Customer Satisfaction is at the heart of Mahindra

Vinod Sahay, CEO, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division and Mahindra Construction Equipment Division
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 the Truck Industry business in India?
The overall market has moved to extreme levels of discounting to clear their piled-up inventory at dealers ahead of the BSVI transition. In view of the current downturn, F20 Industry decline at the end of year volumes versus F19 will be as follows:

F20 - HCV Segment (25T and above) – 30-35% volume decline y-o-y
F20 - LCV & ICV trucks (3.5T and below 25T) – 15% volume decline y-o-y
F20 - Buses – 5-8% decline y-o-y
F21 may see subdued demand, which can be quantified basis F20-Q4 pre-buy and various other growth drivers owing to macro-economic factors. The competitive scenario will be even more dynamic, as we will see a new engine and drivelines coming in BSVI era and changing the cost structures of the OEMs.

How do you see Mahindra Trucks presence in the Indian trucking Industry for its CV, LCV and ICV trucks?
At MTB, we could see early signs of a slowdown since Oct-Nov F19 and now the overall sentiments have been backed by the latest macro-economic indicators. If the momentum doesn’t pick up in F20, post-December, on account of BSVI pre-buy, we expect, there will be a continued sizeable drop in Q4 as well.

For the same reason, we have taken precautionary measures for the entire supply chain and distribution channels by controlled stock correction. F21 industry movement is very much dependent on how economy recovers in the next few quarters, hence, for the time being we won’t be able to comment.

What industry-leading technology is present in your trucks that sets the MTBL brand apart from its peers?
MTBL has taken outperformance to the next level by creating trucks powered by 7.2 litre mPOWER engine equipped with the patented FuelSmart Technology and are specifically designed for different applications and deliver outperformance whatever be the business needs.

With high performance vehicles, unprecedented disruptive customer value proposition such as ‘Get more mileage or give the truck back’, and several other performance-linked guarantees for service and spares, agile and ever-growing sales, service, and spares network, MTB, as a customer-centric challenger brand, has set a new benchmark in the Indian Commercial Vehicle industry.

Under our Smart Truck range, we have BLAZO X 28, BLAZO X 35 and OPTIMO Tipper Applications with innovative FuelSmart Technology. All these products come with guaranteed experience – which is also our unique Customer Value Proposition. These unprecedented guarantees are derived from important needs of Indian CV customers – for example, to reduce turnaround time of our trucks, we offer various propositions such as ‘Our service will reach you in 2 hours or we will give you ₹500 every hour’; ‘Get a 36-hour guaranteed turnaround at our workshops or get ₹3000 per day’; ‘Get back on road in 48 hours or get ₹1000 a day’.

When it comes to repair needs, our selected critical parts contribute 80% to the overall repairs. As our proposition says: ‘Guaranteed availability 250 fast moving maintenance parts at Mahindra M-Parts Plaza and Dealership or else they are yours for free.’ And, most importantly, to address the biggest element of cost of operation in the transport business, we offer: ‘Get More Mileage or Give the Truck Back’.

Mahindra entered the ICV segment in 2019 with the launch of its FURIO Truck. What is the market response and the target for FY20-21?
With the launch of our FURIO range of ICV trucks, we have covered the entire CV range starting from 3.5T-55T GVW/GCW of goods range. Market response has been phenomenal; we are seeing over 15% conversion rates in the One Trip Ownership program of the Experiential Marketing approach that we have taken.

Overall, since the launch, we have already become #4 player in the participating segment of 12T and 14T. We have plans to reach 200 trucks/month, once all the products in the ICV (Intermediate Commercial Vehicle) range are launched in the BSVI era.

How are Telematics and IoT in trucking impacting the industry?
Advanced Telematics has opened avenues to real time vehicle monitoring and effective fleet management. With Mahindra iMAXX, we are providing tools to our customers and drivers to change the traditional way of trucking into a modern and profitable approach. For example, fuel thefts are a common phenomenon in the industry, but with iMAXX we can spot, monitor and act upon thefts with an accuracy of 98%.

The pain point of keeping track of your fleet and its service history through a manual logbook method is tiresome and ineffective. But with solutions like iMAXX Monitoring Vehicle Health, all the important data is available on an app, which is not only informative but also actionable. Telematics has made Health Monitoring not only a proactive solution but also predictive as it gives signs of early failure. In addition to this, Data Analysis of the driver's behaviour (hard breaking, excessive idling etc) can be used to incentivize performance.

Mahindra Truck

How are you preparing to meet the new emission norms which are set to be implemented in 2020?
For Trucks and Buses, the emission change of BSVI is due on 1 April 2020, while the Oct 2020 deadline is applicable for Construction Equipment to BS!V. We are on time with BSVI program delivery and are currently training our manpower and gearing up the entire value chain for a smooth transition to BSVI.

Importantly, in this transition of BSIV to BSVI, as regards the current slowdown, taking care of our extended channel partners’ financial health is very important. We are focussing on inventory reduction as well as managing the processes and systems for the transition to the new emission norms.

What aftermarket and on-site support do you provide customers?
We have a nationwide presence with over 430 touchpoints (3S + 2S + ASCs) and will be expanding to 520+ by F20-end. In order to rapidly build our reach, we have taken the lateral route of setting up Service Corridors to make sure that we are present at every 100 kms, which, on most routes, translates to a reach of maximum 2 to 4 hours! Our currently operational Service Corridors cover most of the goods movement from Mumbai-Delhi, Kolkata-Chennai and Kashmir-Kanyakumari. We also offer onsite support for various Tipper applications for our key account customers.

What is your marketing strategy?
We offer guaranteed experience through modern technology products and services. In the earlier years, our strategy was to become a full range player in all CV segments. With FURIO, we have become a full range player in trucks. In buses, the portfolio will be completed by LPO and BSVI range of products. Going forward, our aim is to become the most reliable and fuel-efficient CV player. In HCV trucks, we are no. 3 in the haulage segment and are aiming to hold a top position in all the segments in the coming times.

Which markets are you exporting to?
We are currently present in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through our international team of dealers and channel partners where we are offering products as per their market needs. We have recently delivered LHD buses to Philippines and FURIO is seeing good demand in Nepal too.

Lifting & Specialized Transport, January-March 2020

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