Manish Arora, Business Head(Construction Equipment Division) - Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Manish Arora, Business Head(Construction Equipment Division) - Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
This year, we are further expanding our product range of EarthMaster and RoadMaster, and launching new models tailored to the needs of the customers. We are designing and developing many products, which will be launched after completing their field trials and tests. Products that have completed this cycle like our small motor grader and VFM small backhoe loader and a few others will be launched at Excon19.

We are coming up with some innovative equipment which will address the issue of working in urban areas where space is a constraint; these machines will be more cost-effective, fuel efficient, lighter in weight, easier to operate and maintain.
We are innovating for India; the Indian customer has unique needs that are not yet addressed by the CE industry. Let’s just say, bigger isn’t always better. In particular, the Indian contractor faces situations regularly where space is a major constraint, especially in urban areas. Bigger machines also consume more resources and are an economic burden. We are coming up with some innovative ideas and equipment which will address these issues.

Trends in the CE industry indicate that there is demand for equipment that are more fuel-efficient, environment-friendly, compact, lighter and hybrid in nature. We are constantly improving our products and the EarthMaster boasts one of the lowest maintenance costs in the BHL segment. The success of the RoadMaster range proves that India is hungry for the right equipment; it is much less expensive and is easier to operate and maintain than a traditional motor grader, without compromising on the quality of work. The EarthMaster is one of the most fuel efficient BHLs in India. The RoadMaster also consumes less fuel than the traditional motor graders owing to its smaller engine and lower weight. So, we are very much in tune with the latest trends in the industry.

Technologies such as IoT, Big Data, and Machine Learning bring complexity in the machines, making them difficult to repair and maintain in our rough jobsite conditions.
The major challenge in using technologies like these in CE is the complexity that they bring along. This makes them difficult to repair and maintain in the kind of rough environment that the machines work in. DigiSense technology already present in our machines incorporates some of the features that the smart technology theme talks about such as machine tracking, fuel and engine health monitoring, etc. In addition, we have some smart technologies that we have developed in-house, and we will be rolling them out as the industry and customer base mature.

We are working on both the EarthMaster and the RoadMaster to meet the emission requirements and will be rolling out the BSIV compliant machines by the deadline.

Mahindra Z1A4203

The mini excavator will surely become a more agreeable alternative to the BHL if the price delta changes significantly post Oct 2020 due to the hike in price of the wheeled equipment market, especially backhoes.
The exact dynamics of the volume change is unclear because although the mini-excavator may be better alternative to medium and large projects, the number of smaller projects is much more. Furthermore, the versatility that a BHL offers in rural areas is not matched by the excavator.

We have recently revamped the Mahindra Rental Services to address the issues that contractors face.
Perception towards renting the equipment is changing and more contractors are looking for reliable equipment rental partner. This was bound to happen with the nature of the infrastructure industry. Renting equipment gives a certain amount of economic and strategic freedom to contractors that purchasing equipment doesn’t. We have recently revamped the Mahindra Rental Services to address the issues that contractors face while renting equipment. Renting directly from the manufacturer offers several advantages that a local renter does not.

Mahindra CE offers one of the best aftermarket services and we are constantly looking to improve. The Mahindra Parts Express (Service Van) is one such initiative. Plus, we provide round-the-year training to operators and technicians at several training centres across the country.

We have tie-ups with various Banks and NBFCs to provide customized financing solutions to our customers; subvention schemes for the financers; and we will be rolling out a buyback scheme soon.
At Mahindra Construction Equipment, we aim to provide financing solutions to all our customers as per their requirements. So, we have tie-ups with various Banks and NBFCs to provide a wide range of customized financing solutions to our customers with attractive rates of interest and repayment tenures. As the performance of the CE industry depends highly on seasonal factors like the monsoons, so, we float different moratorium schemes to provide our customers the flexibility to repay the loan.

We are also providing subvention schemes to financers to pass on the benefits of low ROI to our customers. We are also conducting pilots for buyback in certain states; the scheme is at nascent stage and will soon be rolled out pan India. Our finance partners are also providing financing solutions for pre-owned vehicles.

Mahindra earthmaster

The future of the CE industry is definitely bright in India.
We do not expect the current slowdown to last much longer in the CE industry. There is still so much work to be done in India, especially in the Infrastructure sector. Firstly, much of the small scale and unorganised industry still relies on labour or uses outdated equipment. There is a huge potential there if we can understand the needs of the customer. Secondly, if you look at developed countries, US, Canada, UK, Germany etc. the infrastructure there is far more advanced, in terms of reach and quality, and we are still playing catch-up. Be it improving the current road network, expanding the network, building smart cities, airports, and mega-projects, the future of the CE industry is definitely bright in India. Lastly, the government is almost doubling its investment in the infra sector; which will give a boost to the CE industry in the next few years.
NBM&CW December 2019
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