07 August 2020

Table of Contents for Equipment Sphere

Interview - Vikram Sharma (Kobelco)

bC India provides us a good opportunity to reach out to the market

Kobelco Construction Equipment India Pvt Ltd manufactures a range of hydraulic excavators and machines fitted with rock breakers. VIKRAM SHARMA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KOBELCO responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES’ queries on the company’s performance and prospects.


On how the company’s performance in 2013-14:

The last financial was a really challenging period when market sentiments were pretty dismal in view of the political climate and the consequent lack of activity. The situation at the ground level barely showed any improvement though there were some public pronouncements from the authorities on initiatives to revive the economy and industry. Our specific business environment was no different and it was a tough task to keep the entire team focused and motivated. We are happy that we were able to largely secure our numbers and consequently even raised our market share. We strengthened our infrastructure and support network and ensured a high level of customer satisfaction. Training was a major activity in this period and helped in overall improvement of capabilities. During the last financial, we launched our new HD Series incorporating several value-additions to meet the rising expectations of our customers. We have also commenced the local manufacture of our offering in the 35-40 ton segment, the new SK380HDLC-8. All our machines are now fitted with GEOSCAN, a remote monitoring device, with several benefits for the customer. It enables the customer to monitor some key performance parameters like machine utilisation, fuel consumption, service maintenance, etc.


On strategies to market products in a competitive business environment:

We have tried to focus primarily on doing the basics right. In a tight market situation, one has to be alert enough not to miss the good few opportunities which get thrown up and focussed to go and get the better ones. Also it is the time to test your versatility. We did some forward thinking and brought in variants to cater to some specific applications. In a stagnant market, repeat business is much more critical. We endeavour to retain our existing customers through better and proactive support. We have also rationalised spare parts prices to help customers reduce their repair and maintenance costs.


Prospect for products with ongoing infrastructure development:

We at KCEI are only offering hydraulic excavators in the 14 to 85 ton range. We are also offering machines fitted with rock breakers which find usage in development of urban infrastructure. We are also introducing machines for demolition works. With widening of range through attachments and machine variants, we have managed to get more associated with civil construction. This will serve us well in the coming times.


On new product launch/investment/expansion plans:

In continuation of our decision to augment the offerings in India, we propose to start local manufacture of our 14 ton model in the near future. We also plan to refocus our 85 ton model, the SK 850LC in the mining sector. This powerful yet highly fuel-efficient machine offers tremendous value-for-money to the customer.


On Bauma's contribution to the Construction Equipment industry:

Bauma offers an excellent platform for show-casing the best and the latest in the market. bC India has provided us with a good opportunity to reach out to the market in India. The overall attendance has been quite good with serious business visitors and we have achieved good exposure. Based on our experience in the past, we can consider having bC India as a regular event in our marketing calendar.


On Kobelco’s plans for bC India 2014:

We are firming up our plans for the bC India this year and would like to showcase our focus areas. However this bC one may see a bit of toning down on display and expenditure all around. We would showcase our mining machine capabilities, and customer support activities.


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