Manitou India: Meeting Challenges Head-On

Hafeez Khan, Managing Director, Manitou South Asia, in an interview with NBM&CW, reveals that he is charting a new roadmap to drive Manitou's top and bottom-line growth. He has a well-knit plan for product positioning based on analytical inputs collated from customers, and admits that though the business potential is immense, he does not discount the tough competition, especially in backhoe loaders, but is not deterred by the challenge. "Our sales in India will be driven by technology familiarization and their deliverables," he declares.

What is driving demand for Manitou solutions in India?

Manitou is bullish of driving its business of telehandlers, skid steer loaders and backhoe loaders in India as the demand potential of our solutions is quite promising. This is due to multiple factors, many of which are fundamental in nature. First, the availability of skilled manpower is a challenge. Further, there is a lot of capital investment in the upcoming projects as liquidity tends to get expensive. Most importantly, building construction projects across metropolitan and tier-1 and 2 cities in India are becoming increasingly vertical in nature, and these have to be completed within the stipulated timelines. Also, in brownfield industrial projects in restricted sites, mobilization may be an issue. For all such projects, we offer multiple solutions that even complement each other. INNOVATION has always been Manitou's DNA and our new-gen, versatile telehandlers and skid steer loaders give additional value through their attachments, enabling our customers to achieve operational efficiencies and to amortize their capital investment in a shorter time.

The business philosophy of Manitou is to be more proactive in engaging with customers and providing them both pre- and post-sales support. In the Indian context, what results is this yielding?

We strongly subscribe to direct sales so that we can meet the expectations of our customers through a thorough understanding of their requirements. In fact, we follow a bottom up approach; we understand their equipment utilization through solutions which they have already engaged, the operation time, cycles, and costs incurred. Based on this information, we undertake a comprehensive mapping of the equipment utilization along with a critical analysis of the operation. We then come up with the most suitable solutions. We have almost 400 models of telehandlers and skid steer loaders. We give demos to the customers and also undertake critical customization of the machines, if required.

Our assured product support through annual maintenance contracts and extended warranties is our practice across the world, and in India, it has enabled us to expand our business in a span of ten years and get a firm footing in the marketplace.

There are many local and foreign players with a strong brand recall in the Indian material handling space. What is Manitou's strategy to create an equally strong brand value?

As mentioned, our sales and support are based on highly proactive engagements to back the performance of our reliable, productive and efficient solutions, and our technological prowess. This has enabled us translate enquiries into actual sales, especially among tier-1 and 2 contractors, and to some extent, tier-3 contractors.

Moreover, word of mouth publicity has helped us create our brand value among many other potential customers in these last ten years. To these new customers we will showcase our range of versatile solutions and their reliability.

Manitou MXT 840

The onus will be on us to demonstrate to customers the additional value that our products will bring to their construction work, and which will justify the optimisation of the total cost of ownership of Manitou machines in the long run.

Hiring costs are under pressure for all equipment across the value chain. How will you justify the cost of ownership to customers?

I agree that this is a tough task, given the market condition, but not impossible. This will again require a lot of technology familiarization to emphasize the reliable performance of Manitou products. The onus will be on us to demonstrate to customers the additional value that our products will bring to their construction work, and which will justify the total cost of ownership of Manitou machines in the long run.

You are pitching your telehandlers against mobile pick-n-carry cranes and wheel loaders. What are the key differentiators of Manitou machines, including its skid steer loaders?

Mobile pick-n-carry cranes are not safe to use as they have a problem of toppling in undulated site conditions. They are also restricted in fast mobility and lifting capability due to structurally weaker booms, and, moreover, they are not versatile. On the other hand, our telehandlers do not have any of these restrictions in performance, and, most importantly, multiple attachments can be fitted and removed through quick coupling arrangement, and thereby ensuring optimum availability.

Manitou 1700R

Wheel loaders are most fit for digging, loading and hauling in quarries, crushing and cement plants. But they may not perform optimally in, say, ready mix concrete batching plants, where their usage may be restricted to aggregation of raw materials or for loading the bins. They will also not be used for handling the break bulk cement bags or for transfer of utilities on the plant.

But, our telehandlers, through their various attachments, can meet the job requirements of both the pick-n-carry cranes and wheel loaders, plus their optimal performance is ensured by the telematics present in the machines. Our skid steer loaders also have advanced features, which gives them a competitive edge.

What are your plans to make Manitou's Indian business arm financially viable?

We are undertaking localization of our 840 (8 Metres/ 4 Tons) and 1740 (17 Metres / 4 Tons) telehandlers and 1700 R, which are being produced at our Greater Noida plant. This will make them about 20 percent cheaper for the domestic market.

NBM&CW July 2019

AJAX: Resilient & Resourceful

Debasis Bhattacharya, Head – Marketing, Sales & Product Support at AJAX Engineering, discusses what is making AJAX even more resilient and adaptive, as it finds ways to remain competitively strong despite the current slowdown Read More ...

Vermeer India: In the Forefront of Trenchless Technology

T. Ramesh, Country Head, Vermeer India, speaks on the widening scope of trenchless technology and solutions offered by Veermer for India’s infra development sector. Trenchless solution is used in constructing infrastructure Read More ...

INNOMAC: On a Roll

In 2019, Bangalore-based INNOMAC Engineering Industries launched a range of construction equipment such as Bar Cutting Machines, Bar Bending Machines, Suspended platforms, Hydraulic Home lifts and Building Maintenance Systems Read More ...

Louis Berger Tunnelling Through Challenges

Kshitish Nadgauda, Senior VP & MD – Asia, Louis Berger, shares information on the challenges encountered during tunnelling in the mountainous terrains of J&K and in the busy streets of Mumbai. Louis Berger has completed Read More ...

Wacker Neuson: Zero emission is the future

The Wacker Neuson Group continues to make targeted investments in research and development to expand its portfolio and position as a leader in technology in its core markets. The Group is actively working on new technologies Read More ...

Volvo Trucks: Adapting to Evolving Markets

Volvo Trucks International is enhancing its hauling capabilities, creating digitized interface in its products, and meeting the new emission regulations. Roger Alm, Executive Vice President, Volvo Group & President, Volvo Trucks Read More ...

Epiroc: Strong in India

Jerry Andersson, Managing Director, Epiroc Mining India, shares the reasons behind the company’s sustained growth in India over 60 years. Epiroc has completed 60 years in India, during which time, our machines have helped Read More ...

Ashitech to launch higher capacity asphalt batch mix plants

In a bid to target big contractors working on long stretches of the National and State highway and road projects, Gujarat-based asphalt batch mix plant manufacturer Ashitech will be launching 180-200 tph asphalt batch mix plants Read More ...

KYB Conmat - Developing tech-rich competitive products

Japanese Concrete Equipment manufacturing conglomerate, KYB Conmat has launched a new range of compact batching plants of 30-45-60 cum/hr capacities; wheel loaders of 1.2 cum and 1.6 cum; a new range of tower batch Read More ...

Tata Hitachi to scale up business with more products

Based on an evaluation of customer requirements, Tata Hitachi is introducing new, more sturdy machines; It has re-entered the backhoe loader market with its Shinraj model and plants to increase its product portfolio going forward Read More ...

PMP offers complete package of solutions to OEMs

PMP industries will continue to provide higher levels of equipments performance optimization through its integrated solutions for India and global markets. The company is offering a range of solutions for varied verticals of construction Read More ...

CASE India enters new product segment; launches its well tested 20-ton Made in India Excavator

The CNH Group is doubling its investments in India and consolidating its market presence by offering a value proposition to its customers. Neil Woodfin, VP AMEA and CE Global Alliances, CNHI International SA, and Raunak Varma Read More ...

Customer Satisfaction is at the heart of Mahindra

Vinod Sahay, CEO, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division and Mahindra Construction Equipment Division, shares the company’s plans for FY2020 keeping in view the current macro-economic factors. What growth prospects do you foresee in Read More ...

Manitou: Total Solutions Provider

From widening and upgrading its products to comprehensive aftermarket sales and support, Manitou South Asia is geared up to achieve sustained growth over the new year, says Hafeez Khan, Managing Director, Manitou South Asia. Read More ...

Liebherr places superior product offerings and services over pricing

Despite pricing being under pressure, Liebherr India will abstain from compromising on quality and safety of the product just to match the price offered by competitors. The company’s products will continue to be offered on the same Read More ...

Next Gen Compressors and Light Towers from Atlas Copco

Tony Van Herbruggen, General Manager, and S. Kumar, Business Line Manager, Atlas Copco Power Technique, Portable Air Division, share information on the company’s new technologically advanced products Read More ...

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week