“Terex backhoes perform faster while digging and loading at lower operating costs, with durability through quality and technology innovation,” says Vijay Sharma, Executive Director, Terex Equipment. Excerpts from the interview.
What is the demand-supply scenario for backhoes in India? What is Terex's market share in backhoes, and growth envisaged? We don't see any demand-supply gap in India at present. The first quarter of CY2011 has seen a robust growth of 40 per cent over last year. However, since the implementations of BS III regulations, the market has seen a slight slowdown. Still, we believe that the overall loader backhoe market will grow by another 15 per cent this year. We strongly believe that this trend should persist for another couple of years before stabilising henceforth. In terms of value, there does not seem any major jump as Indian customer still believes in value for money concept and is still not ready for paying higher for enhanced features in machines. As far as Terex is concerned, we are growing at a steady pace and hopefully, we should be able to achieve double digit market share in another couple of years.
The various factors, which will enable this sound growth for coming times, are mainly government's continuous focus on development of infrastructure by pumping and inviting more and more investment, better credit facilities and preference of Indian customer for Made in India brand of backhoe loaders.
Tell us about the range offered by Terex? The new range of backhoe loaders – TLB 740S with 76-hp Kirloskar engine and TLB 844S with 90 hp Kirloskar engine - is a result of continuous up-gradation in innovation and technology. In compact loader segment, we manufacture HEMAN 175 skid steer loader, having option of 65-hp or 80-hp engine, making us the only local manufacturer in this space in India. This machine, which has more than 50 standard attachments, is more like an engineering marvel. Further enhancing its product offering to Indian customers, Terex recently introduced RL 4000 light towers, which addresses the requirement of construction houses and builders to work efficiently even during night time.
Tell us the unique features of backhoes offered by Terex? Terex backhoes perform faster while digging and loading at lower operating costs, with durability through quality and technology innovation. Highlights of this product are fuel efficiency through unique Smart UC Hydraulics. These products have been developed in India for Indian market from application and maintenance points of view. These machines are almost completely indigenous. Tougher, stronger structural parts such as boom and dippers, heavy-duty stabilisers with adjustable wear pads have been introduced to achieve longer service life than competition in Indian tough applications. Improved protected hose routings and other hydraulics are designed in segments to achieve lower replacement costs and longer uninterrupted working.
What is the existing manufacturing capacity for the backhoes? At present, we have a production capacity of 2,500 machines on annual basis. However, foreseeing the tremendous potential and opportunity available in future, we may plan to ramp up our capacity to address the increasing demand for our products.
Which segment contributes the maximum share for backhoes in India? According to our estimates, major chunk of the industry is contributed by first-time user/first-time buyer segment. This segment accounts for nearly 50-55 per cent of the total industry followed by retail/repeat buyers (25-30 per cent) and corporate customers (15-25 per cent).
What is the rental scenario for these products? The rentals are more or less stagnant over the least 2-3 years. This is mainly due to increased number of machines available in the market. However, the rentals are also dependent on the topography of the region, ie, in hilly terrains; the rentals are always 20-25 per cent higher than the rentals in plain areas. We also consider it very seriously that with the entry of big rental companies, the rent would go up in near future.
What is the return on investment on a backhoe? At present, due to enhanced competition among backhoe owners, the rentals have been stagnant in spite of increase in owning and operation cost over the last few years. Hence, it has affected the return on investment for these machines. Nowadays, we can safely assume that an average customer is able to recover his investment in 3-3.5 years, which used to be 2-3 years in the past.
Tell us about the attachments offered along with backhoe? Nowadays, the main attachments being offered with backhoe loader machines are rock breaker, 6-in-1 shovel, ditch cleaning bucket, and trenching bucket etc.
How do you look at the competition in this segment, and what differentiates Terex from competition? As Indian government is pushing for higher investments for the development of Indian infrastructure, more and more global players are establishing their base in India to exploit the opportunity. This has led to tremendous competition and benefitted the customer with enhanced quality and better performance on the offer. Terex is also on the threshold of becoming a serious player in this space. We offer world-class technology at the customer's doorstep and that too at an affordable price. Our products comprising backhoe loader, skid steer loader, wheel loader and light tower are continuously setting higher benchmarks in terms of reliability and productivity. More and more customers are becoming our repeat buyers on account of value for money proposition products are being offered.
Are these products complying with emission norms Bharat Stage III? Of course, all our products are BS III compliant. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise for us as our machines have become more fuel-efficient and environment-friendly.
Tell us about the footprint created in India. What are your plans on expanding dealer network, service stations etc? Terex Equipment, even though being a new entrant in Indian CE industry, has been able to establish a vast distribution network all across India and neighbouring nations. The company has 49 committed dealers who sell, service and provide parts round-the-clock with the help of a workforce of over 600 trained engineers and technicians. However, as we see a spurt in demand for Terex products in coming times, we are continuously enhancing our distribution network which includes adding branches to existing dealerships as well as appointing new dealers at strategic locations.
To what you attribute the success Terex has registered so far? The success of Terex in India can be attributed to the two main factors – excellent work environment at our workplace and indelible trust of our customers. We recognise that to accomplish our goals, we need diverse perspectives and inclusive work environments that enable us to attract, develop, motivate and retain the very best people. We believe that being a great place to work means creating the kind of workplace where great people can do great things.
Diversity at Terex is about respecting and embracing more than our tangible differences, like gender, ethnicity, national origin and race. We value diversity of thought, experience, culture, background and style. It is those unique characteristics that make each Terex team member a vital contributor to our competitive advantage. We celebrate that each and every one of our team members brings something unique and beneficial to our workplace. Due to these attributes, we are able to roll out the best machines in terms of reliability and performance which eventually wins the trust of our customers.