"Our customer support agreements (CSA) deliver the highest asset uptime and lowest cost of operation over the entire product life cycle, says Subir Bhattacharyya, Advisor - TIPL. In an exclusive chat with Equipment India, Bhattacharyya elucidates the market trends. Excerpts from the interview.
What is the demand-supply scenario for backhoes in India? TIPL's foray in the backhoe loader segment has been rather recent whereas the market for backhoe loader exists for the last 25-30 years. The market size of backhoe loader in FY 2010-11 has been approximately 25,000 units all over India and the expected size in 2011-12 is estimated at 30,000 units. TIPL operates in the north and east of India and the market size here is approximately 9,000 units and the estimated number expected in 2011-12 would be 15,000 units. In the north and east where TIPL operates, we have a market share of 3.6 per cent and we expect to do 600 units by FY 2012.
Tell us about the range offered by TIPL and its unique features?Presently, TIPL is offering only one model of CAT backhoe loader which is 424B. It is a two-wheel drive version with 76 hp engine. Caterpillar brand is synonymous with durability and reliability and the 424B comes with equally impressive features and benefits which include load sensing hydraulics and excavator style boom. Its fuel-efficiency coupled with higher productivity leads to more earnings per hour. The comfortable operator cabin with higher visibility results in minimal operator fatigue. The equipment also comes with more digging depth, longer machine life, superior technology and service backup facilities. The machine burns less fuel than competition and also outperforms competition on production per hour.
Which segment contributes the maximum share for backhoes in India?Segments that contribute the most include general construction, road construction, urban infrastructure, and quarry and aggregates. The government's special emphasis on rural infrastructure development is also set to create adequate potential for this machine in the Indian market.
What is the rental scenario for these products? The backhoe loader rental industry can be classified into two parts: plant hire and rental companies. Backhoe loader plant hire segment comprises 90 per cent of the total rental market. Plant hire firms are primarily owner-operators catering to local contracting and job site needs and have strong local networks. These plant hire firms not only provide machines on rental but also undertake daily contracting jobs at the local stations. The plant hire operators are not in the organised rental market, operating on flexible terms and also cash transactions at lower rates.
The organised rental companies are few and they also provide backhoe loaders on rental basis, but cater to a niche segment comprising large corporate, multi-nationals and global players , large industrial projects etc. The USPs for this rental segment is new and almost new equipment, health/safety compliances, credit terms based on customer ratings, trained operator pool, and optional attachments for greater versatility.
How do you look at the competition in this segment, and what differentiates TIPL from competition? Caterpillar's stringent quality control is backed by TIPL's unmatched customer support services through which our customers derive maximum equipment productivity. Our customer support agreements deliver the highest asset uptime and lowest cost of operation over the entire product lifecycle. The innovative and differentiated solutions provided by TIPL ensure we retain our customers throughout the lifecycle of their business, making them more profitable. Another great value differentiator offered by us is the mandatory operator training that we provide at the time of commissioning of the equipment which ensures safe and efficient operation of the equipment thus keeping it productive over the years.
Tell us about the attachments offered along with backhoe? As of now, with the backhoe loader we offer trenching bucket and excavation bucket which is bigger than the standard size.
Are these products complying with emission norms Bharat Stage III? Yes, they are compliant with emission norms Bharat Stage III.