Many road and rail projects are in the pipeline which augurs well for the industry. The rental scenario will improve in future and we will be in a better position to serve the industry, says Rajendra Shah, Proprietor, RS Construction.
Hiring only motor grader seems to be quite unique in the CE industry. Are there any specific reasons for this?
We wanted to monopolise in one field only. There are opportunities in major projects. Also, there are few players in hiring segment for motor graders. Since this is a big and high value machine, small contractors will not buy it, they have fleet of small machines only. Big players require more number of motor graders which they will get through hiring. Also, because they don't want to take care of maintenance they always go for hiring instead of buying these machines.
What are the major selection criteria for a motor grader?
Major factors are availability of spare parts and service. Since the machines work in remote areas, it is important to ensure that the spare parts are available at the work site or near the site. Also important is the availability of qualified service engineers for maintenance service.
Is there a demand for motor graders with advanced features such as grade control systems?
There is no much demand in motor graders with advanced control and electronic systems in India. This is because the Indian conditions are harsh on such advanced machines and they easily fail during such conditions. There are no enough qualified engineers to attend the services. We don't depend on the OEMs for maintenance as we have our own engineers.
For hirers, what is the scenario?
Since the machine and spare parts are expensive, this is not a lucrative business for hirers. We have been in this line for 17 years and we are able to run old machines successfully. Otherwise, buying new machines and renting out is not a win-win situation. The rent from the contractor is very low which will not be sufficient to pay the bank installment.