The Indian construction equipment industry volumes have doubled since 2015 and most manufacturers have already increased their capacities to meet the peak demand and the anticipated demand, expecting the boom to continue. However, today, we are at less than 50% or even lesser capacity utilization. So, there is adequate capacity with most manufacturers and component part manufacturers to meet anticipated growth in demand starting next year and over the next few years.
Over the short term until August 2020, we expect the activity in the infrastructure sector, the road sector and also the equipment sector to be at a lower level and we expect things to start picking up from September onwards and for the situation to perhaps come back to normal could possibly be around the same time next year.
Every calamity pushes us to look at new ways, innovative ways, and at alternate ways of doing the same things. We shall be much stronger once we come out of the Covid crisis. Currently, for the CE industry, demand shortage and demand uncertainty is our biggest challenge. The second challenge is with regard to our supply chain - getting various components from within India and from abroad – on time, to meet the demand - as and when it picks up. The third challenge is trying to meet our customer expectations in terms of service and spare parts support due to the various restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
The need of the hour is more long-term investments at low interest rates for infrastructure development.
NHAI and the government have taken a lot of initiatives to help the contractors. One of them is to release all the pending payments which will help the liquidity for the contractors as their revenues have come down dramatically in the last 2-3 months. There is a need to get more long term investments at low interest rates for the infrastructure like roads which will help this sector. We definitely need more investments to come from outside as well for the government to fulfil its ambitions plans that are in the pipeline for national infrastructure development.
Digitization and mechanization are the only way forward for a healthy and prosperous construction industry.
Over the past several years, MoRTH has been encouraging the use of new technologies and equipment to speed up the construction work and also to take care of the aggregate shortage. This trend will continue and definitely benefit the sector in terms of speedy constructions and quality jobs. Beginning next year and over the next 3-4, years there will be good work done in the road sector.