Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Table of Contents for Cover Story

Interaction- Vikram Sharma, Advisor- India & South Asia, Kobelco Construction Equipment India

We are leader in high-end segment, with around 30 per cent share

Japanese global major Kobelco is emerging an entrenched player in the Indian market. It is also among major exporters of construction equipment from India. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES,

VIKRAM SHARMA, ADVISOR - INDIA & SOUTH ASIA, KOBELCO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT INDIA talks about their smart excavators and outlook for Indian market.          


What is your current level on the Six Sigma (6σ) scale?

We have our manufacturing facility at SriCity in A.P. near Chennai. It was inaugurated in 2011 and manufactures Kobelco excavators strictly as per Kobelco standards. Over the years, Kobelco has developed its own Quality Manufacturing standards which are followed at all their units worldwide.



Cutting edge Smart Technology featured in your machines. Such as; engine control, SCADA, PLC, Telematics, IoT, etc. Also Safety and Operator Comfort features in your machines.

Kobelco has been a technology leader in their chosen field. They have several unique features which add considerable value by benefitting customers through higher savings, increased productivity, and earnings. Examples of such features are the Auto-Idle-Stop feature for maximum fuel savings, Self-diagnostic options on the Display monitor, Arm and Boom regeneration technology to use the Attachment weight for part of the operating cycle, etc. Customer-friendly telematics was introduced long back empowering the customers to monitor key parameters of their operations like machine utilization, fuel consumption, service management, etc.



Green environment friendly technology in your products.

All Kobelco excavators meet the respective country emission standards. For example, in India, though the market is unregulated, Kobelco has always supplied machines meeting Tier III regulations, which is the requirement in more developed markets. The carbon footprint of these machines is minimal. Kobelco lubricants are also environment and user-friendly for minimal impact on the User/environment.



There is a growing awareness among Buyers about various key cost factors which they need to consider while buying. A reliable machine with good after-market support is always preferred. Productivity is a key consideration. The importance of field support is growing as some users of cheaper machines have realized.



Do you practice ‘Make in India and Sell Globally,’ use your India manufacturing base to supply the global market.

Yes, of course. Kobelco has been a leading exporter from India to markets in South-east and West Asia, as well as Africa. Product developments based on the India experience have improved the acceptability of Kobelco excavators in tough applications.



Your assessment of India’s manufacturing policy, to what extent does it foster growth of your company.

The government has identified measures to improve the overall environment to provide a more level-playing field. It is in the process of bringing in legislation to cover various aspects of the industry which will encourage genuine manufacturers of quality equipment to bring in the latest technologies to the Indian market.

What distinguishes your products vis-a-vis the competition? What is your current market share in all your product categories?
We offer high-quality machines with good after-sales support through our network of Dealers covering over 130 touchpoints. We have been able to progressively improve our market share reaching double digits in the current fiscal. It is also noteworthy that we are now the leader in the high-end segment with around 30 per cent share.



Impact of GST on your company.

The initial impact was somewhat subdued primarily due to the surrounding uncertainties and lack of clarity as well as an enhanced rate of 28 per cent compared to the prevailing impact of around 18 per cent during the pre-GST period. However, things have been improving and to top it all, the effective rate has recently been revised to 18 per cent. This will certainly allow the industry to get back on track and achieve good growth in the coming months.



Your outlook for the Indian ECE market. Which sectors will be the major demand drivers?

The overall outlook is very positive as many of the government initiatives have started showing results. There are still some issues but they may also get resolved soon. Road building has been the main demand driver in recent years and is likely to continue as such for the foreseeable future. Recent pronouncements of mega road projects with good financial back-up endorse this possibility.



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

The first quarter was quite good with June being the best month till date. Q2 was expectedly slower due to the introduction of GST and the associated circumstances. However, we expect improved conditions in the remaining quarters so that we can close the year on a relative high.



As an exhibitor, what are your expectations at EXCON ’17?

We expect to make a good impact through EXCON 2017 and improve our market visibility. Business is also expected to be good both during and subsequent to this mega-event of our industry.



Established in the year 2007 in India, Kobelco Construction Equipment India Pvt Ltd (KCEI), is a subsidiary of Kobelco Construction Machinery (KCM), Japan.

Headquartered in Noida, in the National Capital Region, KCEI set up a nationwide network of Authorised Dealers. Now, the Company is fully equipped to meet Customer expectations in terms of Service and Parts, through an efficient Logistics system, covering over 100 Outlets in India and Nepal. KCEI has two main warehouses at Noida and Chennai and has Depots at several locations for ex-stock delivery of machines. Being a firm believer in the India Growth Story, Kobelco invested in a manufacturing facility located at SriCity, in Andhra Pradesh, about 70 Kms from the city of Chennai. This Factory commenced production in 2011 and has since grown in production capacity and range of Models. This factory has the credit of developing the HD series introduced in 2013, featuring several reinforcements and additions to suit Indian conditions and applications. The focus has always been to deliver a reliable and highly productive machine. KCEI aims to continuously pursue high levels of Customer satisfaction and has always been supportive in addressing Customer concerns. The response has been tremendous and is reflected in the high percentage of repeat Buyers.

Kobelco Construction Machinery, Japan, has a long history in the construction equipment industry spanning over 80 years. It has several state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in Japan as well as in countries like China, Thailand, and India. KCM has its own
R & D Centre which conducts research on a wide range of materials and processes, and provides the leading edge in our product innovations and improvements.


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