Vivek Anand Vanmeeganathan, Caterpillar India

Mr. Vivek Anand Vanmeeganathan, Country Head - India region & M.D. - Caterpillar India
Mr. Vivek Anand Vanmeeganathan,
Country Head - India region & M.D.
The Cat® product line is unmatched in the industry but one of our biggest differentiators isn’t our products themselves; it’s the way they’re distributed and supported. From parts availability to expert service diagnosis, planned maintenance to web-enabled condition monitoring, our dealers (TIPL and GMMCO) work alongside customers to improve machine uptime.

What is your analytical view of the Indian CE industry with reference to demonetization and GST, and their impact on Caterpillar’s business?

The Indian CE industry witnessed strong growth in the last fiscal, and according to a report by rating agency ICRA, the industry is expected to grow by 13-17% in the current fiscal.

The growth in the industry has remained strong at the back of strong investments by the government in infrastructure such as roads, railways, ports, airports, and urban infrastructure. We expect this trend to continue for the next 2-3 years.

The introduction of GST has created a ‘one India’ market, and for a company like us with a pan India presence, it has had several positive effects on our business. For instance, before GST, our dealers would take 15-17 days to deliver the machines to customers. But with the implementation of GST, our dealers GMMCO and TIPL are able to bring down delivery time to 4-5 days. What is more significant is that they are now able to commit an expected date of delivery with more confidence and higher accuracy.

Ease of operation, safety, and reliability have become vital selling points. What innovative features are being added to your products to have an edge over competitors?

We want our customers – big and small – to be more successful using our products. We do this by offering solutions beyond machines by combining services and technology, such as data analytics and automation. These combined offerings enable our customers to better manage and track projects, monitor safety and performance, and measure productivity. In brief, they are better equipped to make data-driven decisions faster, resulting in more accurate, safe, and efficient operations.

Assurance of timely maintenance of equipment and quick accessibility to customers is driving sales. How does Caterpillar service its customers?

The Cat® product line is unmatched in the industry. But one of our biggest differentiators isn’t our products themselves; it’s the way they’re distributed and supported. When customers want Cat® products, financing, insurance, training or maintenance, they go to the independent Cat® Dealer outlet in their area. To many of them, the Cat® Dealer is part of the Caterpillar family. From parts availability to expert service diagnosis, planned maintenance to web-enabled condition monitoring, our dealers work alongside customers to improve machine uptime.

CAT 424B

Our dealers, TIPL and GMMCO have eight territorial dealerships who serve our customers with more than 160 service and sales branches throughout the country. And because of the diverse industries that Caterpillar serves, Cat® dealers are serving our customers in nearly every location in India.

Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling more automation in construction equipment. How focused is Caterpillar on using advanced technologies?

Caterpillar motor grader
Caterpillar is one of the front-runner in embracing digital technology. Our technology strategy is determined by our assessment of how and where our machines will be working over the long-term. Based on these assessments, we focus on solving customer problems by making our machines smarter.

To showcase our focus on technology, Caterpillar’s former Chairman and CEO, Doug Oberhelman unveiled “The Age of Smart Iron” at Bauma in April 2016. It describes the company’s strategy to be the industry leader in bringing digital solutions designed to improve productivity, efficiency, safety, and profitability for customers.

These technologies are embedded in our equipment. For instance, the ‘Cat®-Connect’ program makes smart use of technology and services to enhance the operational efficiency of the machine being used. Using the data from the technology-equipped Cat® assets, this program provides our customers a range of benefits – from cuttings costs to enhancing operational efficiency to improving safety of people and equipment to reducing risks.

In the mining sector, we offer ‘Autonomous Technology’ which is capable of offering solutions encompassing full unmanned mine site operations – a system in which machines, technologies, communication networks, safety systems, and software work seamlessly, resulting in huge gains in productivity. Currently, this is being used in mining in remote areas in Australia and Latin America.

What new products from Caterpillar will visitors see at Excon 2017?

Our world-class machines will 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 Cat® 360°ADVANTAGE, Cat® Connect Technology, Rental & Used Equipment solutions, apart from a Cat® merchandise stall. We will also use the platform to launch new products.

NBM&CW December 2017

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