All our machines (> 50hp) are now fully connected products.
Effective 1st Apr’21, CE has implemented the BSIV emission norms and with this change now the engines are advanced with ECU controls, which helps in the next level of technology upgrades.
With this upgrade, the customer can monitor the performance of the products at various load and working conditions, both spot and historic data, including service reminders. Manufacturers can also monitor their equipment, tap various performance requirements based on application condi- tions, and tweak the setting for delivering the best combinations of power and fuel efficiency.
We have adopted much superior drivelines with 4-valve contemporary technology that deliver a much higher torque in the optimum rpm range, high back-up torque, better fuel efficiencies, and higher service intervals. The technology adopted by us is future-ready and the product can easily be upgraded to BSV norms with minimal additions.
All our products are now updated with Advanced Telematics (optional) and in cranes we have launched some safety technology, which is an industry first.
Our objective is to move from ‘reactive’ to ‘predictive’ maintenance and the new technology incorporated in our products will facilitate this transition.
Last year, we moved our after-sales service onto the digital platform; and most of our customers have now adopted this Service App interface. The App is activated through the serial number of the machines; it provides DIY operation and service tips, periodic checks guidelines, safety instructions, parts identification and requisitions, and emergency intervention intimations.
There is a need to formalize the rental, leasing or servitization (EaaS) model with some policy interventions, framework, and enablers.
Equipment replacement cycle is typically very long in India and the rental and leasing sector is at a nascent stage. Having said that, we are closely monitoring the potential offered by the rental space and would surely take a plunge as soon as we are comfortable on the RoI.
More than 75% of our current range of products is sold to rental segments (both retail & fleet owners) and as such we want to avoid competition with our customers.
We expect the normal demand trajectory to start from Q3, FY’22 and would not be surprised with 10-15% growth over last year.
The relative containment of the pandemic has created some positive feelings. We are optimistic of good times ahead and are continuing with our investment plans on both existing and new products.
We are confident that the Construction Equipment sector’s growth story is intact. Post the vaccination and herd immunity achieved, we expect demand to rebound. Further, the long project pipeline may lead to pent-up demand.
However, the unprecedented inflation in steel price and cost escalations due to BSIV will temporarily impact the customers’ acquisition cost of machines. We are working on various value engineering projects to minimize this cost implication, though the 70-80% increase in commodity (mainly steel) price is a dampener. In fact, given the high steel prices, our global competitiveness has suffered severely.
We are extending all support to our employees, customers, and channel partners.
As a society, our collective determination and resolve to defeat the current health challenges brought about by the coronavirus, has been commendable. It’s quite encouraging to see that the entire country has accepted ‘Covid Appropriate Behaviour’ as a new normal, and is learning new ways of ensuring business continuity.
The Escorts Group has started an extensive vaccination campaign for both our regular & contractual employees and their families. For channel partners employees, in addition to the vaccination support, we are providing them financial aid for home treatment and hospitalisation. For our customers, we have launched three schemes under the Escoshield viz., Finshield (limited period moratorium), Healthshield (insurance coverage), and Equipshield (up to 6 months extended warranty).