“While intentions have been in place, execution would be the key going forward”
Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) is an Indian multinational automobile manufacturing corporation headquartered in Mumbai. Today, the Group is a $17.8-billion global corporation employing more than 200,000 people across the globe. The Group’s flagship company, Mahindra & Mahindra, is a leader in the tractor and utility vehicles space.

Sachin Nijhawan,
Vice President and Business Head, Mahindra Construction Equipment, is highly upbeat on the growth of the CE sector in India as he shares his optimism with EPC&I ahead of the upcoming bC India 2016 show.

As an established leading player in the Construction Equipment market in the country, what is your opinion on Infrastructure development activity in the country?
Investment in infrastructure, utilities, ports, roads and highways are the main growth drivers for construction equipment industry. Total spend on Infrastructure in 12th Five-year Plan (2012-17) is estimated 10 percent of GDP, up from 7.6 percent during the previous Plan (2007-2012).
This increased spend on infrastructure would drive the growth in construction equipment sales as well. While intentions have been in place, execution would be the key going forward.
Moreover, push for improvement in infrastructure including outlay for roads, railways and development of smaller airports to improve connectivity, favourable land acquisition policies and fast clearance of pending projects are some of the other measures that can be further taken by the government to provide a boost to the economy of the country and turn these plans into reality.

How have the policies and initiatives taken by the government to develop the country’s infrastructure reflected on your company’s growth?
The construction equipment sector in India is growing at a scorching pace, driven by the huge investments being made by the government and the private sector in infrastructure development.
In fact, the overall Indian construction equipment market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 6.2 percent backed by infrastructure spending.
At present, this construction equipment sector is mainly dominated by backhoe loaders (more than 40 percent of total demand), but broad-based growth is expected across products, with each segment expected to see growth.
Particularly, the demand for backhoe loaders is expected to grow as it is a versatile machine and can be employed for numerous applications at the job site. Further, factors such as decreasing availability of manual labour and increased demand for mechanisation are expected to provide a boost to the growth of backhoe loaders in particular and construction equipment sector in general.

What are the company’s expansion strategy and potential segments in Indian construction equipment business?
Innovation is the order of the day, and we believe to provide products and services which help the industry to rise. In fact, we were the leader to provide telematics for remote care and joystick for ease of operation in the traditional backhoe loader segment. Continuous improvement drives us forward, and we believe in providing solution which makes a real difference to our end customer. As a serious player in the construction equipment industry, we are working on both organic and inorganic growth.

How is the technology placed to suit Indian requirements taking into consideration that the equipment works for extended duty cycles and adverse conditions within the country?
Mahindra's Product Development team utilises extensive consumer insight and feedback to develop the product which is built to withstand India's rough terrain and heavy usage. In addition, our products offer cutting edge features using the latest vehicle systems and technologies at prices that are within reach of the mass market.
For example, Mahindra EarthMaster has undergone over 20,000 hours of rigorous testing in the harshest of terrains and for the toughest of applications. It has been validated on all performance, safety and reliability parameters. Completely developed in India, without any collaboration it is truly Made-in-India equipment. Innovative technology such as DigiSense are also designed to deliver value to customers of the developing world.

What is your forecast of CE demand in the days ahead?
The trend is already evident as Indian CE market has been on a strong recovery track after an ebb of four years, and is slated to increase by 50 percent to around 75000 units by 2019. Backhoe Loaders would continue to remain the pivot of this growth of Indian Construction Equipment sector which has registered year-on-year robust growth of 44 percent in H-1 and would continue to grow in the coming years.

Lastly, any new products and services expected to be launched at bc India 2016?
Mahindra Construction Equipment has always strived for innovation and giving the best of products and services to its customers and helping the industry to rise. Since, we believe in continuous improvement and providing solutions which make a real difference to our end-customer, we are constantly involved in research and development activities. As a serious player in the construction equipment industry, you should expect to hear about our new innovations and products soon though not in bC India 2016.

What is your forecast of CE demand in the days ahead?
The trend is already evident as Indian CE market has been on a strong recovery track after an ebb of four years, and is slated to increase by 50 percent to around 75000 units by 2019.”


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