What is your strategy to expand business for existing product range?
Doosan Bobcat India’s aim is to become number one player in compact construction equipment segment in India. We want to be in a position to be able to offer our customers the machine they need to execute their projects in the compact machine segment. In order to achieve that we are working towards widening our product portfolio.In a significant commitment to India, we have inaugurated a new backhoe loader facility and launched a new backhoe loader in 2019 to expand and penetrate the market. Together with Industry leading skid steer loaders and compact excavators in existing product line up, backhoe loaders helps us offer a strong product bundle to cater to India, one of the largest compact construction equipment market in the world.

Initially we are coming out with a 76 HP and two-wheel drive backhoe loader, but we plan to come out with various model and added features and options to meet market requirements in the future.

We are also planning to introduce Bobcat Compact Track loaders in India to meet specific application requirements that demands higher ground traction and increased breakout forces.

In mini excavators too we are exploring options to bring in new models that can add value to our customers. MEX use is growing in the 1-2.4 Ton category and 5-6 Ton category. We are trying to identify and develop new potential areas in North and Western part for 5-6 Ton Category. We have Introduced new 2.7 Ton Category and 3.7 Ton AC Cab machines with changing customer expectations.

We are also planning to introduce new customised products for India Market in 1-2.4T and 5-6T class. We are also developing New attachments by keeping Indian customer requirements.

Looking at the present scenario what would you advise for procurement of backhoe loaders and excavators? Buy it or rent it, why do you say so?
It is true that right now that there is a bit of lull in the construction equipment segment. However, in the long-term India remains one of the high growth potential markets and same thing would apply for the customers as well.

Also, the decision to buy or rent excavators should be based on the utilisation expected. If the project demands continuous utilisation or to be used for a longer tenure, then purchasing a machine is better and the depreciation benefits can be enjoyed. If the requirement is for a short term basis, then renting a machine would be ideal as it would not block the cash of the company.

What are the challenges you see are faced by the industry in dealing with liquidity crunch and what will be your suggestion to the buyers of equipment?
The significant challenge faced by CE industry right now is the uncertainty in the market and when situation turn around and market is likely to become receptive and cash flow would begin.

Considering most of our customers are offering machine on rental, our suggestions to buyers of equipment is to be cautious while quoting for projects and not be aggressive as low rates may lead as the ROI would be affected and turn negative.

What is your expectation from the industry bodies and policy makers to capitalise the market on the back of possible rise in demand due to government push for infrastructure development?
We hope to see some Assurance from Government which improves economic stability and reforms followed in new projects announcement in Road, Rail and irrigation sector.

We would also want timely release of funds to all the contactors who have completed projects to ensure cash flow.

How are you dealing with commitment for low emission norms?
In line with India’s emission norms change proposed from BS3 to BS4 in 2020, We are preparing for upgradation of existing Skid Steer and Backhoe Loaders to BS4 versions with added features and benefits.

Globally, Doosan Bobcat is leading supplier for compact equipment in various markets including High Emission compliance countries. Hence, technology to meet changing emission requirements are already developed and available with us and we would be able to offer them as need arises.

What is your company’s outlook for 2022?
India is expected to become US $5 Trillion in next 5 years. We are confident that the slowdown is temporary. We foresee Growth to continue in Infrastructure, processing industries, steel industry, agriculture and also government focus on rural development, housing for all, connectivity in telecommunication, water and pipeline connectivity. In next 5 years, with urbanisation and labor wage increase, more mechanisation will come which will boost the Compact Equipment demand in various application. With this, MEX will show highest and strong growth in various application, SSL we expect double digit growth potential, and BHL will remain stable at the 40,000 units mark.

It is true that right now there is a bit of lull in the construction equipment segment. However, in the long-term India remains one of the high-growth potential markets.
Hyunsoo (HS) Kim, Director Commercial, Doosan Bobcat India

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