Vipin Sondhi
JCB is a multi-product company with the most extensive range of construction equipment. Currently, JCB offers a comprehensive variety of 24 variants in 7 product lines. JCB machines across product lines offer the best in class fuel efficiency and best return on investment. Hence, all JCB products have been gaining strength year-on-year. With the upcoming Jaipur facility, the idea is to keep pace with the future economic growth and strengthen our position as a market leader in the construction equipment industry both in India as well as APAC & MEA, says Mr. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India, in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

Please let us know JCB’s plans of investment in its new manufacturing facility to be set up in Rajasthan, its locational advantage over other places.
India has been an extremely crucial market for JCB and over the years, we have made huge investments in expanding our manufacturing bases at strategic locations in the country.

Spread over 70 acres, JCB has planned an approximate investment of Rs. 500 crores over 4 -5 years to set up the upcoming facility in Jaipur.

Rajasthan is rapidly growing as a favorable business place. Some of the biggest strengths of Rajasthan are the power availability and connectivity. Owing to the competitive strengths of Rajasthan, businesses in a wide range of verticals enjoy strong domestic and international position, as well as excellent growth prospects.

How will the new manufacturing facility further extend JCB manufacturing footprint in India and serve the export market in African, West and South-East Asian regions?
In India, JCB already has three well established world class manufacturing facilities; one in Ballabgarh, Haryana near New Delhi and two in Pune. We have the world’s largest backhoe loader plant in Ballabgarh which also manufactures the Liftall, our ‘pick-n-carry’ crane. At Pune, we manufacture Heavyline equipment – excavators, wheel loaders, and compactors.

With the upcoming Jaipur facility, the idea is to keep pace with the future economic growth and strengthen our position as a market leader in the construction equipment industry both in India as well as APAC & MEA.

Please enlighten us about JCB India’s flagship Basic Cluster programme. Having launched it last year, what has been the market response? How is it aimed at helping JCB supplier partners to keep pace with JCB India’s growth?
With the objective of keeping our longstanding suppliers and partners abreast with the latest industry trends, JCB with the help of CII decided to run this "Manufacturing Excellence" program with our key strategic supplier partners.

Spread over one year, the program includes both classroom sessions and the much dreaded ‘homework’. The training program covers the entire gamut of topics such as 5S & Kaizen, 3M & Pokayokes, etc.

Initiated in 2010, we have received an excellent feedback from the industry as well as from our supplier partners. As per CII, JCB is the first ever OEM in India who initiated the cluster approach in earth-moving and construction equipment industry.

This program helps in meeting JCB’s philosophy of establishing long- term & healthy relationship with our supplier partners.

In market place, JCB brand is a household word led by its invented concept of BLs, which has been under constant technical improvement process and has now become the extensively sold and widely seen machine in the country. Please give us an inner view of other JCB’s products gaining strength.
JCB is a multi-product company with the most extensive range of construction equipment. Currently, JCB offers a comprehensive variety of 24 variants in 7 product lines. Apart from the 5 variants of Backhoe Loaders (The "All New 3DX, 2DX, 4DX, 3DX Super and 3DX extra), the company offers 5 Tracked Excavators (JS 81, JS 120, JS 140, JS 200 HD, JS 210), 3 Wheel loaders (two models of 430 ZX, 432 ZX), 2 Compactors (VM 115, VMT 860), 3 variants of Liftall (Liftall 1202, Liftall 1253, Liftall 1553), 2 Skid Steers (135, 155) and 3 variants of Loadall (531-70, 535-140, 540-170).

Other than this wide range of equipment, JCB also provides number of attachments for various purposes such as demolition, foundation, trenching and other activities. With this growing infrastructure demand in India, JCB plans to introduce a wide range of attachments to make JCB machines more versatile.

JCB machines across product lines offer the best in class fuel efficiency and best return on investment. Hence, all JCB products have been gaining strength year-on-year.

JCB JS 120

A word about JCB’s Integrated 3S Facility as one of the unique one-stop solutions for JCB technical services and supply of genuine spare parts services.
Over the years, JCB has developed the largest dealership network in India. Currently, JCB has 500 outlets in India which are 24X7 available for our customers. Our aim is that wherever our customers go, there’s a JCB dealer to provide them with immediate assistance.

3 S facilities stand for sales, service and spares (parts). We have over 5500 qualified service engineers who are trained by us at regular intervals for selling and servicing these machines. All our outlets are fully equipped with international standard servicing.

The business in the road sector in the country is waning out with important players diluting their stake in the road business. How this development impact would the market of road construction equipment in the country?
Road development is a key to infrastructure development but this has been slow moving due to many reasons, including delays in regulatory decision-making, execution impediments, land acquisition issues & environmental clearances etc.

However, multiple initiatives have been taken by our government to regain momentum. With NHAI awarding some mega projects in the coming year, we foresee positive development in the sector. Also, if government accelerates the clearance process of projects like the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor and put them on fast track implementation, they will act as growth enablers for our country. Upliftment in the road sector will definitely be a boom for the road construction equipment market.

What is JCB India’s assessment on how the CE market in the country would unfold in the near future? Is the current phase temporary where CE market is expected to re-bounce in the back of country’s massive infrastructure development programme awaiting ahead?
The construction equipment is certainly facing some challenges due to the overall slowdown in the economy however; these are only short-term challenges. We believe that the long-term prospects of the industry are still strong. In the long-term, nearly all of the infrastructure sectors present excellent opportunities, with roads and highways, ports and airports, railways and power standing out as particular bright spots with astounding sums of investment plan in the coming years.

Moreover, the recent economic reforms introduced by our government look promising. We are confident that these polices will help in reviving economic growth provided they are implemented successfully.

Setting up of the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) is a major step to begin with. The board is expected to clear large infrastructure projects which are stuck due to multiple inter-ministerial issues.

The government should also look at including the earthmoving equipment in the Focus Product Scheme. The earthmoving and construction equipment manufactured in India are at par with international standards and the suggested inclusion will further help in bringing advanced manufacturing skills in operations which will further boost the image of India as the engineering hub for the world.

In a recent move, the government is considering to regulate the import of second hand machinery, if not completely banned it. Do you think that it will impart the much asked for level playing field and encourage competition?
Dumping of used second hand machinery in India has been a cause of concern for a long time now. Currently, there are no stringent laws in India to check the quality of the machines that are imported in India.

The government needs to restrict the entry of these machines and formulate stern polices to keep a check the quality and safety standards. The government should look at putting restriction on port of entry for such imports, preferably one port on each coast.

Once these policies are implemented successfully, we believe that it help provide level playing field to local manufacturers.

What are JCB India’s plans to participate in the second edition of bC India CE mega event scheduled to be held in Mumbai? What new products and services are expected to be launched?
JCB will be a first time participant in the upcoming bC India exhibition and we look forward to presenting our new innovations.

JCB will have its entire range of world class fuel-efficient machines on display at bC India. Our revolutionary machine – the "All New JCB 3DX" backhoe loader which was launched last year will be among the main attractions. This new generation machine is powered by the JCB ecoMAX engine and saves upto 2.5 lac per annum fuel at current fuel costs.

The latest offering in the range of tracked excavator - JS120 will also be displayed at the show. New addition in our Wheel Loader segment - 430ZX, known for its best in class efficiency, will also be a part of the showcase. We will exhibit our world class 9 T Tandem Roller VMT 860 which offers unmatched benefits to our customers in the road construction business.

The most awaited demonstration, JCB’s world famous 'Dancing Diggers' show will also be performed at the exhibition to enthral all visitors and to prove the ruggedness and versatility of our machines.
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