07 June 2020

Interaction - Dimitro Krishnan, VP & Head, VOLVO CE India

Customers in India love Volvo machines

Swedish major Volvo CE has been manufacturing excavators globally for over 75 years. Last year, it launched its biggest excavator ever. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES,

DIMITROV KRISHNAN - VICE PRESIDENT AND HEAD, VOLVO CE INDIA, discusses the Indian market and what distinguishes their excavators from the competition.



Tell us about the range of excavators offered by Volvo CE, in terms of types, capacities, and applications.

Volvo CE has one of the most comprehensive range of earthmoving equipment available in India. Our company has been manufacturing excavators for over 75 years. Our range in India includes, on one end the popular EC140D Prime with a 14-ton rating and, on the other end we also have the 95-ton-rated EC950E, which launched last year, which is the largest excavator we have ever produced.




Cutting edge technology featured in your machines. What distinguishes your excavators from competitors.

Our customers appreciate the cost savings and operational efficiencies that Volvo technologies bring them. Especially in the current work environment, where projects are getting bigger and timescales are getting tighter, contractors are looking to equipment and technology to bring them some advantage. The central driver in the development of hybrid technology is fuel efficiency, but of course at Volvo CE we are already the recognized industry leader in this area. We have introduced the technology on a prototype wheel loader that we unveiled last year. As a company, we are constantly researching new technologies for all areas of machine operations. Not only hybrid technology, but also electrification and more. In fact, we have just introduced the industry’s first-ever prototype fully-electric compact excavator. This unveiling at our recent innovation event in London offers a glimpse of things to come. India remains a market where new technology is generally absorbed over time, rather than at an early stage. Customers in India love Volvo machines so much because they can deliver the fuel savings they want without the need to take on new hybrid systems, utilizing proven designs instead.



Aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.

An essential part of our customer support is our highly-experienced dealer network, which spans the whole of India. For many years now, customer support has played an increasingly important role in our industry and for us at Volvo CE. It’s something that we see continuing. A large part of our success in India is down to the scope and skill of our experienced Volvo CE dealer network. With greater pressure than ever on deadlines, customers want to know they have a reliable partner. We offer a range of Customer Support Agreements: Gold, Silver, Blue, and White. Our White agreement delivers entry-level support, while Gold delivers our most comprehensive service offering. Offering customers a wider range of choices helps them choose the level that best suits their needs.




Which sectors are major demand drivers for your products.

Volvo CE is the only major manufacturer with a strong market presence in each of India’s big-three equipment sectors: road building, mining, and general construction. We expect that more equipment, especially large excavators, will be required in coal mining.



Your strategy to play in a price-sensitive market.

India is less price-sensitive than it was previously, reflecting how the market is maturing. Correspondingly, there is growing acceptance of new technologies and the benefits they bring. As with all things, it’s important to strike the correct balance. Having a manufacturing plant in Bangalore means we are better-placed than most to get this balance right, creating products locally that will suit local needs, but still with the advanced design, productivity, and reliability, that Volvo customers expect.




Impact of GST on your products.

The construction equipment industry is likely to take a hit as a result of the new GST rate on earthmoving equipment. To the buyers, the new tax rate will translate into a 10 per cent increase in construction equipment cost, thus increasing the overall cost of infrastructure development. In addition, the new policy will also affect the cash flow of buyers and put a heavier financial burden on their businesses.

While there is speculation that the policy may slow down infrastructure development in India, the degree of impact will largely depend on buyers’ ability to claim input tax credits.



Do you offer equipment financing or do you have tie-ups with finance companies for the same?

Volvo Financial Services offer an interest rate of 2.2 per cent for 24-month financing on select pre-owned Volvo remanufactured machines. Extended warranties and attractive lease options are also available. This allows the buyer to introduce to his fleet a high quality and hardworking piece of equipment that is comparable to a new machine but at a much more accessible price. Our local dealers can be contacted for more details.




Your outlook for the rentals market.

We expect the rental market will continue to grow in India for some time as the country’s economy matures. Excavators will likely to be a key product line in the development of the rental business here.




Future outlook from the industry perspective and company.

The outlook for excavators is positive. The Indian government’s ambitious plan to improve infrastructure will facilitate further growth in the construction equipment industry. This will be a major growth driver as developers need more powerful machines to meet construction deadlines.




Give us an understanding of your machines’ key features, such as safety, ease of operation, operator comfort, cost efficiency, etc. What specific advantages do they provide.

We have enjoyed huge success in India with our D-Series models. Our latest excavators include the EC210D, EC250D, EC350D, and EC950EL. Last year, we introduced two of the smaller models in the range, the EC210D and EC250D at bC India.

The EC210D features a robust frame combined with optimal engine power and hydraulic pressure to provide superior digging forces. It also has increased hydraulic flow for responsive and accurate control in grading and combined operations.

Similarly, the EC250D delivers increased power and digging force as well as faster cycle times for greater productivity. The excavator is equipped with a powerful six-cylinder diesel engine, rated at 138 kW (188hp). As with all Volvo CE units, fuel efficiency is a major focus with the EC250D, which features our unique ECO mode.

The EC350D has an operating weight of between 34,300 kg and 38,700 kg and its maximum bucket capacity is 2 m3. Equipped with a 210 kW-rated engine, the excavator delivers fast cycle times, high digging power, and low fuel consumption.

Like the EC250D, it also features Volvo’s ECO mode, which automatically switches the engine off during idle times, to further reduce fuel consumption.

The EC950E is the largest excavator ever built by Volvo and has an operating weight of 89,960 to 91,840 kg. Its durable wear-resistant components guarantee maximum uptime and profitability, while its awesome power delivers unprecedented productivity from a Volvo machine.

Both the EC210D and EC250D are equipped with intelligent work modes, including the new G4 work mode. Operators can choose a mode that best suits the task at hand, selecting from I (Idle), F (Fine), G (General), H (Heavy) and P (Power max) modes. Choosing the correct mode for the working conditions ensures added versatility and increased productivity.

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