27 February 2020

Interaction-Jasmeet Singh, Head-Corporate Communications & External Relations, JCB India Ltd

We remain committed to our customers

 

 

World’s largest backhoe loader OEM, JCB now makes in India and sells globally. Their India headquarters at Ballabgarh, Delhi-NCR is also the world’s largest factory for backhoe loader. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, JASMEET SINGH, HEAD - CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS, JCB INDIA LTD, discusses their best sellers and how they pioneered the concept of backhoe loader.

 

Your assessment of the backhoe loader market in India, what are the sector challenges, and growth prospects. How do you expect the market to shape up for the backhoe loaders 2017 onwards?

There has been a significant increase in the demand for all Earthmoving and Construction Equipment (ECE) industry, including back hoe loaders in 2016. From 36,798 units sold in 2015, the market increased to 52,462 units in 2016, an increase of about 43 per cent.

The backhoe loader has been one of the most widely used construction equipment in India. It has played an important role in the development of India’s infrastructure. JCB pioneered the concept of backhoe loaders almost four decades ago in India and till date, has sold over 2,25,000 machines in India.

Given its versatility and mobility, the machine finds great use at almost every construction site, in both urban and rural India. This multi-purpose machine continues to perform a variety of tasks at sites and is used for digging, dozing, levelling and in general site applications.

Though, with projects getting bigger in size, the demand for specialised machinery like tracked excavators, wheeled loaders etc. is expected to increase, but the backhoe loader will continue to find its use in general purpose construction.

Moreover, owing to the allocation committed towards rural development in the recent Union Budget, backhoe loaders will find great utility in rural projects, especially in the construction of roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and also in the development of other physical infrastructure such as schools, medical centres etc. Rural development projects coupled with Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan will be the key demand drivers for this versatile product.

 

 

Range of backhoe loaders offered by your company, in terms of types, capacities, and applications. Do you offer equipment finance to prospective buyers? Detail us on the Safety features and operator comfort in your machines.

JCB currently offers the widest range of back hoe loaders in India with five different variants – 2DX, 3DX, 3DX Xtra, 3DX Super, 4DX. This range is developed to suit different user segments for different applications.

The JCB 2DX backhoe loader is the smallest backhoe in our portfolio and has been specifically designed to suit rural applications. While the large 4DX is the most productive backhoe loader in India and is best suited for mass excavation or digging in hard strata.

Our new range which is known as the ‘ecoXcellence’ range of backhoe loaders is 10 per cent more fuel efficient and 30 per cent more savings in maintenance costs. Apart from the popular JCB 3DX, the three variants – the JCB 3DX Xtra, the JCB 3DX Super and the JCB 4DX, are also part of this new ecoXcellence range.

The new range comes with 20 per cent more spacious and livable cabin with the option of air conditioning. It provides 20 per cent more space for the operator’s belongings and provides more leg space. Few other significant operator comfort features are as follows:

Ergonomically positioned controls

  • Comfortable operator seat
  • Deluxe automotive styling
  • Low heat and noise inside the cabin (only 84 db)
  • JCB ‘Q’ brakes, 30 per cent reduction in braking effort
  • Face level fan available
  • Excellent ventilation - partial or full opening of both front and rear side windows
  • Access of gear box through cabin floor for minor maintenance
  • IP 67/69 certified, dust and water proof electrical connector

Another noteworthy feature is the JCB Livelink, an advanced telematics technology that helps our customers to remotely manage their fleets.

This state-of-the-art technology enables users to get SMS alerts on their mobile phones or smart devices regarding service alerts, operations and security of their machines. The information is available in real time regarding the health of the machine including engines and gives vital information to the customer in terms of number of hours the machine has been operational, service intervals, fuel levels, malfunctions if any, etc.

The JCB backhoe loader provides world class digging depth in the range of 3.02 metres in 2DX to 5.36 metres in the 4DX. The maximum dig depth for all models:-

  • 2DX - 3.02 metres
  • 3DX - 4.77 metres
  • 3DX Xtra - 5.05 metres
  • 3DX Super - 5.05 metres
  • 4DX - 5.36 metres

JCB has tied up with leading NBFCs and banks across India to provide equipment financing support to our customers. These banks and NBFCs provide equipment finance at competitive rates.

 

 

Are you looking to launch any new variants to your existing product portfolio?

We currently offer the widest range of backhoe loaders. With this wide range we have one loader for each application. We launched the versatile all new 2DX at Bauma ConExpo 2016 at Gurugram. Designed for smart jobs and utility jobs in compact areas, the new 2DX is extremely versatile with array of attachments such as high dump bucket, 6-in-1 bucket, trench bucket (1 ft.), auger, dozer blade. It also offers the highest productivity and reliability with low fuel consumption. The machine is used in varied applications ranging from municipal solid waste management, to plantation, to pipe laying etc.

 

 

Detail us on your aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.

Product support is a one of the key parameters that plays a crucial role in overall buying pattern of the customer. Since these machines operate in remote interiors, it is imperative to provide world class after sales support. Over the years, JCB has established largest dealership network in the industry with over 60 dealers and 650 outlets spread throughout India.

These outlets provide professional product support and service to our customers with the help of more than 6,000 trained professionals. Each of these outlets has trained manpower and adequate parts stock.

To address the challenge of machines which are operating in deep interiors of difficult terrain, we also have mobile vans that operate on the concept of Workshop on Wheels. These vans are fully equipped to handle most service and repair jobs on JCB machines.

Additionally, we have initiated various customer connect programmes and service campaigns wherein our trained service engineers visit the customer site across India and offer service and parts support.


 

What are the USP’s of your products vis-à-vis the competition.

With over 2,25,000 customers, JCB is a leading manufacturer of backhoe loaders in India. These machines are not only sold in India, but are also exported around the world. Inherent design, reliability, product quality, and a world class product support, has ensured that we remain close to our customers.

JCB machines are known for best-in-class productivity, efficiency, and technologically advanced features. Our aim is to offer products which help in improving our customers’ business and hence, JCB has always been on the forefront of design and technological innovations. Latest being the introduction of telematics in the Indian ECE industry.

We introduced Livelink, an advanced telematics technology which enables our customers in better fleet management. It maximizes the productivity of machines by providing real time alerts on service, operation, and security benefits to machines owners.

Over 40,000 Livelink enabled machines are successfully working in India. Introducing this technology on this scale in the Indian market is another step towards our endeavor to always provide the best in class, technologically advanced products, to our customers.

 

 

What is the company’s approach to implement the ‘Make in India’ drive.

JCB India is fully aligned to the ‘Make in India’ story. Over the last four decades, we have established five state-of-the-art factories, one Design Centre in India, which today manufactures 50 world-class equipment, not only for India, but also for the Global markets. All products are manufactured on the principle of One Global Quality. Machines made in these factories are today exported to more than 70 countries around the world.

JCB today employs 5,000 people in its Indian operations. It has a network of more than 60 dealers and 650 outlets spread throughout India, who further employ 6,000 professionally trained personnel. These far-reaching outlets provide the vital product support to customers for their equipment. 

We are also creating employment and entrepreneurship amongst youth through our 15 Operator Training Centres in India. It provides a one month certified course on machine operations and maintenance, which includes both, classroom and practical training on how to operate JCB machines safely and productively.

It has a 16 week detailed induction program at the welding training school at the Jaipur facility for ITI and Diploma graduates. Comprehensive skills developed through these programmes have helped young men and women excel in their careers, especially women engineers, who are now making their careers in traditionally male dominated areas of manufacturing such as welding and assembly.

 

 

Tell us about the indigenisation efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements?

Since coming to India in 1979, JCB has made significant investments in building and supporting an indiginised supply chain. Over the years, we have partnered with over 300 world class suppliers many of whom have now been with us for almost four decades.

Our suppliers are completely aligned with JCB Group’s objective and have also invested in building their world class facilities on JCB’s lean manufacturing principles. Today, they not only supply material for JCB India, but also supply to JCB Group.

Being a manufacturer of ECE, there is a significant thrust on manufacturing these machines in India across five state-of-the-art factories. The indiginisation level varies from product to product, however on backhoes, it is close to 95 per cent.

 

 

Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective.

The Government has given considerable momentum to infrastructure sector in the last few Budgets. Other than significant allocations announced in the successive Union Budgets, various Government initiatives like National Highway expansion programme, State Highways development programmes, and rural roads development programmes, have provided the required momentum.

This momentum needs to be sustained through concerted policy efforts towards an increase in private investment and consumption along with Government expenditure. Apart from Roads and Highways, focus on the key sectors such as Railways, Irrigation, Mining and Real Estate will lead to sustained growth of the infrastructure industry.

Given the sustained efforts and a positive business environment that we are experiencing, we foresee an average growth of 10-15 per cent.




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