VP – Corporate Communications,
We are hopeful that the coming years will be positive for the Construction Equipment industry with many large-scale infrastructure projects, says Jameet Singh, VP – Corporate Communications, JCB India.
Considering the first two quarters at a slow pace and the changing economic condition, what is your take on the construction equipment segment for the year?
Largely steered by the implementation of infrastructure projects, the year 2018 was a record year for the Earthmoving and Construction equipment industry. However, 2019 is seeing a demand compression due to a variety of reasons.
The recent times have witnessed an overall economic slowdown, which has been directly distressing the construction equipment sector. The liquidity related challenges around NBFCs have inevitably impacted the industry. Further, 2019 being an election year, has contributed to the overall stress.
Despite the slowdown, there is still a thrust from the Government for creating infrastructure in India. We are hopeful that the coming years will be positive for the Construction Equipment industry with many large-scale infrastructure projects. Once implemented, these projects will create a favourable demand for construction equipment.
At JCB, we are fully prepared to leverage the opportunity with our world-class range of equipment.
How much time, according to you will it take for the stimulus package announced by the government to reflect on the construction equipment segment?
The measures announced by the government, consisting a slew of actions, are an effort to address the problem of trade slowdown. To boost demand in the construction equipment industry, significant budget allocation in infrastructure projects in consecutive Union Budgets has been made by the Government. Further, with the announcement of large-scale infrastructure projects together with a strong focus on rural development, Government is leaving no stone unturned to ease the stress.
We are hopeful that this will have a significant impact in imparting stability and underpinning a new growth impetus for India in the near future. The industry is looking forward to more such announcements from the Government.
Elaborate on the specifications of the most moving excavators of JCB?
While JCB prides itself in being one of the leading manufacturers of tracked excavators across categories in India, our excavators falling in the category of ‘20-tonne capacity’ have successfully generated the highest demand in the India market- JCB NXT 205/NXT 205 LC, JCB NXT 215LC and JCB 225 LC to name a few products. These products possess the right specifications and applications desired by the users, like IntelliControl for remote view of complete machine operations, reliable engine and eco-mode power that helps machines deliver at 32 per cent reduced fuel consumption, thereby enhancing operational efficiency during excavation activities.
JCB NXT 205/ NXT 205 LC: Built to perform in all conditions, the JCB NXT 205 comes with a reinforced structure, deep section boom design, long undercarriage with reinforced idler box area, fully closed box section and more for the NXT level reliability. Powered by a reliable engine and JCB ecoHydraulics, the JCB NXT 205 delivers 32 per cent reduced fuel consumption in eco-mode in comparison with the existing model.
JCB NXT 215 LC: JCB NXT 215LC is a robust machine powered to optimise performance and fuel efficiency for the NXT level of excavation performance. Equipped with 3 power modes and JCB’s ecoHydraulics for innovative power management, the JCB NXT 215LC offers reduction in fuel consumption by upto 32%* over the outgoing model.
JCB 225 LC: The new JCB 225LC is the most robust excavator JCB has ever designed to take on the toughest challenges and perform efficiently for construction businesses. The strengthened undercarriage, upper frame, boom and arm- all these key parts have been redesigned to enhance reliability and durability. Powered by the powerful JCB ecoMax 170 hp engine and smart controls for 8 power modes, the new JCB 225LC delivers powerful performance with fuel efficiency. Backed by over 5,000 trained service engineers across country, JCB support is within reach wherever you are.
Which segment of Excavators do you see in more demand?
Infrastructure creation has gained massive momentum in the past few years. With increasing scale and number of infrastructure projects, excavators as construction equipment are gaining relevance. While Roads and Highways have been the lead growth drivers followed by Irrigation, we are hopeful that water pipeline and water conservation projects will drive further growth in the industry. Moreover, the announcement and execution of large-scale infra projects such as Sagarmala and Bharatmala along with a continued focus on building rural infrastructure have energised the market for excavators. We feel this momentum will continue as the development of infrastructure is an ongoing process and the progress of the nation is dependent on this.
The recently announced thrust on building new airports with a focused approach on the existing opportunities in Power and importantly, rural infrastructure will give the much required boost to the sector.
Innovation is key. Could you touch upon the R&D allocations of your company?
JCB has completed four decades of successful innovation-driven operations in India. Over the years, we have made significant investments to ensure our customers get technologically advanced and innovative products. Today, JCB India is a full range infrastructure equipment partner that provides solutions for customers by integrating its Range, Reach and world-class Product Support.
To monitor these machines in real time, we have set up a world class command centre at our Ballabgarh facility- the LiveLink technology in JCB machines that benefit the customers in better fleet management – by enabling customers remotely monitor and manage their machines, which leads to better expense management and timely completion of work. This information makes a huge difference in the efficiency and costs of the entire operation. Till date, over 1,25,000 Livelink enabled machines are working across the country. The JCB LiveLink technology has been a game changer in the Earthmoving and Construction Equipment industry. Additionally, JCB has been committed to producing intelligent machines to be used in excavation activities.
All these innovations are aimed at giving our customers a world-class ownership experience with our machines and as we go ahead, we will continue to utilise these smart and revolutionary technologies to offer unmatched benefits to customers and end users.
What are your plans in India for the next three years in this segment?
JCB business plans largely depend on the Government’s support received by the infrastructure sector. In the early part of the
decade, the Government had talked about $1 trillion-dollar infrastructure investment which has now transformed into a dream of a US $5 trillion economy. India is expected to witness a gradual growth path in the infrastructure segment, typically, in ensuring connectivity via airways, waterways and roads. Although, regional connectivity scheme UDAN and Sagarmala initiative are yet to achieve potential; growth in regional development is also expected to get significant impetus. Investments in products, technology, and product design are a continuous process at JCB, as we aim to provide the most advanced technology and products to our customers. Digital technologies such as ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘Big Data’ have ushered in a new era of innovation in the Indian business landscape and today, they touch our lives in more ways that we can imagine. JCB is pioneering the use of digital technologies in the Indian Construction Equipment Industry through the integration of IoT and Big Data through an Advanced Telematics technology called “JCB LiveLink”.
Also, in February 2019, we announced the investment of around Rs 650 crore for components and sub-assemblies factory in Vadodara, Gujarat. The decision to build a new world-class factory at Vadodara builds on JCB’s commitment to India. The production at the new facility-which is a 44 acre site, will begin next year. It will house the most modern laser cutting, welding and machining technology and will be a fork-lift free operation. It will be capable of processing 85,000 tonnes of steel annually.
In such a landscape, it is important for any construction company to realise the potential, intertwine product innovation with evolving consumer needs, and cater to the market expectations. With Government’s continued investments in the sector, we are hopeful of long-term growth plans for the country. Anticipating this growth trajectory, we at JCB might come up with new and upgraded equipment to cater to the increasing demand in the coming years, aligning itself with the current market scenario.