Armed for growth
JCB is focussing on improving its market share by innovating technologically advanced equipment, says Amit Gossain, EVP marketing, BD & corporate affairs
Interviewed by Sumantra Das
Research is bullish on the high growth potential of earthmoving equipment. How far are these projections realistic?
The earthmoving equipment market has gained popularity over the past few years and the market will certainly grow further as demand for specialised machinery is on the rise. Currently, there is a lull in demand for construction equipment due to the economic slowdown but it will pick up with momentum in the infrastructure sector.
On our part, we have seen an increase in the exports of our machines last couple of years.
Do tell us in detail your product launches in 2013. How have they been received?
We launched 19 products — the highest ever launch in the history of any construction equipment manufacturer in India and they were well received.
Our flagship product, the backhoe loader, is getting better with each passing year. We showcased a range of backhoe loaders with upgraded variants like 3DXcellence backhoe loader that is highly fuel efficient.
We also showcased a renewed range of Tracked Excavators with industry leading cab, structure, reliability and fuel efficiency.
In addition, we also introduced two Loadalls (Loadall 7m and Loadall 11m) as a concept machine for India and Skid Steers (SSL 135 and SSL 155).
How do you foresee the market for JCB in 2014?
Our focus continues to improve market share by innovating technologically advanced equipment. Our strategy has been to establish a wider distribution network by expanding reach.
Given the growing number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline and the investments planned by the government, we anticipate 2014 to bring in favourable results. However, a lot of groundwork needs to be done to ensure acceleration of implementation of projects.
What are some of the challenges faced today?
There are difficulties in achieving financial closure, land acquisition and issues related to environment and forest clearance that need to be addressed quickly.
The Supreme Court has ruled that environment approvals may be delinked from forest clearances which will kick-start roads and highways projects.
Draft Public Authority (settlement of disputes) Bill 2013 seeks to set up an institutional mechanism to provide speedy resolution of disputes. Moreover, the government must ensure that projects are awarded to the private sector only after securing clearances.
How are you looking to further bolster your market share?
We believe in manufacturing India-centric products. There is a need to continually innovate in terms of design, technology and manufacturing.
All our products’ design, production, distribution and marketing focus on ensuring that customers see RoI. We have an extensive distribution network with over 575 outlets and 59 dealers.
Over the years, we have established strong engineering facilities across the globe. In India, we have established centres in Pune and Ballabgarh (Haryana). A dedicated `India Design Centre’ has been set up in Pune and caters to our group’s global design requirements.
Similarly, we feel our manufacturing philosophy of `One Global Quality’ is unmatched in quality and performance.
What are your expectations from the new political dispensation in 2014?
We are happy with the cuts announced in the interim budget announcement. This will help the industry that has dropped by over 30% in the last few years.
The cut in excise duty from 12% to 10% and withdrawal of exemption from CVD on six road construction equipment will provide some relief.