In order to cater to the North-East market, CASEis making continuous efforts in order to consolidate its leadership position and further strengthen its market share through the introduction of new technology and advanced products that enhance the business value of its offering to its customers, says Abhijit Gupta, Managing Director, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (I). Excerpts of the interview.
What is the growth potential for road equipment?
Despite the slow pace of project execution has affected the growth pace of the construction equipment, the growth will return to double digits as soon as the actual execution starts. All the government agencies are making all efforts to kick start the road sector. Efforts are now on to award EPC contracts instead of following the PPP route. Equipments like compactors, pavers and graders which are predominantly supplied to the road sector will see a definite boost in demand in coming years. Backhoes, excavators, wheel loaders will see growth once the infra growth revives. We should see double digit growth in these segments as well.
Brief us on the range offered by CASE in the compactor segment.
CASE offers tandem compactor CASE 752, 8.8 T, soil compactor CASE 1107 DX, 11.3 T, and tandem compactor CASE 450DX, 3.1 T. The engines used in vibratory compactors are fitted with BS III emission norm engines. and equipped with both IEGR & EEGR to keep the hazard emissions to bear minimum. These engines are also equipped with turbocharger waste gate control mechanisms, Internal Exhaust Gas Recirculation system (IEGR) to minimise the emissions (like nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons) to protect the environment. CASE 1107DX soil compactor has a completely redesigned operator console. The new model improves the serviceability. Operator comfort is better in the new model. Productivity has also improved.
State highways and rural road sector seem to have some movement. Has it started reflecting in the road equipment sales performance?
State highways and rural roads have a huge potential for upgrade as all weather motorable roads. Some progressive states have given adequate focus for developing the state road network and it reflects in the sale of compactors in those states. On the other hand rural road projects constitute around 85 per cent of country´s road project. Therefore rural road project would continue to provide good business opportunities to road development equipment. The compactors are used extensively for state highways and the rural roads. The usage of compactors has substantially gone up in the past few years.
How do you assess the growth potential from road sector, especially from North-Eastern states?
The North-East area is a very important market for CASE. The Ministry has taken up the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the North-Eastern Region (SARDP-NE) involving widening of 10,141 km of National Highways and other roads in three phases ensuring connectivity of 88 district headquarters in the North-Eastern Region to the National Highways. With this and few more projects we expect some potential growth in the sector.
What is the scope for backhoes in the road projects in general?
Backhoes are very popular for stone chips quarry required for roads. The loader attachment is also used for hot mix plant for asphalt mix. Besides it is also used for excavating, paving and also breaking asphalt.
What are your views on the growth potential for road equipment by 2017, and by 2020?
Each segment in the road sector has potential to grow over 20 per cent per annum, which means we can expect the Industry Size to almost double by the end of the year 2020.
What are the major areas to be looked into in NHAI projects?
The speed at which execution of the road project takes place decides the pace at which the equipment suppliers will grow. Land availability, forest clearances, shifting of utilities are factors which affect the pace of progress. Around 80 per cent of the projects (stuck in litigation) could have been avoided had the regulator been in place now. Slow approval process and land issues have affected the demand of compaction equipment in the road construction market.