excavator

Unorganized nature of aggregate industry is a big concern for organized manufacturers as trained operators and technicians with preventive and periodical maintenance play a big role in equipment performance. Please brief us on your services.

At Sandvik, our equipment are engineered for maximum productivity. We offer advanced, rational solutions in an integrated package, able to meet the changing needs of the industry for many years to come. Some of our customers only want sound technical advice. At others, they require concrete technical support, delivered swiftly, competently and cost-effectively. Whatever their needs, we at Sandvik are here to help them. Sandvik has a wealth of experience and teams of experts spanning the globe to help our customers solve equipment-related challenges.

Operating cost plays a big role while buying a machine. Please tell us about fuel/energy efficiency of your machines. Also brief us on the USP of the other inbuilt features of products like reduce vibration & noise or dual power system etc.?

Our (Sandvik's) range of equipment has been developed to take advantage of the industry's trends towards fully autonomous operation. Our equipment (drill, crushers, breakers) have been developed to meet the ever changing industry needs, as well as future requirements as the industry moves towards automated and ultimately, fully autonomous operations. For example, our drilling equipment offer efficiency and precision in drilling, increased safety and comfort in its operating interface, while reducing emission levels and environmental impact. All this clubbed with other features and technology that reduce engine load, save fuel and reduce carbon emissions - as well as ensuring longer service intervals and service life, increased performance and productivity, higher safety and truly 'green' features unmatched by other drill manufacturers. As for crushing and screening, Sandvik can proudly boast that we have some of the most eco-friendly machines to offer and our carbon footprints are the lowest in the crushing and screening industry compared to our peers. Continuous efforts in R&D are being made to offer solution that can set our benchmark even higher in the industry.

30992-Sandvik Crusher

A word about Sandvik 24x7 services programme.

In our continued effort of going that extra mile for our customers, and in order to improve upon our existing aftermarket services, a 24x7 service programme was launched recently that includes customized service offering for customers. This new aftermarket service includes customized offering for customers, as well as the "Sandvik Solitaire Club" providing customers with priority service based on two types of account - Premium or Classique - dependent on their specific requirements and the orientation of their business.This new initiative in aftermarket will provide a strong impetus to the Construction business within India. The initiative will be a game changer which will help us to achieve a paradigm shift in growth in the years to come.

NBMCW November 2013

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Caterpillar® - Active in India on All ...

Ajay Shankar
"Caterpillar® continues to be active in India on a number of fronts. The country represents a tremendous opportunity for Caterpillar, with increasing focus on infrastructure investment and on urgent need for efficiency and higher productivity. Excon is a great stage to display our world-class machines along with many road construction and utility equipment. Also on display will be customers support offerings that Caterpillar and our dealers (GMMCO & TIPL) can deliver. We will be showcasing our product support solutions, rental & used equipment solutions, and Cat Connected Worksite offerings apart from a Cat merchandise stall," informs Mr. Ajay Shankar, Country Head, Caterpillar in an interview with S. K. Khanna.

In the present slowdown spell in India, CE companies are under great pressure; how is Caterpillar with its strong fundamental meeting the challenge through its innovative managerial, technical, and financial measures?

India represents a tremendous opportunity for Caterpillar, with increasing focus on infrastructure investment and an urgent need for efficiency and higher productivity. Some projects may be slowed or delayed due to the current economic circumstances, but our long-term commitment to serving our customers and growing our business is strong. Caterpillar is investing in the Asia Pacific Region, with offices and factories located in over 10 Asia Pacific countries including the Company's regional headquarters in Singapore. Our employees and suppliers have done a great job taking care of our customers, but we have to be prepared for recovery in the developed world beyond 2013-14 and continuing growth in emerging markets. Caterpillar focuses on partnering with the customer, through dealers, to help them understand the options available, and the capability of the machines. What we offer are integrated solutions, right from the kind of purchase that is possible [outright buy, finance option or rental] to the support services needed. Furthermore, technology additions such as machine control and guidance system has clearly demonstrated greater productivity and increased the efficiency of the customer.

Please take us through Caterpillar products development activities, ramping up of operations across the product lines and new products populated in the Indian market during the last 1-2 years.

Caterpillar continues to be active in India on a number of fronts. Some of the significant developments over the past two years includes Caterpillar investing in a $62 million expansion in 2011 of its existing off-highway truck manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Chennai. At Excon [Nov 2011], Caterpillar launched the 770G and 772G off-highway trucks which were manufactured at Thiruvallur and are targeted at the Quarry and Mining segments across India. Perkins is scheduled to start manufacturing its 4000 Series engines in Aurangabad, India, following Caterpillar decision to invest $150m in a new plant. In April 2012, Caterpillar launched the company's new backhoe loader manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur, Chennai. Most recently we launched the Cat 320 D2 which is an upgraded version of its predecessor 320D.

How is one of Caterpillar's flagship programmes-REMAN progressing? What is the current status of your efforts with various stakeholders and government bodies in identifying a viable plan to scale up remanufacturing activities?

Caterpillar's commitment to sustainable development, and the Company's expertise in manufacturing technololgy and processes, promise a bright future in this area for Cat Reman. As the world leader in remanufacturing, Cat Reman is finding new ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and reclaim materials which once would have been considered waste. Remanufactured goods have the same appearance, performance and life expectancy of new products and carry the same warranty as new parts. The only practical difference to the consumer is that remanufactured parts cost approximately half as much as new parts.

The government of India approved the import of Reman parts in the third quarter of 2012 and Reman imports started in October 2012. We expect Reman part sales to grow in the coming years as customers realize the value in using them. One significant area of opportunity is the mining industry which is already seeing good usage in this segment.

A word about Cat Connected Worksite initiative. How does it ensure higher productivity, better equipment availability and other related benefits to the users?

We understand that productivity and the Customer's bottom line depends on moving material accurately, quickly, and safely. CAT® CONNECT SOLUTION is a solution with site positioning systems, construction asset management services, powerful wireless and Internet-based site communications infrastructure. With the use of this technology, contractors can gain greater insight into their operations, enabling them to lower operating costs and improve accuracy, safety and productivity. This will offer them a significant competitive edge in the market.

cat excavator

AccuGradeTM Productivity solution which supports both 2D (Dimensional) and 3D (Dimensional - GPS based solution) is our primary offering within the CAT CONNECT SOLUTION space and is available on Track Type Tractors, Excavators, Motor Graders and Compactors. The AccuGrade Grade Control System brings to the customer an increase in productivity by up to 40% while reducing their site costs dramatically [savings in fuel consumed were in the range of 40-45%]. The revolutionary Caterpillar solution is factory integrated, sensor-independent, and features a suite of products, which includes cross slope, sonic, laser, GPS, and ATS technology.

There appears to be some forward movement in fast tracking road, port, and airport, metro and mining projects in the country. Inventories of equipment and placement of orders are being finalized.Equipment orders by CIL alone may amount to billions of dollars. Many CE companies are in this race, including Caterpillar. Do you think that this will lift some gloom in the CE market till it breathes easy?

cat compactor
We anticipate tremendous growth opportunities primarily driven by infrastructure needs in India and across the Asia Pacific region. According to Business Monitor International (BMI) the FY2012/13 growth forecast is 6.0 per cent for the Indian construction sector. This has been attributed to non-conducive monetary conditions, policy inertia and lacklustre infrastructure activity which have continued to dampen construction activity for the rest of FY2012/13. However, the outlook for the construction sector beyond FY2012/13 is getting better. Not only are monetary conditions likely to improve for construction companies in FY2013/14, but the government is also making pertinent efforts to remove bottlenecks that are delaying infrastructure projects in India. The current forecast is for real growth for India's construction sector to reach 7.6 per cent in FY2013/14.

What are Caterpillar's plans to participate in the CE market event-Excon 2013, New products and services likely to be unveiled at this mega event?

The message for the Excon 2013 is "Built For It". From our Caterpillar dealer network to the services offered by Caterpillar Financial Services, along with our employees and stakeholders who go the extra mile, to our machines and engines that stand the test of time, Excon is an excellent opportunity to tell the Caterpillar story. Whatever the job, we're up for it, and whatever the challenge, you're ready for it. Together, we're built for it. Excon is a great stage to illustrate this point.

Our world class machines would be on display along with many road construction and utility equipment. Also on display will be Customer Support offerings that Caterpillar and our Dealers (Gmmco & TIPL) can deliver. We will be showcasing our Product support solutions, Rental & Used equipment solutions, and Cat Connected Worksite offerings apart from a Cat merchandise stall.

NBMCW November 2013

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JCB - Blazing New Trail of Success

Vipin Sondhi
JCB India is counting on its positive. . . understanding the need to continually innovate, keeping its existing products line abreast with latest technology and therefore, manufactures and designs products which help the customers in growing their business. "Over the years, our product offering has increased from 7 machine models in 2005 to 25 machine models in 2013. Our upcoming facility in Jaipur will be JCB's fourth manufacturing footprint in India and JCB plans an investment of Rs. 500 crore in the span of next 5 years. We will have 2 plants wherein one will manufacture the fabrications and components. The company plans to start the first phase from March / April 2014 and will keep on scaling up in the years to come to enable JCB India as 'one-stop CE solution' company in CE market within the country and overseas," says Mr. Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, JCB India, in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

It is indeed creditable that JCB India despite facing strong economic headwinds has been showing very robust business and technical performance, pouring new investment in its manufacturing facilities and introducing innovative products and services and moving towards a sustainable long-term growth. What has gone into it enabling it to navigate successfully through choppy waters?

JCB believes in manufacturing India centric products for its customers and that is among the prime reasons we have the largest base of satisfied customers across India which have been loyal to us for years.

JCB India understands the need to continually innovate, keeping its existing product line abreast with latest technology and therefore, manufactures and designs products which help the customers in growing their business.

Over the years, our product offering has increased from 7 machine models in 2005 to 25 machine models in 2013. All JCB products are manufactured on the company philosophy of "One Global Quality". Our products are backed by world class facilities, technology and people, therefore, are unmatched in quality and performance.

The current economic scenario is witnessing a slowdown at the moment but we are confident about India's long-term growth prospects and even in these uncertain times, JCB has been successful in expanding its market share across multiple product lines.

In the interim, we have seen a considerable increase in the exports of our machines. It was about 85% in 2012 over 2011 and we expect a similar increase this year too.

JCB India is in the process of setting up its fourth Greenfield manufacturing facility in Jaipur with a sizeable investment. What is the extent of investment planned for this venture and the timeframe chalked out for its commercial operation to enable JCB India as 'one-stop CE solution' company in CE market within the country and overseas?

The upcoming facility in Jaipur will be JCB's fourth manufacturing footprint in India and JCB plans an investment of Rs. 500 crore in the span of next 5 years. JCB has acquired 115 acres of land.

We will have 2 plants wherein one will manufacture the fabrications and components. The company plans to start the first phase from March / April 2014 and will keep on scaling up in the years to come.

Recently, JCB India launched some of its new products-Tracked Excavators and Wheel Loaders. What has been the market response to this product line and company long-term, market assessment for these as market situation improves in the near future sets?

jcb excavator
The excavators market has gained popularity in the past few years and it is expected grow in the future as demand for specialized machinery is on the rise. JCB offers an unmatched range of Excavators suitable for all kind of excavation work, starting from 8T operating weight (JS81) to 22T operating weight (JS 220LC) to serve the plant hirers, earthmoving and quarrying customer base.

Our latest entrant is the rugged and reliable JS205LC - the 20 tonne Excavator. The new machine will be well suited for applications such as earthwork, quarrying, road construction etc., it offers outstanding cycle time and has a rugged and robust structure which makes it highly durable. JS 205LC provides fuel savings worth Rs. 5.2 lacs in 4 years.

jcb wheelloader
Like all our other machines, JS205LC design is based on the feedback received from our customers.

The New JCB 432 ZX provides exactly what the customer needs - world class loader profile, unmatched operator comfort, best-in-class productivity and improved safety features.

It has the ability to dump at the centre of Wagon & High Bodied Trucks. JCB 432ZX Wheel Loader exhibits exceptional performance in all kind of applications such as roadwork, mass excavation, pipe work and other underground installations, highway maintenance, foundation work, waste/ recycling, crushers etc.

JCB India has a strong pan India presence as far as its dealership network is concerned. What are the systems placed to ensure fast track technical services response to its customers?

JCB India provides the best after sales support to its customers through its largest distribution network. JCB has 555 outlets and 59 dealers spread in every corner of the country.

Like us, our dealer principals are extremely committed to provide unparalleled support to its customers and therefore, run a dealer service van which offers 24x7 assistance to our customers incase of a machine breakdown across India.

We have over 7000 dealer employees who are trained by JCB for selling and servicing these machines.

In a market like CE marked by cut-throat competition with customers overwhelmed by numerous options available to choose a product; what determines the success or failure of a brand? How does JCB's brand delight the customers vis-a-vis differentiated brands available?

JCB is a pioneer in the industry and in the past few years, we have launched machines which are known for its cutting-edge technology and versatility. At JCB, all products' design, production, distribution and marketing have only one central focus i.e. Customers. Focusing on the customer centric approach in business, all product innovation, and improvement is based on the feedback received from the customers.

With the best team in construction equipment proudly in place, JCB will continue to retain its leadership position and create the best value propositions for our customers. Further, we have the most extensive distribution network in the industry with over 555 outlets and 59 dealers.

Over the years, JCB has established some of the finest engineering facilities across the globe. In India, JCB has established centers in Pune and Ballabgarh which cater to the India centric requirements. A dedicated "India Design Center" has also been set up in Pune which caters to the JCB Group global design requirements.

At JCB India, our aim is to provide the most fuel efficient, most productive & safe machines and our team of experts continuously works on achieving this goal.

As the prime movers in organizing Excon 2013, what are company's plans to unveil new products and services and business deals at this mega show?

Excon Trade Fair, South Asia's largest Construction Equipment exhibition is a platform where innovation and technology goes hand in hand. It is a platform for the industry to understand the latest technology that is available for accelerating India's accelerated Infrastructure progress.

As always, JCB will also participate in a big way in South Asia's largest Construction Equipment exhibition - EXCON 2013. We will be the biggest exhibitor in 2013. JCB will unveil many of its much awaited technologically advanced and made-in-India, made-for-India machines.

NBMCW November 2013

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iCEMA Articulating Industry Viewpoints ...

Amit Gossain
"iCEMA's top agenda is to attract government attention to help industry in this tough economic condition. We are also looking at setting up independent facilities for the industry in collaboration with the government - for e.g. setting up test facilities with the Dept. of Heavy Industry and skilling manpower in India. We will also ensure alignment of industry with Government norms and policies, introduce new technology and best practices enhancement through iCEMA panels. The upcoming mega event, EXCON 2013 will help in setting a positive tone for the industry," says Mr. Amit Gossain, President iCEMA and EVP - Marketing, Business Development & Corporate Affairs, JCB India Ltd., in an interview with S.A.Faridi.

Coinciding with Excon 2013, iCEMA organizes conferences on the frontal issues confronting the CE industry. What is the agenda of such conferences this year and their participation profile?

Excon is one of the most popular exhibitions for the Construction Equipment industry in Asia. The event is a perfect platform to exchange information with domestic as well as international players. On the sidelines of the exhibition, we also planned a two-day conference.

The central theme for this conference is "Propelling Sustainable Infrastructure Development." This conference will focus on tabling the challenges and discussing ways to achieve accelerated growth and utilise the opportunities that lie ahead. The discussion will mainly be focused on current scenario and future trends, market opportunities and gaps in key end use sectors of Earthmoving & Construction Equipment (ECE) - Roads & Railways, Urban infrastructure, Irrigation, etc.

Equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, industry end-users, service providers and financiers etc. will be part of this conference.

How over the years the deliberations of such conferences have helped articulate CE industry's concerns in various government and industry foray?

During these conferences and CEs meets, there are senior Government bureaucrats, senior executives from large organisations and other think tanks of the industry who dwell on issues confronting the industry to create an enabling environment for the growth and well being of the industry and its stakeholders.

Ideas are collated and then put forth in a format. There is a Q&A and open house discussion with the large audience as well.

What are the CE industry issues on the iCEMA's top agenda to attract government attention to help in this tough economic condition?

Our primary objective is to work closely with government and project authorities to drive infrastructure development. We are also looking at setting up independent facilities for the industry in collaboration with the government - for e.g. setting up test facilities with the Dept. of Heavy Industry and skilling manpower in India.

Other than this, we will also ensure alignment of industry with Government norms and policies, introduce new technology and best practices enhancement through iCEMA panels.

We are also working with the government to include certain products under Focus Product Scheme (FPS). Currently, we are only utilizing 50% of the total production capacity of the industry and through FPS, we aim to incentivize export and reduce India's current account deficit, both are good for the country and industry.

Certification of Equipment like definition of performance, safety and operation is a big issue as there is no specific/unified guideline, and everyone interprets it as per their own preferences and understanding, hence there is a lot of confusion among end users; what are your suggestions on the same?

A certification body for the Construction Equipment industry will help in solving these issues. Currently, we have CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules) certification given by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) for all the wheeled equipment. For tracked equipment, as they do not ply on roads, we do not have an industry authority to provide any kind of certification - be it in terms of product, safety, emissions etc.

iCEMA has been closely interacting with the Department of Heavy Industry and other organization for setting up an independent test centre for construction equipment industry. This test facility will also serve as a training ground for service engineers thus, improving the overall customer support.

There is a dearth of skilled manpower/operators in the industry. Don't you think there is a dire need of a collective approach from the CE industry to address this issue?

Lack of skilled manpower is one of the prime concerns for the industry. According to the ICEMA-CII- Accenture Vision 2020 report, by 2020, the industry would require over 2 million skilled personnel for the maintenance and operation of equipment which is over and above the workforce employed at present.

To meet this burgeoning demand, iCEMA has submitted its proposal to National Skill Development Corporation for setting up Sector Skill Council for the Construction Equipment Industry. The National Skill Development Council (NSDC) facilitates the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through skill training programs.

icema meeting

Once we have an approval from NSDC, we should have lot of centres for training of operators and mechanics which will enhance the safety, productivity of the operator and quality of infrastructure. It will help in generating employment and thus, it will be positive for the industry, infrastructure and economy.

There is a view that both government as well as industry is worrying too much on the fall of the rupee, current account deficit, external borrowings etc. In such situations, don't you think that all need to focus on manufacturing and rejuvenating supply and demand to offset these problems which are more driven by speculations?

Our concentration should certainly be on reviving the manufacturing and demand supply scenario however, weak rupee, high interest rates, drop in investments do play a critical role in deciding the next course of action.

Government's help with Export for e.g. through Focused Product Scheme will go a long way in setting a positive tone in the industry.

The upcoming mega event, EXCON 2013 will help in setting up a positive tone for the industry. This year edition will focus on ensuring inclusive growth for the economy apart from focusing on the national imperatives of energy efficiency, containing pollution emissions, encouraging localization, promoting exports for the sustainable industrial growth.

NBMCW November 2013

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Hyderabad Metro Project on Track Ensuri...

n v s reddy
Hyderabad Metro Rail is a completely elevated Metro Rail project, with several innovative technical features ensuring better economies of the elevated system. It is being developed as a unique project with emphasis on inter-modal integration, Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities, a good feeder bus service and pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity. It is the world's largest Metro Rail project being executed on PPP mode, with minimum burden on the tax payers. The first stretch of 8 km (Stage-I) will be opened for passenger traffic by March, 2015, said Mr.N.V.S.Reddy, Managing Director - Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

Congratulations for moving fast on your Metrorail project. Kindly enlighten our readers on the current status of Hyderabad metro project including phases ready for operation and stages for which construction and engineering work is in progress.
Thanks. Phase-I of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project covers 3 corridors spanning over 72 km. Corridor-I: Miyapur-LB Nagar 29 Kms; Stations: 27; Corridor-II: JBS-Falaknuma 15 Kms; Stations: 16; Corridor-III: Nagole-Shilparamam 28 Kms; Stations: 23. This is the world's largest mass transit system being implemented on the public private partnership (PPP) mode. Though the entire 72 km is covered in Phase-I, yet for construction convenience it is divided into 6 stages and works are going on in full swing in 5 stages.

What is the total length it would cover when hits the final phase and the targeted deadlines for the completion of the entire project?
Phase-I of the project covers 72 km. The project began in June 2012 and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by June 2017. The first stretch of 8 km (Stage-I) will be opened for passenger traffic by March, 2015.

What is the estimated cost of this project and funding arrangement arrived at?
The project cost per se is Rs.14,132 crore, out of which Rs.1,458 (10%) is being given by Govt. of India as one time capital grant under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme. The remaining Rs.12,674 crore is being financed with 20% Equity [Rs.2,768 crore and 70% of debt (Rs.9,906 crore)]. This Rs.12,674 crore is being entirely raised by the Concessionaire M/s.L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd on their own. They are also spending another Rs.2,243 crore for development of 6 million sqft of property in the 1st phase, whose lease rentals will cross subsidize the losses from passenger operations. Government of Andhra Pradesh is spending an additional Rs.1,980 crore (which does not form part of project cost as per VGF guidelines) for land acquisition, R&R, utility shifting, etc.

Hyderabad Metro

What are the important design and construction features of the project negotiating difficult terrains and crowded areas? What would be the underground and elevated portions of the metro corridors?
It is a completely elevated Metro Rail project. We have not gone underground due to the tough rocky terrain conditions of Hyderabad city, energy efficiency, cost considerations and better economics of the elevated system. We are able to negotiate the difficult terrain and crowded spaces with better engineering solutions and fine tuning of the alignment. The construction method is PSC segmental method and 70% of the construction is through pre-casting. The station design is unique as it is a cantilever type station based on central piers with spine and wings. This avoids portal structures and tunnel effect over the road at Metro stations.

Is there any plan to go in for monorail system as feeder services to compliment the metro system in the city?
We will achieve inter-modal integration through feeder buses ("merry-go-round" system) in the traffic catchment areas (residential colonies & commercial centres); inter-linkage with main rail stations and bus depots; skywalk connectivity from elevated stations to nearby commercial, educational, office complexes (Bangkok model); bicycle stations and tracks; and other pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity.

What about the various important construction and engineering agencies associated with the project?
The following are the construction & engineering agencies associated with the project:

Civil Structures - L&T construction
O&M operator - Keolis, France
Rolling stock - Hyundai Rotem, South Korea
Power - L&T Construction
OETS - L&T Construction
Signalling & TC - Thales, Canada (French Company)
Communication - Thales, Portugal (French Company)
Track Construction - L&T Construction
AFC (Automatic Fare Collection) - Samsung, South Korea

Metro Rail Systems Metro Rail
Additional Information
  • Making use of latecomer advantage, we have studied different Metro Rail systems in the world and are avoiding their mistakes, while adopting their good practises at the same time.
  • Hyderabad Metro Rail is being developed as a unique project with emphasis on inter-modal integration, Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities, a good feeder bus service and pedestrian facilities for last mile connectivity. This is not a simple urban transportation project. We are viewing it as an opportunity to redesign an Indian city as a people-friendly green city by weaving several innovative features into it.
  • The financial model for the Hyderabad Metro Rail project is unique. It is the world's largest Metro Rail project being executed in PPP mode, with minimum burden on the tax payer. The 90% of the project cost is financed by the private sector partner and 10% is being financed by Govt. of India. The state government is bearing the cost of land acquisition, R&R, utility shifting, etc. As per our revenue model, 55% of the revenues will come from passenger fares while 40% will be from property development at Metro stations and depots and 5% from advertisements, parking charges, etc. Without increasing the land requirement for the project (269 acres of land requirement was identified by DMRC which prepared DPRs for our project which was originally envisaged as a government project), we have allowed the private sector Concessionaire to go for commercial exploitation of air space at/over the Metro Rail facilities through engineering innovation. The private sector Concessionaire cannot sell the property so developed but can enjoy the lease rentals from property development during the Concession Period.
  • The Concession Period for the Hyderabad Metro Rail is 35 years (including 5 years of construction), it is extendable by another 25 years, if the Concessionaire fulfils all the conditions of Concession Agreement.
  • We have ringfenced the Project with a well drafted and bankable Concession Agreement. The private sector Concessionaire is fairly protected from political and bureaucratic interference with several features like pre-fixed tariff, pre-defined price escalation formula, strict penalties for both the government and the Concessionaire if their respective obligations are not fulfilled, etc. Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., a fully owned Government PSU acts as the single window agency to coordinate with all government departments and agencies and to facilitate the required permissions from different government departments/agencies. It plays a very pro-active role in a business like fashion to facilitate speedy execution of the Project.
Hyderabad Metro Rail

NBMCW October 2013

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