17 October 2018

Interaction-Vikram Sharma, MD, Kobelco Construction

Our machines are designed to deliver the Best Value-for-Money to our Customers

A subsidiary of the Japan based Kobelco Construction Machinery (KCM), Kobelco Construction Equipment India Private Limited (KCEI), is a major involved in the Indian and global excavator market.  VIKRAM SHARMA, MD AND CEO, KCEI, spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES’ on the company’s products and future plans.

 

Briefly tell us about your product offerings and the key features/USPs that have contributed in strengthening and maintaining your stronghold in the market?
Kobelco is primarily an Excavator-only manufacturer. This focus has enabled us to develop specific technologies and features which make us a global leader in this specialized niche of the Construction Equipment (CE) industry. Our machines are designed to deliver the Best Value-for-Money to our Customers. Fuel savings, faster operating cycles, longer service life of components and strong Product Support network are the key advantages which our Customers derive.

 

 

Briefly give us an understanding about your manufacturing units – location, size, production capacity, technologies used etc?

Globally, Kobelco has multiple manufacturing units – three in Japan, three in China and one each in Thailand, India and USA. All Kobelco manufacturing plants follow the standard Quality Control systems with periodic audits by teams from other units.

The India manufacturing unit is located at Sri City, in A.P., very close to Chennai. It was set up in 2011 for manufacturing a single Model and has grown into a much larger facility with production of three popular Models ranging from the 14 Ton to the 36+ Ton. It is presently rolling out up to 6 units a day and is being ramped up to produce 8 units a day very soon to meet the increasing market demand.

 

 

As a company what are your specific plans for bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2016 – have you devised any new marketing strategy to push your products?

This years’ edition has come at a time when we are in a process of transition. Our Group Company, Kobelco Cranes India Pvt. Ltd. (KCI) is being merged into our Company(KCEI) pursuant to the global merger in Japan effective April, 2016. Also, for the first time in recent years, there is a gap in supply as the demand for Kobelco Excavators has outpaced the supply. We are having a limited participation along with KCI. A 260 MT capacity Crawler Crane, the CKL2600i will be on display along with the Okada range of Rock Breakers. We would have liked to display our new version of the Excavator, SK380HDLC HEAVY TRACKS, which now comes with the Best-in-Class Undercarriage. However, supply constraints have rendered the display of this machine impossible.

 

 

Please offer your assessment of the importance of shows like bauma CONEXPO INDIA for companies such as yours and tell us of your own previous experience?

Bauma Conexpo India is an important event in the CE industry calendar. It generates considerable interest. The initial editions of this Event, held in Mumbai, were very well attended. The last edition at Greater Noida made a relatively limited impact, especially in our market segment, possibly due to factors like the uncertain market condition, a new location, many Companies in a cost-saving mode, etc. We do hope this edition will generate a good response. It is also worth stating that the Indian CE market shows a regional tilt in favor of the South and West.
 

 

Give us an understanding of your company’s performance this year and your outlook going forward?

Kobelco has been experiencing a substantial rise in numbers sold in 2016 compared to the corresponding months of the previous year. In fact, as stated earlier, we have been falling short in meeting the increased demand. This is definitely as a result of the increased market activity supported by various Government initiatives of the last two years. We are ramping up our production capacity and hope to fulfill the domestic demand as well as the demand from overseas markets of South-East, West Asia and Africa, which is being met from our factory in India.




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