Interview A Conversation with M R V IPIN S ONDHI Chairman, EXCON 2017, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India Ltd The infrastructure sector has emerged as the top hiring sector with 12% rise in October 2017 and is a key driver for the Indian economy. The sector is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from the Government. How does this translate for the construction equipment industry? How does this unfold for JCB in particular? Infrastructure development is not only central to economic development, but it is also a critical enabler for ensuring sustained growth. Also, it acts as a catalyst for the Earthmoving and Construction Equipment sector as more infrastructure activity means more demand for our machines. Government’s focused approach towards the sector coupled with significant allocation in successive budgets has played a pivotal role in the revival of the industry. Moreover, given the need for world class infrastructure in the country, we are certain that the construction equipment industry will continue to progress. The Earthmoving and Construction Equipment industry did go through a severe down cycle from 2012 to 2015. However, the industry recorded a strong comeback in the year 2016 where it grew by over 40% as compared to 2015; but still could not come back to the level of 2011 which has been the best year for the Earthmoving and Construction Equipment sector so far. Growth this year is has been positive at about 10-15%, however this year has been the year of disruptions with first the failure to interpret the court order meant for Automobiles to change from BSIII to BSIV, which affected our industry even though it was never meant for our industry and then with the roll out of GST where our industry was kept in the 28% tax bracket initially, which later came down to 18%. Government’s focused approach towards the sector coupled with significant allocation in successive budgets has played a pivotal role in the revival of the industry. Moreover, given the need for world class infrastructure in the country, we are certain that the construction equipment industry will continue to progress. At JCB, we are fully prepared to leverage the opportunity with our world class equipment range. Our Backhoe Loaders continue to remain the preferred choice for buyers; we have also diversified our product range and introduced revolutionary products in the Material Handling range and Excavators, Wheeled Loaders and Compactors which form the Premier Line range. JCB India has been maintaining market leadership in the segment since a decade which is indeed a long time by any standard. What is your success mantra? At JCB, we always keep customers at the heart of every initiative. All our products www.ghmediabusiness.com 25 With these new offerings, JCB has positioned itself as a full range infrastructure equipment partner. These made in India products are not just sold in India but have also been exported to over 85 countries. All these products are aimed at maximising productivity and profitability for our customers. These machines will be used in several sectors like Roads and Highways, Mining, Ports, Irrigation projects etc. and will contribute towards building of India’s infrastructure.