Market analysts and mining equipment majors like Caterpillar and JCB predict a meltdown in the global mining sector and have announced plans for downsizing their organisations by cutting up to 10,000 jobs, over the next few years. However, India is bullish about an overall growth in mining and is going into the next phase of mining auctions. The state governments, now made responsible by the Centre to conduct further auctions, have expressed some reservations in terms of available bandwidth with them, for doing the same. Surely, this hurdle will be resolved as this process proceeds.
On the other hand, Grand View Research predicts a global construction equipment market size of $208.36 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of over 5 per cent year-on-year. Further, increasing investments from government in infrastructure sector and growing application of the advanced technology in operations including material handling, excavation, and earthmoving are expected to drive demand. Backhoe loader market is expected to register a flat trajectory of growth over the next two or three years. Primarily, there is a large number of this utility-cum-production equipment, lying idle in the market place, owing to the current slow pace of new infrastructure development in India. As and when the pace picks up, the industry expects the idle equipment to be deployed first followed by sale of new equipment. In order to meet this challenge, the industry is busy in restructuring their operations to be able sustain and survive during the flat growth period. Multi-tasker telehandler material handling equipment is steadily gaining preference in the construction, warehousing, logistics and to some extent in plant maintenance sectors. This equipment is made versatile through numerous job specific attachments being offered by the suppliers. However, the acquisition cost is still high as it is still a fully imported machine. With the exception of JCB, all other recognised brands like Genie, Haulotte, and Merlo only depend on imports. It is expected that as the numbers grow eventually the Make-in-India initiative will apply.
Hand-held power tools are the last mile appliances to complete all construction, manufacturing and many other activities like interior decoration, woodwork and furniture. A revisit to this equipment market indicates availability of new technologies, trend towards cordless tools as against cord type tools earlier, considerable reduction in weight to reduce fatigue and much higher emphasis to safety.
To surmise the trend, currently the industry has a mixed view for the future of the infrastructure equipment, but moving steadily in an upward path. There are some segments which will be flat for a few years but eventually will catch up. Overall picture looks positive.
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Shankar Srivastava Managing Editor