02 June 2020

Interaction- Dinakar B, Sr VP-Mktg & Aftermarket, VOLVO Trucks India, VE Commercial Vehicles

 

Aftermarket is our backbone and our strongest differentiator

 

 

 

Volvo Trucks is one of the largest heavy-duty truck brands in the world. It has a comprehensive network of service and parts centres in India with site supports provided at the remotest of locations, considered to be the benchmark in the tough off-road industry. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES DINAKAR B, SR VP - SALES, MKTG AND AFTERMARKET, VOLVO TRUCKS INDIA, VE COMMERCIAL VEHICLES LTD speaks about the overview of the mining equipment, technological innovations featured, aftermarket services and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give a brief overview of the mining equipment industry and the sector challenges

 

The market for high performance trucks has been growing at a CAGR of 8 per cent over the last 8 years. The total industry volume has grown from 600 levels per annum to 1500 levels in this period. The market did peak in 2015-16 to touch ~1900 levels too. The demand for premium trucks is definitely on the upswing with productivity becoming the focus area for most industries.

 

We expect the market to grow by 8 per cent - 10 per cent in the next 2 years. That being said 2020 is going to be a very exciting year for the CV industry. We say that because of a host of new regulations are expected to kick in with BSVI being the most pre-dominant of those.

 

With very few CV players equipped with a stable technology in this arena, we expect some changes in the CV landscape. The jump to BSVI from BSIV is a significant one [we will skip BSV] and the customer will have to adapt to the changes that will result on account of this introduction.

 

 

 

 

Tell us of your various product offerings, applications and their demand in the Indian market. Any new products launched or enhancements to the existing product line, detail us on the same.

 

We holistically cater to all sub segments under mining like overburden removal, ore transportation & on-road movement of ore via customized products for each of these applications and minerals. For example, we sell our flagship model FMX460 8x4 I-shift 19.5 cubic meter Rock body in the overburden removal segment; while we sell FMX460 8x4 I-shift 33 cubic meter coal body for coal haulage from mine pit to surface. We also supply, a 45 cubic meter tractor trailer for transportation of coal to the railway side for loading. Additionally, we also supply auxiliary mining equipment like water sprinklers & tree trans-planters for the project requirement.

 

Our product offering is by and large dictated by the application, operating conditions, and we keep an eye towards maximizing overall profitability for our customers. We offer products for road construction, Irrigation and quarrying applications. In construction, our range of solutions include 8x4 tipper trucks and tractors for tip-trailers applications with body capacities ranging from 19.5 Cu.M to 45 Cu.M. The models we offer in construction are FM 380 8x4 tipper, FMX 460 8x4 tipper and FM 420 6x4 Tractor for tip-trailer application.

 

Thus our product line is developed to cater to all transportation & facilitation needs that arise in mining. We keep innovating and make constant upgrades like new engine management system software, engine braking system & strengthened suspension system. These upgrades are introduced with very specific objectives, which is either to improve or aid performance or enhance safety for our drivers.

 

 

 

Detail us on the Cutting edge technological innovations featured in your machines.

 

Volvo Truck’s Dynafleet is one of the most advanced fleet management systems and all our trucks are equipped with this offering. However, a good fleet management system is as good as the inference you draw out of the data and the corrective actions you plan. At Volvo trucks we understand that some of our customers may not be able to decipher the plethora of information that an FMS churns out. So we have a back end team that works with the customer to identify the improvement areas and plug gaps. We even go a step further [if required] and conduct the necessary corrective actions if they fall in our domain of expertise to ensure that our customers get the best out of our products. There are a host of innovative features available in our portfolio however, the introduction of the same into markets needs to be looked at very carefully so that it adds value to customer operations.

 

 

 

Factors such as safety, operator comfort, ease of operations are crucial in mining equipment. What are the steps undertaken by you for providing the same.

 

Safety is THE pillar around which all Volvo products are designed and manufactured. Our trucks are go through European crash tests which is one of the most stringent tests in the world. As a value we never compromise on safety irrespective of the costs.  When it comes to driver comfort, Volvo trucks was one of the first manufacturer’s in India who provided only air-conditioned cabins. When we entered the market in 1998, customers did not buy into our concept of driver comfort & the resulting productivity improvement derived by offering a better quality work environment. We had to gradually build these concepts into their minds so that they see it as an investment with healthy returns. Even today we provide the best in call cabins and ergonomic features in our trucks.

 

 

 

 

To what extent are aftermarket services a strategic differentiator?

 

Our aftermarket is our backbone and one of our strongest differentiator in the market place. Unlike many in the industry we do not have dealers servicing our trucks, we do it directly from Volvo. We have developed a unique service model which enables us to be at the customer’s doorstep in order to deliver service 24x7 and 365 days a year. Additionally, our technicians are one of the best you will find in the industry. They undergo rigorous trainings & we keep the spirit of learning alive within the team by running global level programs that encourage our colleagues to get the diagnostics right the very first time.

 

Our newest introduction is the ‘Volvo Uptime Services’. The services include Volvo Service Planning, Remote Diagnostics, Predictive Maintenance and Dynafleet as well as a suite of applications for monitoring Volvo Action Service and the Fleet Uptime at site support locations. Nobody can know exactly what the road ahead will bring, but Volvo Uptime Services help you put it in the rear view mirror. Whether you’re hauling off-road or on-road, moving cargo or people, having a true transport solutions partner with you can make all the difference. The Uptime center is the digital home for a more Profitable Transport Operation. Volvo understands uptime.