04 July 2020

Table of Contents for Post Excon 2017

Interaction- Ajay Mandahr, Chief Executive, Escorts Construction Equipment

We have always delivered smart, cost effective and intelligent products

Escorts Construction Equipment (ECE), a construction and material handling equipment major launched India’s safest Pick-n-Carry Crane, CT Smart 15, at the EXCON 2017, along with best-in-class (Performance, Productivity & Reliability) Soil Compactor 3212 in 12-ton class. In an exclusive to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES,


Could you give the brief of the products launched?
We have launched the two products. One is CT Smart 15, essentially a compact machine which has high lifting capacity and a very low turning radius of 6 metres, as good as Scorpio SUV. Unparalleled in safety, the newly launched CT Smart 15 Crane, has unique anti-toppling and anti-lifting features that provide enhanced safety on the site. It has been developed with indigenous R&D and is in sync with the Make in India positioning. The crane provides Auto De-rated Load chart in articulation along with many other standard features.
The second product launched today is a best in class 3212 Soil Compactor, that will address corporate clients who are looking for 12-ton class of compactor.
The name is 3212. 32 means the static linear load. 12 ton is the capacity of the machine. Both the machines are developed in house. With this product we have set a new benchmark in the Soil Compactor market.

How are the machines different from competition?
In terms of production, the kind of parameters that we have set for the compactor, it gives you higher productivity. At the same time the reliability of the machine and the service ability of the machine is extremely high. So it is very easy to repair as well as easy to change filters at site. Every point on the machine is accessible. When you look at CT Smart 15, we have taken good care of the ergonomics as well as the reparability of the machine. It is a very friendly machine for a service engineer to maintain.


From fuel Savings and operator’s efficiency point of view, could you elaborate on these products?
I won’t claim any numbers because everybody claims 10 per cent low, or 5 per cent low. I would instead say that these are the most efficient machines. The engines are best in class available. The machine is very rugged and built for Indian conditions by an Indian company. We have taken care of all the requirements or all the upgrades that we were to do in our products.


From technology innovation point of view, what really sets these machines apart from competition?
CT Smart 15, is much more safer than any of the pick and carry cranes available in the country as of now. In an articulated condition, the load capacity of the machine will automatically adjust. There is a load movement indicator on the machine. Plus we are putting an anti lift device on the machine. So more or less, we are taking care of safety at site.


What growth are you expecting in the next few years?
See the market is very good. As of now we have 40 per cent growth over the last year in pick and carry segment. The compactor segment is 23 per cent plus. In the backhoe, the growth is not much, about 3-5 per cent kind of growth. Overall the market, we are seeing the growth of 10 per cent to 11 per cent , in which we are growing about 30 per cent. So we are now taking the market share back in our fold. So whether it is pick and carry cranes or compactors or Backhoe Loaders, we are growing. In the earth moving segment our products, Digmax-II & Jungli are well differentiated & offer several advantages over the competing products. Jungli is positioned as heavy-duty machine for hard strata application & it caters to the niche segment where we are going strong.” So over here we don't care about market share but we care about bottom line/ profits. We are not competing with major manufacturers of backhoe anymore.


In which sectors do you see big opportunity for your company?
All the segments that we address, whether Material Handling or earth moving or road construction,it is all related to infra segment where we are seeing huge investments. The demand is getting a pull from there. Plus the moment you have the housing sector opening up, there will be an add on in business opportunity. Somebody today was saying today that 30 per cent growth is happening. So if the housing sector opens up, another 30 per cent will open up. So you are looking at 55 to 60 per cent over a short-term. After that we are expecting it to stabilise to 10 to 15 per cent.


What are the challenges you are still facing?
Some correction has been done. Earlier GST was 28 per cent in the earth-moving segment. It has been corrected now. So this has been a good go for us. Now the pace has come. Execution has started. I think going forward; we have very good years of construction equipment for the next 4-5 years.


What will be the disruptions in the industry going forward?
If you say digital, we are already digital because all these machines come with telematics. So it is a connected product. That part we have taken care of. When we look at autonomous equipment, that’s not going to happen in construction equipment sector that fast.Because repeatability of the job done by the machine is less as of now in India. The moment you have more production happening, probably the autonomous actions can happen, which will push the demand for this solution. I think given our technology, our products will take us forward for next couple of years. Also there are many other products in the pipeline for the next 5 years.


So when will these products hit the market?
These products we have introduced today are in the market now. We have test marketed the products, sold them, taken customer feedback, made some amendments and now these products are ready.


So what differentiates it from the existing pic and carry cranes?
As I said this is a very compact machine. It has got lot of safety features. And that is the USP of the machine. When I say 6 metre turning radius, no machine manufacturer is giving that kind of turning radius.

So aren’t there a lot of accidents in articulation products?
That is why I said, we have introduced a lot of safety features like anti lift, deration with the articulation. SLI is also there. This is the safest machine available as of today in the country.


Do you mean to say that this will eat in to the existing pic and carry range?
No, not really. Because these are different segment machines. The price positions are different. So these are basically for slightly premium customers,


Which applications can they be used for?
Metro is one big application that we are targeting with this machine. That’s why we call it smart because it’s meant for smart cities. Then we are looking at adding more value to it by giving it more flexibility; like u can do the crane job, the man basket job. So those things will unfold as you go along.
It will be aversatile material handling machine for the smart cities. These cities have less space and large amount of people on the roads, so a short turning radius will be of value in such conditions.


Detail us on the Compactor and it’s features?
The tonnage is 12 tons. All these are standard products. Everything can be done on the machine. It’s an updated product. It is as good a product available in the rest of the world. Now you can control the amplification, see the ground conditions, do more compacting, be productive; so all those parameters have been put and they can be clocked also. These are smart products.


Are these especially for highway use?
Yes, highway usage. 12 tons usually go for national highway authority.


What about rural roads?
For rural roads, we have EC 5250, a 10 Ton class compactor. This too is a very productive for its application domain. And Ec5250is a brand in the compaction industry.
There is a lot of pull for this product. We have different products for different segments and different jobs.


Are you targeting double-digit turnover by 2021. Can you throw some light on yourR&D and export market? How big is your R&D size?
We don’t call it R&D. We call it KMC; knowledge management centre. We have a very big KMC in Faridabad where we develop all our products in house.
Our backhoe was done in-house, the compactors are done in house too. There is a product roadmap already built. As I said earlier, we are covered up to next 3 to 4 years for launches. Lots of products are going to come from KMC. If we don't have a technology, we go for a technical tie up or hire a studio in Europe to do the machine configuration. But most of the things happen in India. About exports, currently10 per cent of our turnover comes from exports. Going forward, the target is that by the next 3-4 years, we should be at 20 per cent from the existing 10 per cent.


Any new markets or new geographies?
Yes, we are opening up in the Middle East. We have launched a backhoe with a 100hp Perkins engine for exports. We are already present in South Asia, SAARC and Africa.
We have also opened up in Latin America. We are opening up based on what we can offer to the market and how our products fit into that market.


Are you planning to increase the production capacity?
We have the required production capacity. Currently we are running 1 shift or one and a half shift. I think we are covered on capacity.


What is the next likely product to come up? Any particular targets...how many products per year till 2021?
Nothing to claim.it depends upon what the market needs. We are working on very advanced products & we have to see how we dovetail the products with the market, because those products have been built based on certain expectation of the customers and slowly we will unveil those products. Maybe pick and carry segment will change altogether, we will bring a product that is totally different from what we are selling today. So it is not the right time to say, as you go along you will come to know about it.


Any joint collaboration in the pipeline?
Yes a couple of them. I can't speak more. They are work in progress. By the end of this fiscal year, probably something will come out in the market.


Any new investments you have planned?
Yes we keep investing in products. We already have the most modern plant for construction equipment in the country. We are covered as far as capacity and productivity is concerned. If the progress in the market continues then we will come up with expansion plans also. Because we have the space available.


The new tie up you are looking for, is it for any new product?
I can't tell you anything right now. This fiscal end, you will see things happening. See I tell you broadly, with these products we are serving almost 57 per cent of the construction equipment segment. In terms of value, it is about 35 per cent. With the new products that we are talking about, it would probably be 90 per cent both by value and by numbers, from 30- 35 per cent value to 90 per cent , that means we are talking about substantial gains.


Is it going to be new variants in the existing Line or new products?
As I have answered, today we are representing 57 per cent of construction equipment. If 57 is going to 90, that means new products are going to come.

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