What is your strategy to expand business for existing product range? Brief us about your latest launches in the market.
At JCB India, the customer is at the center of all our operations. Our production and marketing strategies are directly driven from the ongoing customer demand. Our four-decade-long journey with the Indian customers clearly points at three primary deciding factors for customers to buy any equipment- productivity, reliability and profitability. Taking cognizance of the evolving customer needs, JCB India has been coming up with enhanced versions of solutions pertaining to reduced cost of operation, enhance reliability, performance, ease of use, safety, serviceability and design in its new machine models. We are also considerate of the arising need for safety and operator comfort by the customers as these parameters are becoming critical in the overall buying decision.

JCB India has been focused on innovation and manufacturing technologically-backed solutions, and this year shall be no different. There’s going to be a significant thrust in digital technologies and their integration into new products, in the coming years, which will be towards operators’ safety and easy diagnostics of machines and productivity.

While we will continue to build on our Intelli series, that is about showcasing our digital focus and will presentour exciting new range of technologies in the upcoming big-ticket industry events and exhibitions.

What are the challenges you see are faced by the industry in dealing with liquidity crunch?
India has been facing an overall economic slowdown that has inevitably impacted all industries. Unlike the expectations of the construction industry from 2019, with 2019 being an election year, the construction industry has been witnessing a slowdown as well, especially in terms of demand. The percentage of demand compression has risen sharply from the year 2018 to 2019.

For the period Jan to August, the industry recorded a downfall by approximately 20 per centthis year as compared to last year. While there are various reasons for the slowdown, discrepancies in the payment cycle, causing liquidity challenges and stress on NBFCs, is one of the key factors impacting the growth of the industry.

Being a part of the industry, JCB India has been equally affected and has recently been under the slowdown effect. However, to keep the momentum of our business going, we are re-calibrating our business strategy to adjust to the lower demand.

It is heartening to see the government working towards easing the stress and showing resolve to improve the situation by pushing re-capitalization of banks and supporting NBFCs.

What is your expectation from the industry bodies and policy makers?
Given the investments earmarked by the government for the infrastructure development, especially in the roads and highwayssector, we foresee a considerable growth potentialin the road compaction segment. There is a requirement for building a world-class road network in India, especially in rural parts of the country. This presents a significant opportunity for JCB’s construction equipment.

With the government’s focus on improving the road, railway and air connectivity across regions in India, as indicated in the budget allocations in the Union Budget, we are hopeful of a demand growth in the construction equipment industry significant budget allocation in consecutive Union Budgets has been made.

We are also 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 favorable demand for construction equipment. Also, with large-scale infrastructure projects such as Sagarmala, Bharatmala and Jal Marg Vikas in the pipeline, the long-term prospects look positive and we are hopeful of seeing a strong growth trajectory in this sector in the next few years.

Additionally, we believe that the increase port-led industrial development at Coastal Economic Zoneswillto give further impetus to the construction equipment industry. Urban rejuvenation is another area that can significantly create demand if focused on as an opportunity by the government.

How are you dealing with commitment for low emission norms?
JCB India is committed to carrying out socially and environmentally responsible operations across the country. We are in full support of the upcoming fuel emission norms and are well-prepared to transition through this change, which we believe will lead to better technology and sustainability in the long run. With new eco-friendly technological advancements in the products we are hopeful of getting ourselves at par with other advanced markets such as USA and Europe. It will also contribute in the enhancement of the overall value chain of the product in terms of development, research and the percolation of this technology in the supply chain.

Since, the BS (CEV) IV emission standards for wheeled construction equipment will be applicable from 1st October, 2020, JCB India will be prepared to welcome the move in full spirit.

What is your company’s outlook for 2022?
A significant financial outlay announced by the government in the recent union budgets will boost demand for road equipment and hence, will effectively drive growth in the construction equipment industry. With the implementation of large-scale projects, including projects of national importance, the road equipment industry is on a path to gain momentum.

Roads & Highways will continue to be key growth drivers for the construction equipment industry and critical to fulfilling the $5 trillion economy dream of India. The rising focus of the covernment towards rural economy will also be one of the major contributors in the foreseeable future, with rural roads development projects being in the forefront. Further, new growth drivers such as interlinking of canals, railways, mining, and real estate are going to push the sales and utilisation of road equipment

The Indian construction equipment industry is also fully embracing the convergence of digital and traditional technologies with JCB India, a leading manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment pioneering the way.

Aligned with the forecast growth trajectory, JCB with over 60 products and 9 product categories is committed to offering world-class products to its customers.

With the government’s focus on improving the road, railway and air connectivity across regions in India, we are hopeful of a demand growth in the construction equipment industry.
Jasmeet Singh, Associate Vice President, Corporate Communications and Corporate Relations at JCB India Ltd.

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