Mahindra EarthMaster– Ushering in A New Era of Performance
"The Mahindra EarthMaster is an outcome of 36 months of development and is loaded with technology not hitherto seen in this product segment in India. Mahindra EarthMaster will usher in a new era of performance, comfort and ease of operation in backhoe loaders. It is the next generation Backhoe Loader. After the tremendous success of Mahindra EarthMaster, we think we can continue to capitalize on our momentum gained with new series of backhoe loaders and other products," says Mr. Kairas Vakharia, Senior Vice President, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

Please introduce Mahindra Group to our readers, specially its new division-Mahindra Construction Equipment.
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership.

Mahindra has a presence in the automotive industry, agri business, aerospace, components, consulting services, defense, energy, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, and two wheelers.

A $12.51 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 137,000 people in over 100 countries. In 2010, Mahindra was named among the Forbes Asian Fab 50 and the Credit Suisse Great Brands of Tomorrow.

Mahindra EarthMaster– Ushering in A New Era of Performance

Mahindra Construction Equipment, part of the 25,000 crore Automotive and Farm equipment sector, has set foot in the construction equipment industry in India with its revolutionary new Backhoe loader - The Mahindra EarthMaster.

The Mahindra EarthMaster is an outcome of 36 months of development and is loaded with technology not hitherto seen in this product segment in India. Mahindra EarthMaster will usher a new era of performance, comfort and ease of operation in backhoe loaders.

A word about Mahindra Construction Equipment manufacturing facilities, location, capacity, and product range at present.
Mahindra EarthMaster– Ushering in A New Era of Performance
The Mahindra EarthMaster is manufactured at Mahindra's state-of-the-art facility at Chakan, Pune. Spread over 30 acres, it is built up on an area of 10000sq.m. and is scalable for future product additions. This plant uses the state-of-the-art technology in the manufacturing process.

The plant utilizes a fully automatic Robotic Welding Unit for welding purpose which ensures accuracy to give a superior strength of the structures.

The plant follows set rigid quality evaluation procedures and implements the Advanced NOVA-C. Every machine rolled out is evaluated to check for appearance, welding and painting and proper functioning. It is also checked thoroughly for mechanical noises, engine noises, leakages etc ensuring that every Mahindra EarthMaster is absolutely perfect.

It is indeed to the credit of your equipment division that within a short spell of time its flagship product-Mahindra EarthMaster-has revolutionized the Backhoe Loader segment; what are its important attributes as different from others?
The Mahindra EarthMaster is the Next Generation Backhoe Loader backed by the engineering capabilities, manufacturing strength, distribution reach and after sales service of Mahindra & Mahindra.

Some of its important attributes as different from others are:
Mahindra DITEC Engine: A 3330 CC, 83 HP Mahindra DITEC Engine which allows customers to save over 10% fuel per hour to lower the running cost and be more successful in a very competitive contracting and hiring business.

REMOTECARE: An intelligent communication system that keeps customers informed about the machine through mobile phone SMS updates. It allows customer to have control over his business from the comfort of his office, car or home.

Mahindra EarthMaster– Ushering in A New Era of Performance

2 Years unlimited hours warranty: It is an outcome of using best in class components, superior manufacturing processes and unrelenting testing regime for each EarthMaster.

Excavator like Hydraulic System: Mahindra EarthMaster allows operators to do multiple movements simultaneously by bringing features that are normally found on crawler excavators.

Joystick controls: Only Mahindra EarthMaster offers specially designed joysticks that are not only easy to use but also minimize fatigue, thus operators to work for long hours. After experiencing Mahindra EarthMaster, the operator will never want to work on another machine.

Digital Instrument Cluster with visual and audio alarms: Mahindra EarthMaster has a new age digital cluster that helps the operator to identify and troubleshoot problems. Operators in different regions of India can read messages and warnings in 6 different languages, in addition to the warning indicators. Now that's 'Simplifying life.'

Do you think that the positive response of the market to Mahindra EarthMaster is due to its quality, price, brand or total cost cycle?
Most of our current customers are experienced earthwork contractors who have bought Mahindra EarthMaster because of its superior value proposition. The superior value proposition of Mahindra EarthMaster allow our customers to increase business earnings at a reduced product lifecycle cost. While our powerful DITEC engine and advanced hydraulics with Joysticks increase the revenue potential, the 2 year unlimited hours warranty, fuel efficient DITEC engine and REMOTECARE reduce the predictable and unpredictable cost of operating the EarthMaster.

The EarthMaster has also been a huge hit among operators. The joystick operation and digital instrument cluster with audio and visual warnings have enabled the operators to work productively, efficiently and smartly. The comfort seating with inbuilt FM radio has also been highly appreciated.

What are your plans to introduce and scale up other construction equipment products having tested water with Backhoe Loader in the market?
After the tremendous success of Mahindra EarthMaster, we think we can continue to capitalize on our momentum gained with new series of backhoe loaders and other products.

With global and national economic headwind looming large on the industrial front; what is your assessment of growth potential of construction equipment products and services market in the country as of now?
The growth potential of construction equipment products is high as the construction industry is the second largest industry in the country after agriculture, accounting for 11 percent of India's GDP. The level of a country's development is reflected by its infrastructure and the desperate need for infrastructure development has increased the demand on the construction industry in India. Therefore, the long-term growth potential is never in doubt although the economic situation might have an impact on a short-term basis.

A word about your REMOTECARE feature and its response from the industry.
REMOTECARE is an intelligent communication system only in Mahindra EarthMaster which takes freedom to the next level. It enables control over the business by providing business information such as daily work reports, fuel level, and various warnings on a mobile phone through a normal SMS message. These messages can be accessed by customers from the comfort of their offices, cars and homes.

We have got extremely positive response on REMOTECARE from the customers. For many customers, it has resulted in timely intervention of potential savings. For other customers, it has become an integral part of their business through which they can track their machine on a daily/hourly basis even when the machine is at remote location.

Don't you think that in construction equipment sector, Backhoe Loader space is very much crowded with many players in the space and with future demand for other heavy line; the demand from Backhoe Loader is likely to taper off in the near future?
It is true that the Backhoe loader space is crowded but still has lot of potential. Most of the new entrants in the earthmoving business, start with a backhoe loader and move to heavy line later. Also a lot of work commonly found in India can only be done efficiently by Backhoe Loader. In other developed countries, mini excavators have virtually replaced Backhoe loaders but we don't envisage any such event in India in the mid-term.

What are Mahindra's plans to participate effectively in the forthcoming mega event–Excon 2011 and its new products, services and marketing resolves proposed to be unveiled?
Our main focus at Excon2011 is to introduce Mahindra EarthMaster, our products, technology, service and experiences under one roof. We are ready to provide customers an "on-ground equipment experience" to utilize the opportunity at Excon 2011 at its fullest. We will also share some real examples of how Mahindra has changed the life of its customers in recent past with its first product Mahindra EarthMaster.

As Excon 2011 is an international trade fair, we also want to take the opportunity to meet and speak with other exhibitors.

Do you think that this mega event would pep up the market sentiments?
Yes, we believe that Excon will definitely play an important role in expanding the construction equipment market further in India. It is also an important medium to meet potential customers and showcase new products and technologies.
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