Haulotte specialises in people lifting and material lifting equipment. This is its core and only business. Damien Gautier, Managing Director-Asia Pacific, Haulotte Group, and Souma Ray, Director, Haulotte India, share more in conversation with Shriyal sethumadhavan.
On display: We showcased part of our range of equipment - right from the smaller ones to the vertical machines that work in tight and narrow spaces. We also displayed the traditional range of AWP´s that are used by rental companies, contractors and end-users. We have showcased a 16-m articulated boom, which has been one of our bestseller in India. This machine cuts downtime considerably as the fault identification tool or system ¨ACTIVE SCREEN¨ is installed within it. Hence, in case of a breakdown, the users service person or operator can get a pictorial description of the fault. Also, we have moved on to a much more environment-friendly engine - Kubota - which is a variable speed engine that draws power as and when required. So fuel consumption is at least 15 per cent lower. Our showstopper has been our telehandler HTL 4010, which is the material handling equipment of the future. Although there are some traditional made-in-India products like pick and carry cranes that are used here instead of telehandlers, they do not have the same versatility, productivity or safety.
Company´s growth rate: The market has not grown the way we expected it to, and that has impacted our growth as well. Unfortunately, we do not see a major change in coming years. There is absolutely no regulation, which means that people work at any heights using any sort of methods - ladders, bamboo scaffolding, etc - that are completely unsafe as an alternative method or use old AWP´s, which have well passed their lifecycle. In Australia, for instance, you can use a machine only for 10 years, and if you want to extend the life of the equipment, a thorough inspection needs to be done, confirming the ability to use it for another five years. Also, in China - which is often compared to India - there are regulations and higher penalties in case of any accidents or casualties at the construction site. But India is yet to see the change. We need to sell productive but safe equipment as well.
On localisation: In our view, the Indian market is not ready yet. Localising would mean investments, for which we need to see the market going up. However, we strongly believe in the potential of the Indian market and will consider localising when the time comes.