Monday, April 12, 2021

Interview - Anand Rajore (Terex Equipment Pvt. Ltd.)

In 2015, we can expect a robust growth in our business



Terex Equipment Pvt. Ltd., is a fully owned subsidiary of Terex Corporation, a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment that is focussed on delivering reliable, customer-driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. ANAND RAJORE, REGIONAL MANAGER-WEST, TEREX EQUIPMENT PVT LTD offered CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES his perspective of the business through 2013-14.




How was 2013-14 for Terex in terms of consolidation of its position in the local market?


The year 2013 was very challenging. There was a drop in the market demand and this affected all manufacturers. However, we worked closely within our network, provided additional support to our dealers. As a result of our efforts we were able to retain our market share within our region. During tough times, it is important to stay close to the customer, which is what we did through initiatives like training to operators. We also created platforms to bring together buyers and financiers, enabling the buyer to make an informed decision. Our dealer field force was trained on various aspects like feature-benefit analysis of the machine. So we invested our time wisely without losing touch with the market.




Tell us about your products that come under construction division?


Terex has five business segments. We are part of the construction equipment business. In India, our product portfolio includes Backhoe Loaders, Light Towers, Skid Steer Loaders, Walk Behind Rollers and Site Dumpers.




What is the demand for each one of these and what are the major activities they are supporting?


In the Western Region of India, which I manage for our business, there is a demand for all of our products. The backhoe loader market is very competitive. All manufacturers claim their machine is the best and provides value for money. There is a well-established dealer network across states.  Backhoe loaders buyers today are typically from the rural segment. More sales are driven in the rural markets; the trend of corporates buying these machines is lower. Most corporates either rent or offload the work to a subcontractor. Backhoe loaders are used for small excavation and earthmoving application. Our machines are also very popular as rock breakers.  We have supplied Backhoe loaders for road construction projects, crushing and quarrying belts and to water pipeline projects. There is the KumbhMela next  year at Nashik. We have supplied 12 machines that are being used for work around that project. Backhoe loaders are the most preferred machines for road construction and widening. Terex compact range of products also include light towers, these are bought mostly by corporates e.g. EPC companies and contractors who undertake works in infrastructure projects. We have also developed a combo of Backhoe with a Light Tower. The Light Tower is hooked to the backhoe loader and can be moved around sites for safe working at night, Afcons and L&T ECC, along with many other major road contractors are using our Light Towers on  their project site.

Skid steer is another product from our Compacts range which is used when access is restricted or very little space is available for machine maneuverability.  For e.g. in a city like Mumbai when the Metro rail work is being undertaken in crowded areas, the skid steer proves as the best solution for initial access. The skid steer can move around small spaces, begin excavation work and then a backhoe could come in.

Skid steers are also available with a variety of attachments like rock breakers, drilling equipment and also a snow plough.  Our skid steers have been doing very well in the market. We have gained market share in this product and are at No. 2 position in India. We also have plans to launch Wheeled loaders in 3 and 5 tonne capacity.




What are the trends you notice in terms of usage of your products?  


The market has seen some changes in the past few years. We see many of our first time buyers coming from the rural segment. Earlier these machines were bought by EPC companies or other large contractors.  In western India our backhoes are popular in the rock breaker segment. We have a good base of machines for this application as our users find the Terex backhoe to be rugged and lower on maintenance. Skid steers too have done well in the market and we have gained share.




Tell us about manufacturing plants, capacities and plans to raise them?


We have three plants in India. Our manufacturing facility in Greater Noida manufactures backhoe loaders, skid steers and light towers. The other two plants at Hosur and Chakan manufacture crushers and EOT cranes respectively.In terms of capacity, we are sufficiently geared to cater to the current demands.



Are you in a position to scale up should projects suddenly pick up?


Most certainly, we are always prepared  to meet any surges in demand.




Tell us about your focus on R&D?


We have our engineering team in India under Terex India Research Centre (TIRC). The TIRC team is over 100 strong and provides engineering support to Terex plants globally. For our backhoe loader, initially we had designs coming from our global team which was then modified to suit Indian conditions and requirements. Today our product is localised, i.e. all components are locally sourced and assembled.

Through continuous studies and feedback we have introduced certain features like better ventilation systems. An example of adapting to local requirements is the ‘buddy’ seat which enables a helper to sit with the operator in a backhoe.




What are your plans to push your product in such a competitive market?


Markets are competitive not only in Western India but across the country. We have an India strategy which is then drilled down to specific actions for each region and territory. We have specific plans drawn  out with our dealers which include upgrading their marketing and infrastructure plans. All such plans have  action areas that are specific to the region, something that is applicable in the North East may not be appropriate for  actions required for Punjab will be driven by different objectives. All these actions are aimed at creating a differentiation for the Terex product and enhancing the user experience.




How has it been received?


I would say very well. So far we have been on track with our numbers, which is a good sign. You must take into account that markets are still sluggish, demand is  low,  but my team is doing their best. We have tied up with many financiers and are offering innovative/customer friendly financing schemes. All these efforts add up.




What is the trend right now? Do people go for rentals or buy machines?


All EPC companies and other contracting companies are opting for rentals. But there are small customers who opt to buy and put their machines on rental. We have our own company Terex Financial Services (TFS) which does not offer finance itself, but liaises with financing companies for customer equipment loan requirements. It reduces the financing companies’ work in terms of establishing the credit worthiness of the buyer. This interface provided by TFS makes transactions that much easier between the financier, buyer and Terex.



What is the general outlook for your business? How do you expect 2014-15 to pan out?


We have braced ourselves in a so-called flat year. As mentioned earlier we have managed to retain our market share and also grown it for some products only through a focussed program in each region in India. In addition our corporate team has also focused on exports to ensure growth. We are bringing in new products this year to acquire more customers and increase sales. We expect 2015 to be a better year. The elections are over now and we expect to have a  stable Central Government, keen to deliver growth, governance via reforms and infrastructure development. This is a very good sign. We expect businesses to grow reasonably well next year, which will have a cascading effect for all of us.  We are determined to stay put and deliver  the best of our products and services to our customers.








What is it that a customer looks for in a Terex machine?


In my view it is better productivity, low maintenance, low fuel consumption, spares availability and uptime of the machine. I was with one of our customers, a farmer, and he has clearly said “We have seen other machines; their pipes have problems but have never faced any problems with Terex machines.” We are very successful actually because of certain additional features we introduced in our machines particularly in our rockbreaker segment. Out of over 700 machines park in the Pune region, a large number are working with rock breakers. For marketing the product the key area of focus right now is training. The company’s sales force works very closely with the dealer sales team. It is important to have sharp and smart sales people. The Terex team has spent a lot of time last year and even this year on training the sales force. If you are not able to give adequate training to the sales force they are not able to handle customers effectively. It is important to communicate the USPs of the machine, in a manner that the customer can relate to. Only then, are we able to seal the deal. For example in terms of the height of the bucket or tipping angle, we are much better than the market leaders. This fact needs to be known to the last sales guy on our team so that he can communicate it to the client. We need to keep emphasizing this fact again and again.



In terms of spares availability, how ready are you?


Team Engineers is located out of Pune. We have six branches to take care of customer requirements for buying new quipment or to provide spares and services. We are covering most of Maharashtra and are present at Pune, Dhule, Nashik, Pandharpur, Barshi and Kolhapur.



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