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.
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?
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.