JCB has been in the construction equipment business in India for over 30 years and offering the widest range of construction equipment. These equipment are designed to excel in Indian conditions and are well suited to take up any project specific requirement for construction. The Liftall, recently introduced, has received tremendous response from the market and now we have high order bookings. JCB has always been one of the biggest exhibitors in Excon. This time too we plan to have the largest and hopefully the best stand. We will have demos and launch a number of products for which you will have to wait for Excon 2009, says Mr. Vipin Sondhi, CEO and Managing Director, JCB India, in an interview with S.A.Faridi.
What have been the key factors within the business environment and the internal environment that have been responsible for JCB India's seamless expansion in Ballabgarh and Pune?
JCB has been in the construction equipment business in India for over 30 years. Over this period, we have gained a good understanding of the market conditions and varied customer needs. A dedicated team of employees, dealers and availability of high quality vendors has resulted in the seamless expansion. Also, all of this has been helped by the Government's focus on infrastructure.
JCB Ballabgarh plant has become the world largest backhoe manufacturing facility for JCB, can produce 100 units per day. Do you foresee this much demand in India in near future or this will serve as export hub for Middle-East and Asian Countries?
Our new plant is the largest Backhoe manufacturing facility in the world. The capacity of 100 backhoes per shift is being targeted mainly for the Indian market which still holds a lot of potential. We will also be exporting machines as soon as the Middle East and Asian markets recover. We are quite optimistic that our economy will continue to do well. There is a need for building a lot of infrastructure in India. We are prepared for the upswing.
JCB has become a generic name for backhoe in India; simultaneously JCB has an extensive range of heavy line earthmoving & road construction equipment. What would be JCB strategy to come out of this backhoe manufacturer tag?
JCB offers the widest range of construction equipment in India. While the backhoe continues to be the most visible brand ambassador for JCB, our initiatives and activities are now very focused on the heavy range of equipment as well viz. excavators, compactors, wheeled loaders. We have focused factories, dealer manpower and after sales support personnel for heavy line and road construction machines which are now separate verticals.
What has been the market response to JCB's two new products launched last year - Liftall Pick-n-carry crane and wheel loader. What is their differentiated technological edge over other in the market?
The Liftall has received tremendous response from the market. Our production schedules are running tight and at any point in time we have high order bookings. The liftall has various superior features like:
- Better reach than any other machine in the market: Vertical - 12.5m; Horizontal - 10.2m
- Best in class Travel Speed - 30 kph
- Most advanced fuel–efficient Kirloskar Diesel Engine; developing 56 bhp @ 2000 rpm (10% more than competition)
- Unmatched tall boy Operator Cab with Comfortable environment and large tool box (good enough for overnight sleep for the operator, who has to camp at distant sites for long durations)
- Unrestricted and unmatched visibility of load at full height
- We use world renowned aggregates
- ZF axles & transmission for 430Z
- ZF transmissions & carraro axles for 432ZX
- Hydraulically operated radiator fan for 432ZX promotes better serviceability
- 432ZX has 150HP powerful Cummins engine with intercooler for unmatched power in most demanding of applications
- Wide range of bucket options in both 430Z & 432ZX.
JCB inaugurated a state-of-the-art design centre at Pune, in 2008. Our engineers engineer equipment to make them best equipped to perform on Indian terrain. We are continually expanding our product range to meet the growing demand of the market.
We have already the widest range of construction equipment in India. These equipment are designed to excel in Indian conditions and are well suited to take up any project specific requirement for construction. We also have access to over 300 models from JCB overseas product range which we can utilize for faster entry into the Indian market as and when required.
Recently, JCB inked a deal with SBI to help dealers of equipment to finance their products. Can you please spell out details of this arrangement? What is the total tally of dealers and outlets at JCB command to promote its products and services? What does it mean to widen JCB's products portfolio in domestic and export market?
The JCB-SBI deal enables customers to avail a loan of upto Rs 100 Lacs on JCB products. Upto 95% loan can be availed for a tenure upto 4 years. Special schemes are available which, if availed, will eliminate the need of a guarantor.
We have by far the best and most widespread dealer network in the country. Our network spreads to all parts of the country through 47 dealers and over 320 outlets.
As the economy recovers, will the domestic construction equipment market become more expansive? Where does Indian market stand vis-à-vis other countries? How can India learn to compete better so as to get adequate piece of the global business with technical command at its disposal?
The domestic construction equipment market is bound to grow strongly. Infrastructure is going to be the government's prime focus throughout the next decade. Today, India's technology in construction equipment is at par to that offered in developed countries. Our manufacturing capabilities not only allow us to produce machines suitable for Indian terrain but also to vary these products to suit the terrain of other countries.
What would be the prime focus of JCB's participation in Excon 2009, particularly its new launches and their live demos?
JCB has always been one of the biggest exhibitors in Excon. This time too we plan to have the largest and hopefully the best stand.
We will have on display world class technology of defence construction machine, dancing of machines (the world famous JCB Dancing Diggers show) and the world's fastest diesel car. There will be a number of other innovations and products on display for which you will have to wait for Excon.