Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Interaction - Sandeep Mathur, Brand Leader, Case India

Our customers are aware that CASE guarantees peace of mind and can vouch for our commitment to their business.

 

 

CASE India is a pioneer for its full line of powerful and robust equipment for road construction, innovative technology and customer service in India. The company has an extensive network of around 74 dealers with nearly 300 plus touch points spanning the length and breadth of the country to support the products with spares and service even in remote locations.

In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, SANDEEP MATHUR, BRAND LEADER - INDIA & SAARC,  CASE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, speaks about the status of the road construction equipment industry, product offerings, emphasis on technology, after market services and a lot more.

 

 

Briefly give us an overview of the road construction equipment industry, the latest trends, current business drivers? What are the road equipment currently most in demand?

The Pandemic and the consequent lockdown had affected businesses across sectors leaving them with multiple challenges and roadblocks to deal with. However, the various initiatives proposed by the government of India as well as steps taken by organizations internally have led to an upward shift in the graph predicting growth for road construction equipment industry in India.

 

In the financial year 2020-2021, 13,298 kms of highways were constructed in India and the aim is to construct 65,000 KM of national highways with an expenditure of 5.35 lakh crores by the end of 2022.

 

As a result, even after an initial decline in 2020, India construction equipment market had a turnover of $6.5 Billion. Further, as per the Government’s ‘Vision plan 2030’ the aim is to make India a manufacturing and export hub for construction equipment and propel the development of world-class infrastructure in the country.

 

Recently during a CII conference, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that India has made a world record of 38 km of road construction in a day and the aim is to reach 100 km a day in near future.

 

These initiatives are a testimony to the fact that road construction in India is at its all-time high, indicating the rapid growth expected in road construction equipment industry in the coming years.

 

Talking about the machines in demand, equipment like Excavators, Graders, Loaders, Compactors are the most commonly used and in demand machines for road construction activities.

 

 

 

Many states have now eased the lockdown, has there been a uptake in sales for your company, provide details with regards to the current situation of the industry and what are your strategies to overcome these challenges.

The entire industry was hit by the Pandemic induced lockdown, business across sectors were impacted and sales as well as profit margins dropped during the Pandemic.

 

However, there were various initiatives taken by the Indian Government which has and will further stimulate demand for construction equipment in the country. In addition to the Government initiatives, to combat with the situation, we have been offering absolute flexibility to our consumers in the form of easy loan approvals, extended warranties, easy EMI options etc. so that they can make a comfortable purchase without any hesitation or apprehension.

 

As a result, the overall of business performance and sale has improved as compared to last year and we are optimistic that it will get better in the coming times.

 

 

 

What are the range of construction equipment offered by your firm to support India’s road construction plans? Cutting edge technology like telematics, IoT featured in your machines.

CASE India offers an entire range of road equipment especially designed for the Indian terrain and the challenges that come with it.

 

For the on-road segment CASE offers a range of compaction series equipped with best-in-class technologies. For Asphalt Application, CASE India offers 752EX Vibratory Tandem Compactor and 450DX Mini Tandem Compactor. In Soil compactors CASE has 1107EX available in three variants - Standard, Drum Drive and Pad Foot Drum. Additionally, the 110 EX- D Soil Compactor is specially used for mining application and is available in two variants -Drum Drive and Pad Foot Drum. All compactors are equipped with a compaction meter, so the operator can check amplitude, frequency and ICV (intelligence compaction value) related to the density of soil compacted.

 

CASE India also offers a range of Motor Graders and Crawler Dozers. CASE 845B is suitable for Road construction & 865B Motor Grader is suitable for mining application. Crawler Dozers, come in 3 models 1150L and 1650L suitable for road construction and 2050M suitable for mining application. Additionally, CASE also has SR130 Skid Steer loader, suitable to work in confined spaces for general construction application. Additionally, we have recently included our brand-new excavator in the Indian portfolio. The CASE CX 220 LC is a 22-ton excavator that is specially designed for the Indian terrain and delivers faster cycle times, higher productivity and fuel savings.

 

Our current range of our backhoe loader machines is laden with the best-in-class components and features. Backhoe loaders have flexible usage and can be used from construction, small demolitions and light transportation of building materials to digging holes/excavation, landscaping, breaking asphalt and paving roads.

 

All of our machines are made after extensive research to ensure they are fit for Indian terrain and site conditions. They come many advanced features such as eagle eye telematics system as well as Sitewatch technology, which we recently launched. Backed by extensive research, we have introduced many superior technologies and features in our products like CASE Intelligent Hydraulic System (CIHS), Fuel Efficient FPT Engines, Multi Radius Moldboard and Hydrostatic transmission.

 

All CASE equipment have tough exterior and our made with heavy duty materials which makes them durable and desirable for long use. Apart from the strong exteriors we also give the operator a spacious cabin and better ergonomics for smooth lever operations. At CASE, it is a part of our DNA to incorporate advanced technologies that can further enhance the efficiency of the machine.

 

 

 

Give us an understanding of their key features in terms of safety, ease of operating your machines, operator comfort, cost efficiency etc. their specific advantages. Also brief us on the training initiatives undertaken by your company to ensure projects are completed on time in a cost-effective manner.

CASE India’s equipment range is furnished with advanced features. Our R&D team puts special focus on providing outstanding visibility for the operators through its wide glazed windows present in the equipment and an open able roof window on the top. The closed HVAC cabin includes an ergonomically designed seat which provides a better lever position to assure the safety of the operators. The power shuttle transmission provides four forward and reverse speeds. The hydraulically shifted clutches allow the operator to change direction and travel speed on the go, while the control valves deliver smooth speed and direction shifts, resulting in smooth and accurate operation. The new single-piece engine hood provides excellent access for maintenance. The machine layout has been designed to ensure all daily service points are easily accessible at ground level, for quick and efficient servicing.

 

In the spacious cabin, the operator seat and ergonomics have been redesigned to offer better comfort and smooth lever operations. The PRO series is equipped with CASE’s revolutionary advanced EAGLE EYE telematics solution equipped with Geo-fencing for enhancing the performance and efficiency of the machine. This Asset Monitoring System gives the freedom of machine monitoring and remote diagnostics alerts at the click of a button on a mobile or desktop computer.

 

Further talking about training initiatives - we host training programs all around the year and conduct regular training sessions for our operators, dealers and other partners to keep them updated on latest developments. For the same, CASE India has dedicated training centres to host these training programs. We also have dedicated CASE manpower in product support team in each region specially to support our customers with regular training, ground check and maintenance. Even during the Pandemic, we continued to offer these trainings to our respective stakeholders via digital platforms to ensure continuity in business.

 

At CASE, we believe in incorporating practices that enable people and our endeavor is to introduce machines with a simple and easy-to-use interface along with all the latest features and tech.

 

 

 

Aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.

CASE offers optional extended warranties and service support, so customers can use their machines more confidently knowing that CASE will support them through the machine’s lifecycle. CASE Care is a cost-effective service contract under which we pro-actively monitor the machine which helps in preventive maintenance. CASE Protect is a comprehensive extended warranty which ensures expert care, round the clock availability and hassle-free operations.

 

For Fleet owners, CASE offers Maintenance Contracts with dedicated service manpower available at site to ensure uptime. In terms of spare parts and product support, we have a good amount of stock supplies at key locations and even in these challenging times we are delivering parts and scheduling services via our comprehensive dealer network, keeping all the safety precautions in mind.

 

CASE Sitewatch is also monitored by CASE After Market team, to ensure that timely action can be taken in case of any potential disruption in working.

 

Our customers are aware that CASE guarantees peace of mind and can vouch for our commitment to their business.

 

 

 

Please provide details on your emphasis on technology, research, design and innovation? What are the advancements you have introduced or plan to introduce?

Technological upgrades are a perennial part of CE industry. CASE has always been a technology first brand. CASE as a brand has always focused on incorporating latest technologies at all levels, whether it is in internal manufacturing process or providing latest features as part of the equipment to the end users. Our products and manufacturing plant is replete with advanced features. CASE’s plant is WCM certified and has automated processes with advanced technology of global standards which helps in increasing the productivity, efficiency and overall output of the plant.

 

Our machines come equipped with a multitude of smart features such as an eagle eye telematics system which helps in monitoring the performance, security and efficiency of the machine in real-time. We also launched our SiteWatch platform as well with an all-new dashboard, more intuitive navigation. Additionally, our state-of-the-art plant at Pithampur, with exemplary automation and efficient processes, is a testament to this.

 

Further with rapid technological developments being witnessed in every industry today, there is a gradual shift towards adopting advanced solutions such as automation, IoT, AI, AR/VR enabled solutions etc. Similarly in the construction sector as well, these technologies have created an upward shift, helping manufacturers and end users, both.

 

Currently, digitalization is bringing the fourth industrial revolution aka Industry 4.0 in the country. It is combining traditional manufacturing with digital tools to allow collaboration in real time. It is also bringing in the demand for more technologically sound products which offer greater productivity and efficiency. Moreover, owing to the pandemic, the construction industry saw a leap in technology and digital platforms thus making industry 4.0. a norm today. At CASE we took the same approach and hopped on the digital wagon by dealing with our customers, dealers and employees digitally. When adopted successfully, these measures, will create smart and intuitive products for the future with higher efficiency and productivity and low downtime.

 

Backed by a detailed R&D procedure, we have been able to introduce machines across categories that fit the requirements of Indian consumers and help them execute projects with complete efficacy. Further, as an organization we have the necessary capabilities and capacity to procure and locally manufacture machines as per varied customer needs. With an extremely efficient R&D department, local manufacturing facility and hands on experience of using latest technologies, we have the required infrastructure and abilities to meet prospective demand and provide consumers with all types of machines.

 

 

 

What are the trends driving purchase or hire of road construction equipment market in India? To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost? With uncertainty all round are you seeing a shift from purchase of machines to rental or leasing, your comments.

Cost is one of the most important factors considered while purchasing any products, especially when it comes to heavy machinery or construction equipment. Therefore, the consumer behavior is largely driven by the cost of the product followed by other factors such as product performance, functionality, efficiency etc. Moreover, with the Pandemic and the lockdown there has been an overall slowdown in business, impacting the sale and purchase of heavy machinery.

 

As a result, easy finance schemes, loan options as well as the option to rent equipment gained prominence.

 

Before the pandemic, the rental market in India was in a nascent stage. Currently, as the pandemic continues, securing finance is becoming a challenge so there could be a possible surge in the rental market. Therefore, owing to the price conscious behavior of the consumers, there might be an increase in rentals of equipment, primarily because purchasing a new machine will involve a comparatively higher one-time cost. Industry reports also suggest that, the Indian construction equipment rental market is anticipated to register a CAGR of about 5.1 % during the forecast period (2020 – 2025). As a result, growth in rentals in the near future can be expected. We, at CASE India, are working on our rental platform which will help meet all such rental demands of our potential customers without incurring a heavy capital investment. Coupled with our great products with state-of-the-art features and our service network, we are always there by our customers’ side abiding by our philosophy of leaving no customer behind, whether small or large.

 

 

 

Your comments on the financing of equipment, how fast and easy is it for a customer to get finance. What according to you will enthuse customers to buy equipment and thereby increase sales.

For CASE, commitment to customer is paramount. We’ve been engaging with our current customers online and have given them loan extensions and warranty support to ease out any pressure. In terms of spare parts and product support, we have a good amount of stock supplies and even in these challenging times we are delivering parts and scheduling services keeping all the safety precautions in mind.

 

We have a financial arm present in India called CNHI Capital, which provides a comprehensive range of services, including wholesale and retail equipment financing support for customers in the market place. It enables us to extend an extra line of credit to existing customers who are looking to expand their product line. At CASE we regularly introduce lucrative schemes for our customers, to facilitate product purchase. We have seasonal schemes and product specific schemes as well.

 

Additionally, we extended the warranty period for 60 days to support those customers who could not avail the benefits and the warranty period for their equipment was expiring amid lockdown. The extension of warranty is supported by an increase in warranty claim submission time, late repair time and policy claim requests over a period from 30 days to 90 days. The brand’s warranty helpdesk is fully operational to support customers with their queries. We have also introduced a 48 hours loan approval policy to facilitate easy loan service.

 

All these initiatives and schemes are centered towards easing down the burden on consumers so that they can make a purchase without any hesitation or worry.

 

 

 

How do you expect the market to shape up for the road construction equipment industry. What sort of government policies or measures will foster growth for the infra industry at large thereby propel the growth of CE industry.

From the last one year, since the beginning of the pandemic the situation has changed drastically, where with the emergence of Covid-19 an unprecedented roadblock has been created for businesses across sectors. More so, with the overwhelming second wave, regular operations have been adversely impacted in multiple industries.

 

However, in order to deal with the various challenges posed by the Pandemic, Government of India has announced various measures and several projects to revive the infrastructure and construction sector.

 

The government is inviting bid for 1000 KM highway construction worth Rs.50, 000 cr. Discussion is underway to offer relief measures to road contractors and direct-immediate relief for construction sector.

 

The Budget 2021-22 has put a lot of focus on reviving the infrastructure sector. The government’s effort towards further enhancing the roads and highways projects to 7,400 new projects is a welcome step which will ensure a better year for the infrastructure sector as well as for the construction equipment industry. The announcement of introduction of the Development Finance Institution providing `20,000 crore to launch the National Asset Monetization Pipeline to fund new infra projects, will strengthen the stability of the sector further.

 

Multiple schemes have been introduced for contractors, daily wagers and people dependent on the construction sector to help them deal with the repercussions of the Pandemic.

 

For laborers also central government has proposed state governments to ensure vaccination, livelihood support, etc. These measures are an attempt to ensure growth of the industry and would most likely result in an increased demand of construction equipment as well.

 

As a result of all these efforts, ICRA has predicted the industry to grow by 15-20 per cent despite 39 per cent decline in H1 CY2020 due to Covid-19.

 

In the financial year 2020-2021, 13,298 kms of highways were constructed in India and the aim is to construct 65,000 KM of national highways with an expenditure of 5.35 lakh crores by the end of 2022.

 

Therefore, the Government must continue to provide the necessary support to industries, enabling them to function effortlessly and contribute to the overall growth of the economy.

 

Taking into consideration all these initiatives, we are confident that things be will back on track soon and the infrastructure and construction sector will be one of the key growth drivers for the Indian economy, post Covid.




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