We provide services like buyback, workshop services, AMC of machines, on-site repairs, operator training, different types of parts promotion, and credit facilities to major corporate customers, says Pramod Patwardhan, Managing Director, SVP Mining. Excerpts from the interview...
Brief us on the core strength and competencies of your company. We have built a strong customer support, primarily through supply of spare parts and on-time service at the work site. Being the authorised dealers of Volvo CE for the Chhattisgarh region, we have been consistently winning the heart and minds of our customers for the past 14 years.
How far the continuing slowdown has impacted your business?
Business during the downturn teaches some interesting things like we have learned to do the management formula of Less = More, rather than Less is More. We increased customer visits, retained and realigned our sales and service team to maximise customer contact. This has resulted in getting the actual market pulse and allowed us to be more patient listeners, thereby becoming more customer-friendly.
Recently, the Supreme Court has cancelled many coal licences. Has it worsened the situation? In such a scenario, how have you been able to sustain the pressure?
The recent jolt happened in the private coal mining has a serious repercussions on some of our customers. But the new government has framed some policy changes in the larger interest of the country. We welcome the move and have a strong feeling that the process will begin before March 2015.
What is the demand-supply scenario of the equipment range you deal with?
As the mining market is improving, we expect more demand for excavators and supply of the range of excavators is also available according to the demand. As mining area is our potential market, we have found excavators in demand as compared to road equipment. We look forward to a good feedback from government for road infrastructure, and expect a good demand of road equipment in the coming years.
What are the major services you provide to your customers?
We provide our customers major services like buy-back, workshop services, AMC of the machines, on-site repairs, trainings on products, training to their operators, different types of parts promotion, credit facilities to major corporate customers.
What are the challenges you face in the current industry scenario? What should be done to help the growth of the business?
Government should be open to direct investment in infrastructure with a proper system to generate more business. We feel that the current scenario will bring the major developments in projects like hydro energy, rail infrastructure and road developments in rural area. We have seen a drop in mining segment in last few years. There should be some strategic plan in the mining segment for the allotment and production of coal.
How do you expect to end this fiscal?
This year as the government has changed its policies to focus more on infrastructure development, we look positive to fill up the gap of last few years as far as business is concerned.
How do you look at the demand from various infrastructure sectors, real estate and mining?
There will be growth in mining segment as the demand graph has shown an upward trend. Demand for power will lead to more focus on mining and power segment. Also, there is a focus on development of road infrastructure, which is the basic requirement of the country. We have also entered the cement industry recently as there is more demand from real estate.
What are the financing options you provide for your customers?
Volvo CE has tied up with major financiers. Depending on the needs, we provide our customers financing support from major nationalised banks and NBFCs.
What are the demand drivers for the product range that you deal with and how do you assess the future potential/opportunities?
Mining sector is looking forward for more production with demand drives between 50 tonne to 70 tonne-class of machines. Future opportunities depend on more real estate and road building projects, expected in next 6-9 months.