Lamenting the slowdown due to the elections, Ajay Aneja, Brand Leader, CASE India, however, tells CT’s Prabodh Menon the long-term growth story looks promising.
How has business been, of late, and how is the industry poised now?
The CE industry had hit a rough patch in the years 2013-2016. However, with the launch of big-ticketprojects, the trend reversed, and the market showed positive results riding on the growingdemand. According to the ASSOCHAM-Feedback Consulting joint study, demand for Indian CE grew by 24% in FY2017-18, up from 13% in FY2015-16, and the sectorcrossed 90,000 units for the first time due to increase in infrastructure expenditure.This growth trend is further expected to continue. According to the report India Construction EquipmentMarket by segment, product type, competition forecast and Opportunities, during FY 2012-FY 2024, construction equipment market is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of6.8% as the construction sector is on expansion mode. Easy availability of finance,positive sentiment and replacement demand will further help in the growth.
Elections in four states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram in November2018 and subsequently general elections scheduled in mid-2019 may have impact onannouncement of new projects which will influence the demand of
construction equipment upto some extent. However, despite all these factors, demand for construction equipment is expected to remain robustriding on ambitious target of roads and highway construction of 45KM/day and progress inother projects like Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, and the India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway project, among others. Rapid urbanisation and surgingdemand for customised equipmentare other factors expected to add in the growth.
What are the key issues the industry faces?
The key issues being faced by the industry as well as the company is the slow pace of thedevelopment of the projects prevailing to the state and general elections. This is expected toremain the same till the second quarter of the coming year. Post that, we can hope that the projectswill move ahead with the normal pace and projects will be completed within the time scheduled.
Well, I mean, on the policy front, what are the issues?
The construction equipment industry is a key part of the infrastructure sector which is largelydriven by the policy decisions. At times, due to various reasons, one single policy can take a lotof time in being implemented. So, further steps are delayed. Also, we often experiencemacro issues influencing our industry which impacts the policies and projects in one or anotherway.Infrastructure development being closely linked to economic growth of the country, weunderstand policy makers are best placed to address the prevalent issues.
Tell us a bit about the trend with respect to the next generation of equipment.
CASE India is highly praised for its quality products and innovative technology. To make theproducts technologically updated and stand out in the market, the company has introducedEagle Eye Telematics System, a real-time vehicle tracking and communication based on GPStechnology which can help keep a track of your machine by fitted sensors which help inidentifying and notifying the problems.
Along with this, CASE India’s R&D section keeps on working to innovate the machines withupdated technologies such as IoT, AI, and automatic control.IoTand artificial intelligence are the next big thing in the construction technology industry. Webelieve IoT and other new technologies will help unlock the productivity related issues ofconstruction industry. These technologies automatically monitor development cycle, facilitateproduction flow in a manufacturing plant and manage warehouse machines. This will help theindustry technicians take an important, informed decision about their businesses.CASE India’s soil compactor is another example of tech-efficient machinery. They are technicallyequipped to provide information on amplitude, frequency and ICV (intelligence compactionvalue) – information related to density of soil compacted. The information is available to theoperator on screen. Once desired density is achieved, on-screen green light signals the operatorto stop and avoid over compaction. In this way, saving of fuel and time is achieved and damageto the surface is avoided.These solutions further help understand signals and patterns to deploy real-time solutions, cutcosts, prioritise preventative maintenance and prevent unplanned downtime.