Atlas Copco : “We will retain our market space in breakers”

Nitin Lall
Dip in mining and quarrying activities has kept the demand of hydraulic rock breakers almost flat during the pasttwo consecutive years. Low demand has intensified the competition with apprehension of brand substitution ruling high among breaker manufacturers. Certain visible traction in the market based on recent, although nascent emerging slow off-take from aggregate sectors, led by demand from road construction projects and railways ballast from parts of the country has intensified the competition further as almost 50 plus manufacturers, known to be present in the Indian market, with their distributors rush to fill up the demand gap. The fresh lease of competition has accentuated fears of brand substitution wherein the equipment owners will have tocut down on operating and owning costs. However, Mr. NitinLall, General Manager, Construction Technique Business Area, Atlas Copco, is confident of retaining the company's presence in the breakers market through its product placement and supporting services amidst stiffening competition. Excerpts of a recent interaction with P.P. Basistha during his visit to company's Pune plant.

What will be the strategy to hold back market share?
Atlas Copco Breakers
We ensure that the market will not go away from Atlas Copco's hand and for this, will keep offering varied, supreme quality products, built on European standards, based on the assorted requirement of the Indian mine and quarry operators. We ensure that the breakers will keepdeliveringtotal minimization of ownership costs of the operators as operating costs continue to mount in the face of squeezing job margins. Focus on compatibility with the excavators will continue to be emphasized. Application trend continues to remain unspecified for usage of breakers in India both by quarry owners and hirers. It has been one of the major reasons for doing business of breakers as volume based in India. However, priced higher as compared to other contemporary products offerings, Atlas Copco's business strategy has always been to target users having well defined application orientation for the products. Our offerings are quite wide as compared to others, so as to take care of varied, yet targeted applications. We have small range of beakers that can be mounted on 3-12 tons of excavators, medium range for 13-30 tons excavators and heavy range for above 30-120 tons excavators. Equipment integration is ensured through technical cooperation with our OEM buyers. We're planning to expand and retain our market presence by adding more dealers to our network. With the array of wide and quality offerings in place added with supporting services to OEM's and individual buyers, we expect to retain our captive base of customers.

Breaker Manufacturers
What will be the counteractive strategy for base machine manufacturers offering their own brand of breakers as a complete package to the quarry owners? Wouldn't you agree the base machine manufacturers with the total package offerings have been able to gain share in recent years?
The new development has been a challenge for individual breaker manufacturers. However, to reassert, with our focus remaining towards delivering quality products for niche customers, we have been successfully able to neutralize ourselves from the new market development charactering higher competition. Further, our best ability to offer value proposition to our customers through our 50 plusdealers supported by fully trained personnel, we have been able to offer parts and product support on time. This has reinforced our market presence further.

How do you propose to bring down cost of your breakers with appreciation of dollar rates?
Our offerings to minimize total costs of ownership makeAtlas Copco breakers competitive as a product offering despite its higher costs. However, we have started localizing our breakers as per the European standards. Though we import the breakers at higher costs to India,at the same time, we also export a sizeable number of products for different markets which allows us a natural hedge if done in the same period of time.
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