Deepak Shetty, CEO & MD, JCB India, shares the company’s Made in India initiatives for its AWPs that are exported across the world, and its plans for growing the brand’s presence in the Indian market for access equipment.
JCB India is the Global Manufacturing Hub for AWP machines, which are being exported worldwide including to some of the most developed markets like the US, the UK, France, and Germany, for many years. Why has JCB officially launched the AWP machines so late in the Indian market? Please enumerate the quality standards in the machines for the Indian market.
The market for Aerial Work Platform (AWP) machines in India is still in the initial stages of its development. Till recently, the demand in the industry was catered through imports for both second-hand and new machines. With the launch of our AWPs, we have now given a choice to our customers to buy new machines that are engineered and manufactured in India with full product support.
JCB India’s Made in India AWPs, which are being exported worldwide, will provide the same safety and quality standards to our customers in India, so they will get the same benefit of One Global Quality Standard.
Our AWP machines conform to ISO 16368 Type-3 class and EN280, which are same as the EU’s highest product quality standards. With the launch of its Access range equipment, JCB has entered a new era of environment-friendly products and technologies that are safe and productive.
Despite the presence of safer and multifunctional AWPs, the Indian market continues to use conventional methods of access. What do you think are the primary concerns that need to be addressed and thereby encourage usage of modern access equipment?
We firmly believe that safety is paramount in any worksite. The benefits of AWP machines are significant, and customers will appreciate these benefits once they use the machines.
For market growth, the foremost requirement is to have safety regulations for equipment usage at heights. JCB’s AWP machines are standardised machines that are being used widely in developed markets and can be used safely in the Indian markets as well. Adherence to safety regulations will accelerate demand and use of AWP machines.
If the AWP’s utility is fully understood, what more application areas do you think could drive demand?
AWP machines can have a variety of applications that can be utilised in tasks that usually require a ladder, a tower or scaffolding. They enable operators to complete the same job faster and more securely, eliminating the set-up time of other equipment.
We are constantly exploring new applications and sectors for our AWP machines. Applications in the Construction, Rental and other industries are all set to grow due to the Government’s focus on infrastructure development. With this new product category, the critical requirement of having a safer option to work at heights has been addressed, and with buyer awareness, its application range is only going to increase.
JCB India had launched its AWPs in India with four Electric Scissor Lifts. What are the advanced technologies in these machines, and how would you rate their performance, efficiency, and safety features?
Our recently launched, self-propelled Electric Scissors provide much safer access to personnel and equipment required to carry out tasks at heights. They have fully proportional raise and drive controls. The control cradle allows easy loading and unloading whilst being suitable for both left and right-handed operators. Easy to use spring clips allow the platform rails to fold down for manoeuvring in confined spaces.
From a safety point of view, pivot bosses add stability and rigidity to the Scissors and help enhance site safety and reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries and equipment damage, which gives workmen across industries the confidence to work at heights. On-screen diagnostics, independent circuit protection, hydraulic and electrical accessibility improve the serviceability and reliability of our access range.
The machines are designed to provide ease of transportation. Features like ramp climbing up to 25% gradeability, easy tie-down points, good ground clearance and towing options make transportation simpler. JCB’s access machines are built around strength and durability, and have better component protection like the wheel motor protection plate. What’s more, these machines have distinct advantages due to their several sensors and control systems like tilt sensing, load sensing, pothole protection, and intuitive control system which make them inherently safe.
How has the company lined up its program to strengthen its position in the access equipment market? Do you have any plan to introduce boom lifts in the near future?
Our recently launched Electric Scissors range is the first in our range of AWP machines for India. We have different programs at different stages of readiness. As the markets develops, we will introduce more machines to meet specific customer needs. Our comprehensive range of machines being manufactured at our state-of-the-art Jaipur plant are being used in a variety of applications. As demand for other models picks up, we will look at introducing them in India as well.
Our made in India machines built to one global quality have proven themselves in the most demanding of applications across the world
Since there are no legislations in India for working at heights, people continue to use cheap and unsafe methods, which is hampering the usage and growth of AWPs. As an industry leader, how are you bringing awareness of AWP applications and are you approaching the Government to put in place some safety laws for construction projects?
As an industry leader, JCB understands its responsibility in highlighting safety requirements and warning against the dangers of working at heights. We also need to highlight the solution that our machines provide to mitigate the threats posed to workers at heights. We are approaching end-users across several industries and highlighting the benefits of using electric scissor lifts for various applications.
Since we have just entered the domestic market, we plan to focus on creating awareness through customer engagement. Our dealers are well versed with the functionality of the AWPs and have well trained and skilled manpower.
How do you see the rental and second-hand equipment market for AWPs in India?
The rental market for AWP equipment in India is largely an unorganised or a semi-organised sector. The market is still developing and there is growth potential, no doubt, both in terms of the number of companies and their size.
Second-hand machines can be a compromise both for the user as well as the owner since these machines are used for several years under conditions that might not be fully suitable. With JCB’s ‘made in India’ machines and a wide dealer network, we feel that it will be extremely beneficial to our customers who can now buy new equipment and have the requisite warranty and product support. This will also help customers in improving their equipment uptime and ultimately improve their profitability.
International demand for access equipment continues to grow as people become more aware of the benefits across industries. What might be some of the breakthrough areas in the usage of access machines in the foreseeable future?
JCB India exports its made in India products to countries all over the world as developed markets are well versed with the concept of aerial work platforms. Our made in India machines have proven themselves in the most demanding of applications across the world. You could say that we are an embodiment of the Government’s vision of an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. As the market develops towards having to utilise vertical space more than ever, we feel that this will be an area of growth for us.
What is the biggest challenge posed by buyers in India when it comes to the purchase of an aerial work platform? Does your team undertake an application study or examine the technical aspects for which the AWP is to be used?
The Indian market provides many opportunities for aerial work platforms. As global best practices come to India, customers are now beginning to appreciate and realise the importance of these machines in their applications. Safety on the work site is a massive responsibility. Indian applications are today increasingly preferring safe working practices over traditional solutions. With these aerial work platforms, customers are appreciating the inherent safety and productivity of the product. Going further, we feel that as customers become more well versed with the concept, the future of aerial work platforms is promising.
The rental market for AWP is still developing and there is growth potential, no doubt, both in terms of the number of companies and their size
Are your warranty terms standard as per the norms of the AWP industry? Please enumerate.
These made in India machines are built to one global quality and have proven themselves over the years in a variety of applications. Each product has been innovatively designed and built to international standards so that our customers can have a long and trouble-free ownership experience with these machines. They come with a one-year standard warranty across the products.
JCB has the industry’s finest product support network. Our dealer partners provide for any on-site parts and maintenance requirements through a pool of JCB engineers.
What customer support and services is JCB offering?
JCB has a wide dealer support network with trained engineers across India. At the time of installing an AWP machine at the customer site, we train the customer and their team on daily maintenance and operations. Our dealer partners also provide on-site parts and maintenance services through JCB trained engineers.
The company has a 24x7 customer support centre for these products and caters to market-specific demands covered in 12 languages. It also has 5 warehouses stocking spare parts for timely support of our AWPs.