05 July 2020

Interaction - Rama Rao A S, EVP, Sales & Mktg & Aftermarket, Heavy Duty Trucks, VE Commercial Vehicles

Our approach is to create and deliver value


A long time player in the Indian market, Eicher is well attuned to the demands of Indian customers. Its recent launch of Eicher Pro Series personifies its collaboration with Volvo, whose Engine Management System EMS 3.0 is featured in its latest trucks. The Pro Series was received well in the market and poses serious threat to the competition. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAMA RAO A S, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, SALES, MKTG & AFTERMARKET, HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS, VE COMMERCIAL VEHICLES, discusses their strategy for the Indian market.



Tell us about the range of tipper trucks offered by you, in terms of types, applications and capacities.


We have increased our focus on mining and construction with our new range of Eicher Pro series tippers in the 220 to 330 HP range. With the new Pro series range of mining and construction tippers, we now have an offering which is set to revolutionize these two industries where higher productivity, better uptime, lower maintenance, and lower project costs, are of paramount importance.

Eicher Pro 5000, Pro 6000, and Pro 8000, is an entirely new generation product range of heavy duty trucks, tractors, and tippers, ranging from 16T GVW – 49T GVW with Best-in-Class fuel efficiency, Superior uptime, faster turnaround time, and Driver comfort, are targeted for mass and value segment.

With wide range of tippers ranging from 16T to 31T, and tailor made offering for various application and segments, we are well placed to tap the huge potential of the Construction and Mining industry, and based on that we will continue to strengthen our position steadily in the Heavy Duty truck market that offers us the maximum potential for growth.. Eicher Pro 6000 and Pro 8000 range of tippers are present in over 16 construction and mining applications. Our Pro 8031XM is flagship model in this range.




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


Our Pro range binds together the world class technology for higher levels of productivity in the heavy-duty trucking industry, with the infusion of international engine technology and cabin design from the Volvo Group, together with the intelligent features and enhanced support services. Advanced technology features like Telematics- Eicher LIVE, enables proactive maintenance of the truck. The system throws up fault indicators to the driver in the form of visual signals, messages and alarms. Together with the fully equipped Eicher service network, this ensures preventive and corrective maintenance of the truck, thus delivering superior uptime. Further the uptime services enable service teams to proactively schedule and plan for the repairs and maintenance activities on the vehicle. In this way the truck spends more time generating revenues. In the event of breakdown, our service team is well prepared with the right parts, tools, and the right technician, to address the repairs and minimise the downtime. Another interesting feature is the Dynamic Service Reminders in mining tippers, where the vehicle utilization changes with the dynamic needs of the customer’s business and thus it also allows to alter the truck’s service plan. These service reminders help the customers and fleet owners to schedule and plan for the vehicle’s preventive maintenance.




Features in your trucks enhancing safety and driver comfort?


Technology has played a pivotal role in the commercial vehicle industry. With growing competition in the space, all major OEMs in India are getting prepared to showcase the latest technology innovations they bring to their products. Further, the Pro series trucks are designed with an ultramodern truck cabin is ergonomically designed with state-of-the-art features for comfortable driving and higher driver efficiency. Our mining tippers are DGMS compliant through standard and optional fitments.




Aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.


In line with our endeavor to maximize the productivity of our customers --, who deploy tippers and trucks in various infrastructure and road construction sites -- we have specially trained technicians, right infrastructure, and Eicher special tools, to make sure our customers get right repair, every time, at all our 180 touch points. With our world-class infrastructure and process, we operate at 90 per cent parts availability to our dealers, 24x7, 365 days, a benchmark in the Industry.

Eicher on-road service is an emergency service that provides round the clock assistance in case of en-route breakdown. With more than 250 GPS- enabled fully equipped EOS van, Eicher has a set of expert technicians available 24X7 that do real-time tracking of van to enable faster service to the customer, hence facilitating faster turnaround time for enroute breakdowns. This service also gives real-time SMS update to customers during different stages of EOS call. Through this initiative Eicher aims in providing the best on-road and off road assistance for its customers.

With Eicher LIVE telematics; we are redefining telematics in the commercial vehicle industry. The customer will not only know the exact fuel consumed by each vehicle and driver from your desk, you will also know how to improve it. Uptime, or the availability of the vehicle when you need it, is a concept that was unheard of in the medium sized segment. For the first time Eicher brings service support to the mining site so that the complete service and maintenance is done at the work site. The on-site support is provided by skilled and dedicated technicians and easy availability of parts. Aftermarket service is also supported by a country wide service network ensuring that the Eicher trucks deliver best-in-class productivity at all times.




Which sectors are major demand drivers for your products.


Government policies play a key role in growth of any segment and it applies to Mining Industry as well; Minerals constitute the back-bone of economic growth of India as it has been generously endowed with minerals. Mining and quarrying sector accounts for 2.5 per cent of India’s GDP. In last two years, the GOI has taken some important steps for removing stagnation in mineral sector and ensuring its development for achieving the national policy goals. A major step in this direction is the enhancement of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMD&R) act, 2015, which has made the process of allocation of mineral concession transparent by introducing mineral auctions. Hence paved the way for “ease of doing business” in the mining sector.

The government is giving focus to these sectors and we expect the turnaround soon. The Budget has already proposed growth by building smart cities, which will accelerate growth in core sectors like construction and thus impact HCV sales positively. Also, with the replacement of the old trucks, CV industry is definite to see a good growth in future.




Please share details on emission norms compliance of your machines.


At Eicher, we are working ahead on meeting the regulatory requirements of the industry. Our base engines are capable of being upgraded to meet BS VI requirements. Currently we are offering BS IV trucks and tippers. Our mining tippers also meet the DGMS requirements through standard and accessory fitments. We believe that the new regulations are in the interest of the overall industry and consumers.


Please share your views on the future outlook on the industry and from your company perspective

With increased focus and spending on the infrastructure segment, the CV industry is expected to pick up speed and all set to transform in the next few years. New regulations such as BS VI and GST will enable India grow further.

The flagship initiatives like ‘Make in India’ will push for increased construction activity; focus on infrastructure will aid growth in the heavy duty trucks and tippers. Other policies include the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMD&R) act, 2015, which has made the process of allocation of mineral concession transparent by introducing mineral auctions. Primary minerals – coal, iron ore, and limestone, will continue to represent most of equipment purchase – transport and otherwise. CILs accelerated coal production plans, coupled with coal auctions as well as opening up of commercial mining by private companies through states, are positive signs accelerating a robust growth in coal mining. Further, the government has also announced plans to revive some of the PSU cement plants to supplement the expected demand for cement. Overall the outlook is positive.




Your outlook for the rentals market.


We believe with implementation of GST and streamlining of logistics sector, this space with leap frog in the coming years and are optimistic on the same. We have the necessary financial infrastructure in the country to support such solution.




Extent of indigenisation and localisation of components in your machines in context of ‘Make in india.’ Especially challenges faced in incubating a Vendor Base concomitant to your Quality Standards.


We already are committed to the ‘Make in India’ approach. Our products Trucks and Buses are highly indigenized. We manufacture our products in Madhya Pradesh at our plants in Pithampur, and Baggad. Our state-of-the-art engine manufacturing plant in Pithampur produces 5 and 8 liter engines which are Euro VI compliant. We will continue to invest in these facilities for modernization based on the market and business needs.




Impact of GST on your products.


The influence on business will be positive in the long run even though it may create some immediate hiccups. It will bring in efficiencies in logistics and distribution system of the economy. As demonetization had some short term impact, the effect of GST will also be felt for a few months, post which it will bring long term gains. The immediate impact is positive for the customers as can be seen in reduction in taxes on an average basis and we have passed the expected benefits in the form of price reduction to our customers.




Your strategy to play in a price sensitive market.


Eicher continues to promote trucks with modern technology adapted to Indian requirements, so as to deliver better overall profitability. The concept of asset purchase decisions driven by overall profitability (Total Cost of Ownership) is going to be the key for contractors to compete in a growing and competitive market going forward. Our approach is to create and deliver value.




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


Almost all the finance companies including public and private sector banks, and leading NBFCs, fund our trucks. We have our own captive financial arm under the Eicher Financial Services banner that fund products.


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