Mitesh Chitkara
COBO has consolidated its presence globally with its Electronic Control Systems to manage movement and safety of Construction Equipment, and will now focus on further developments to support the OEMs in India, informs Mitesh Chitkara, Business Head - India Region.

What are the grey areas that the CE fraternity and government should find solutions to make India’s construction at par with world standards and become the 2nd largest CE industry in the world by 2030?
India has all the credentials to become the second largest CE industry in the world by 2030. Such a position brings with it a lot of responsibilities towards all the stakeholders and for making it sustainable it’s time to reflect on the grey areas of the industry so that we all are well prepared in the years to come.

Safety is among one of the most important grey areas wherein the CE fraternity and the government needs to work on from the perspective of the global safety standards and regulations. Innovation is another area where the government needs to provide the right ecosystem (with some incentives) so that more and more domestic as well as global companies start investing in R&D to develop state-of-the-art technologies.

What steps should be taken to incentivize and support MSMEs in the CE industry to enable ease of doing business?
Mitesh Chitkara
In most of the cases, the CE industry of India is managed through a vendor base of automotive components, unlike other developed economies. But the CE industry is quite challenging when it comes to performance, environmental and safety standards. The time has come when the Government needs to bring some Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes to attract global players in the CE component industry to set up local manufacturing in India. At the same time, the Government can incentivize the MSMEs in India to encourage them to invest more in these specialized domains.

What growth do you see in India’s CE Industry in 2023-24 in view of the ongoing and upcoming big ticket infra projects?
Last year, an old-time record was set in the global construction equipment market when more than 1.28 million machines were sold. In fact, the 2021 sales might have been even higher if the industry would have catered to the demand, which was impacted by the shortage in components and the bottlenecks in logistics and other issues brought about by the pandemic lockdowns. In 2022, the industry is unlikely to see another such growth.

As far as India is concerned, there is a lot of potential due to the country’s own consumption. In the last decade, the Indian CE industry has witnessed a decent growth doing >90 thousand units, up from 50 thousand in 2014. There is a clear focus of the government on infrastructure development projects. So, the Indian CE industry is likely to grow at 8-10% y-o-y, in line with its vision of becoming the second largest CE industry in the world by 2030.

What solutions is COBO offering to help customers become more productive and efficient while serving their clients?
The COBO Group has a global footprint across many continents for more than 70 years. It is serving a base of >4000 clients in more than 70 countries with a wide product portfolio of Electromechanical, Mechanical, Electronic, Systems, Instrument Clusters, Connectivity and Power Electronics.

As per our slogan ‘The Future In The Tradition’, we keep evolving and bringing new value-added features in our products with newer solutions. Moreover, we are investing 5-8% of our revenue every year in R&D to innovate, design, and develop global solutions for enhancing comfort, safety, reliability, and customer service.

We are handling all new developments and customizations for India locally, supported by a team of experienced engineers and professionals. We offer a lot of flexibility and handholding to all our clients in India, especially when it comes to new technology adoption when migrating to new regulations. After the successful migration of Stage IV norms in India, a stronger trust factor has been established with our strategic clients and we are now in the process of contributing several more solutions that are readily available for Stage V norms to be implemented in the CE industry by 2024.

In recent years, Aerial Work Platform market in India is evolving into manufacturing with participation from global and local players. For a very long time, this area was largely serviced through trade. We have seen a very strong double-digit growth in this industry worldwide, where China has been doing extremely well, with many of its companies gaining top ranking globally in the last few years. We strongly believe that there is a huge potential in India too, from warehouse management to maintenance of airports, construction work at job sites, and many other applications.

COBO has already consolidated its presence globally with its Electronic Control Systems to manage movement and safety of Boom Lifts, Scissors, Stock Pickers, and Truck Mounted Platforms, and it will now focus on further developments to support the OEMs in India.

Mitesh Chitkara

Please elaborate on your new ECO HE Instrument Cluster.
ECO HE Instrument cluster is one of our flagship product evolving from our ECO cluster family. It has been recently developed and carries lot of value added features coming from our “Own Experience” & “Voice of the Customer”. It’s feature list includes but not limited to 32 bit microcontroller, 3.5” colored TFT display with improved resolution, daylight visibility and viewing angle.

There is an overwhelming response with lot of developments for ECO HE cluster from our existing and target customers globally, including India.

Mitesh Chitkara

What technology disruptions in machines is leading to a more sustainable eco-friendly environment?
A lot of technology disruptions are happening all around the world with regard to alternate fuels for zero emissions. We are seeing a lot of success stories in the automotive industry and there is no doubt that the CE industry across the world has to move in the same direction. Many global companies are already working in the area of electrification of construction equipment.

As a responsible and technology player in the industry, we are also contributing towards an eco-friendly environment with our Power Electronic product line of Inverters, Choppers, DC-DC Converters, Electronic Foot Throttle, etc.

What efforts are being made towards waste management and reducing CO2 emissions at COBO?
In the current times of climate emergency, all businesses need to contribute towards minimizing CO2 emissions and safeguarding the environment. Some of the initiatives already in place in the COBO Group include recycling waste and using recyclable resources in marketing gadgets and in several consumables been used in the industry. We also source from suppliers complying with ISO14001. We encourage our employees for eco-friendly practices such as limiting physical movements by switching to online meetings and events, and supports car sharing for business trips (wherever possible) to reduce the company’s carbon emissions.
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