Tractors India Private Limited (TIPL) was formed recently by TIL to promote Caterpillar's business in India more effectively as the construction and mining sector's equipment requirements become more multifarious. P.P.Basistha had an interaction with Mr. G.V.R Murthy, Joint MD, TIPL to learn about the business support in terms of customers' service backup, the new entity would provide for CAT's products and other equipment to be promoted through new marketing alliances.
What is the Business intention behind TIPL's formation?
TIPL, the hundred percent subsidiary of Tractors India Limited (TIL) was formed during April 2010. TIL has been a Caterpillar Dealership since 1964 and marketing CAT's products. The new establishment would help to market entire range of CAT's products across the value chain more effectively in India. The key business portfolio of TIPL is to offer customized service support package for entire range of CAT's products including earthmoving and road construction equipment, mining machinery and power systems.
The new entity comes in the backdrop of strategy to strengthen its business extending its product portfolio in the country. This is so because equipment requirement are becoming larger in terms of volume and assorted in character based on sound demand fundamentals. Moreover, there is a vital emerging need of equipment integration for timely completion of projects. The business arm would be looking to promote CAT's advanced technologically driven products supported by our customer support to provide extended life for the equipment during its course of application at various job sites.
Can you spell out the range of overall Caterpillar products sold and serviced by TIL in India. What are the capacity range of excavators, wheel loaders, haulers and other earthmoving machines in terms of tonnage being marketed by TIL?
TIPL dealership covers entire range of Caterpillar products such as Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Motor graders and other earthmoving and mining machines, as well as Diesel and Gas based Power systems.
What are the new Caterpillar products being proposed to be marketed by TIL particularly those belonging to CAT? Geographically which are the areas in India being served by TIL?
Caterpillar and its dealers have always believed in emerging customers' needs and requirements, proactively. It is this belief which results in our offerings of value added technology solutions as also machines which are progressively linked to innovation. The market and the customer needs are dynamic and evolving thereby creating a constant requirement for new products, configurations as well as solutions. Thus, at any point of time, we have a healthy line-up of NPIs (New Product Introduction) and NMIs (New Market Introduction) through which our customers can be served better.
TIPL covers at a macro level the Northern and Eastern parts of India including Bhutan and Nepal through its subsidiaries. To get closer to customers and serve them better, TIPL was restructured into 4 (four) territorial dealerships recently – TIPL East, TIPL South- East, TIPL – North and TIPL – North Central. By doing so, the responsibility is far more focused and accountability completely linked to customer engagement.
When did TIL entered into a distribution tie up with SEM for marketing its wheel loaders in India? Is this tie up meant for manufacturing or distribution? What are the features and capacity of SEM wheel loaders?
TIPL got into an agreement with SEM a few months back. This is a new avenue, given the brisk activities that exist in what we call the mid-tier segment. We have tied-up with SEM as their dealer for the Northern and Eastern parts of India and we are confident of our success in the segment which is cost effective, competitive and challenging. Apart from an excellent product from SEM which is a 100% subsidiary of CAT, we are committed to extend unmatched product support to our customers.
What about providing enhanced equipment uptime?
As well-known TIL is fundamentally a strong engineering driven company with an equally strong service portfolio and skills. This is both in terms of start-up, commissioning and operation of the equipment during its entire lifecycle.
Under the new formation of TIPL, we would continue to collect and integrate data from CAT's global knowledge pool on character of equipment performance. CAT's knowledge pool would essentially provide data base on performance of its machine in various working conditions globally at different job sites. Inputs from the knowledge would be supported by our own inputs based on our experience of equipment performance. Thus allowing us to provide advanced and total customer support for operation of the equipment.
Equipment uptime would also be provided through our "Connected Work Site Programme." Data generated through the programme would pertain to information on scheduled oil changes, components performance, importantly engine performance under various working conditions. The comprehensive data generated would help in preventive maintenance of the equipment.
Would you provide certain details on TIL's Connected Worksite Programme for enhanced equipment uptime for Caterpillar and other new products marketed by TIL?
The "Connected Worksite" program of Caterpillar has been identified as one of the key thrust areas in its business strategy. The key theme of this program is to provide Value Added Solutions to customers by leveraging on technology that makes them more competitive in the market place. Accugrade is one such prime example which is being offered to the core industry customers and especially to those who are in the Heavy and Highway Construction segment. There are other technology solutions in the pipeline covering a larger cross-section of the construction segment. Our association with SITECH, distribution arm of Trimble a global leader in the Technology solutions area, will give us greater access to acquire and market latest solutions to our customers.
Timely availability of parts and components would add further value to "Connected Worksite" programme through support from our pan India warehouses comprising three hubs located in Kolkata, Sahibabad and Asansol and 42 sales and service outlets.
Can you elaborate on better equipment availability through operators training?
TIL has been well-known for gathering customers' feedback. We would look to gather customer feedback in an increasing manner in terms of equipment operation through various advanced tools. Based on the feedback received, we would look to fine-tune operators training programme. There would be specialized operators training through regular customer interaction based on requirements. Broadly, we would look to provide advanced training support in terms of best practices shared by us synthesized CAT's operators programme.
Please share some details of training programme.
Our training programme to provide enhanced equipment uptime is quite comprehensive. Essentially, there are three levels of training provided by TIPL. Training is provided to our sales and service team so that they can impart training to operators. Further, we have certified operators to provide operation training to end users at all working conditions. An operator plays an important role in enhancing profitability through efficient machine operations and controls. Over the years, TIPL's Operator Training Programs are a great value differentiator for Customers making us a preferred business partner. At TIPL, the operator training is offered with every new machine sale and also we offer training to operators for their existing fleet based on customer request.
After about 3-6 months of imparting training to operators, our representative revisits the customer and assesses by means of a survey the Customer benefits.
The customer feedback we have received is very encouraging and today the result of this endeavor shows improvement in customers' machine utilization, productivity and fuel consumption after we trained their operators. With the benefits of operator training clearly visible, Customers have signed contracts with us to train their Machine and DG set operators on a regular basis to reap the rich benefits of operating Caterpillar machines.