Jasmeet Singh, Head – Corporate Communications & Corporate Relations, JCB India Ltd talks about his products and much more.

What range of products are you offering for efficient and fast construction of roads?
Roads and Highways continue to be a major driver for infrastructure growth in India and the government’s focus is evident through the significant financial outlay it has made towards this sector in the previous years. JCB’s machines have been contributing to the development of India’s infrastructure for close to four decades. Through its road construction solutions, it is committed to contributing and expediting the building of roads and highways in both, rural and urban India.

JCB manufactures over 60 different products in eight different categories, which include Backhoe Loaders, Excavators, Compactors, Telehandlers, Wheeled Loaders, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavators and Diesel Generators. Each of these machines finds great use at almost every construction site, especially the road construction sites. These machines undergo periodic technological enhancement, thereby making the construction process fast and efficient.

Please tell us about your innovations undertaken in 2019, which have proved to be beneficial in terms of cost/process optimisation.
It was recently at Excon 2019 that JCB India unveiled its new range of innovative products, which offer multiple benefits to the customers.

All the new JCB machines exhibit a seamless blend of technology and digital innovation in terms of design, performance, efficiency and safety, thereby bringing to light JCB India’s effort towards meeting the ever-rising demand for world-class construction machines used for building a new India.

Among the new intelligent machines introduced in 2019, was the brand new ecoXpert 3DX Backhoe Loader, a machine with fuel savings of up to 12 per cent and up to 22 per cent lower maintenance costs. The machine has 30 new features like smooth gear shift, new ergonomic seat, LED lights, etc., and is also equipped with JCB’s ‘Intelli Performance’ and ‘IntelliDig’ technology that gives operators real time indication on the depth and reach.

The company has also added some new machines in the Excavator range. The NXT range of machines in the 14T to 24.5T category have been designed around high productivity and come with 10 working modes and an increased efficiency of up to 32 per cent in the Eco mode. The robust Quarry Master Range in the 14T to 38T category is also being offered by JCB.

Additionally, the company has brought a new Telehandler range in India, upgraded to the all-new global side engine design. The new side engine machines are designed to give the operator greater on site visibility, thus aiding safety on the site.

Two brand new models of Skid Steer Loaders, the SSL 135 and SSL 155, introduced in 2019 have the best-in-class performance and fuel efficiency. With 25+ attachments for different industrial jobs, an increase in fuel efficiency of up to 5 per cent with SSL 135 and up to 10 per cent with SSL 155, improved safety through 270 degree visibility, 46 per cent bigger cabin spaces, the machines are best suited for enhanced productivity, comfort and safety.

Some silent features across the range are – enhanced fuel efficiency, variable performance capacity, and smart machine management through LiveLink – an advanced telematics technology that benefits operators in better fleet management through remote monitoring. The technology enables transmission of information on machine’s health including service, operations and security, to the operator or owner.

What are the hurdles you see for faster construction of roads?
After a strong 2018, the earthmoving and construction equipment industry saw demand compression in 2019. The slowdown was attributed to a variety of factors. 2019 being an election year contributed to the overall stress along with other challenges around liquidity and fresh investments.

A significant area of opportunity for recovery path is to have more growth drivers such as other potential sectors like irrigation, ports and water conservation – in the industry. The government has been cognizant of this and thus, has been taking steps to revive growth. With government announcing significant financial outlay in projects such as roads, irrigation, railways and also importantly in the rural economy, there seems to be opportunities for enormous growth.

The importance of developing infrastructure for growth of the economy is critical. Any project has both, immediate as well as long term benefits in terms of employment and demand consumption. The recent announcement of `100 lakh crore in infrastructure over the next five years is welcome as it comes at a time when the Industry has built capacity and capability over the years, and parts of which have remained under utilised in the immediate past.

It is heartening that the announced infra spends are in projects that are spread across power, renewables, roads, railways and urban development and will help create more growth drivers for our Industry. The investment cycle needs to re-instated, and large infrastructure projects are vital to achieve that.

Thus, it is critical that the momentum of construction keeps going. Energizing the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model and a re-look at asset re-monetization can play an important role in addressing funding related constraints. NBFCs will continue to play an important part for financing our equipment and thus the regulatory framework for NBFC growth will also be essential.

Infrastructure will continue to be a key growth driver in the investment lead growth philosophy. The construction equipment industry is critical in fulfilling the $5 trillion economy dream of India and as an industry, we are hopeful that with government’s consistent support, all these hurdles and challenges will soon un-lock significant opportunities in the road equipment and construction sector.

What is the uniqueness of JCB brand vis-a-vis competition?
All JCB machines are manufactured on the company philosophy of “One Global Quality” and they are exported to over 100 countries. JCB is a full range infrastructure equipment partner that provides solutions for customers by integrating its range, reach and world-class product support.

Jasmeet Singh, Head – Corporate Communications & Corporate Relations, JCB India Ltd

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