- Rajinder Raina, General Manager-Strategy & Business Development, Escorts Construction Equipment
With the launch of the Phase-1 of Bharatmala nearing, Escorts has a range of products to offer the road building sector. Rajinder Raina, General Manager-Strategy & Business Development,Escorts Construction Equipment, shares more on the role of vendors and dealers with CW.
How do you view the big opportunities coming along the Bharatmala programme? From our industry perspective, Bharatmala encompasses construction of 20,000 km highways connecting the western and eastern parts of the country. The first phase, to be undertaken over three to five years, will cost about Rs 5 lakh crore with an average construction cost of Rs 13 crore per km.
Around 25,000 km have been planned for Phase-1, and it would include 10,000 km of balanced roads under NHDP. This sums up to 35,000 km in around Rs 5.5 lakh crore.
The project will entail 70-80 per cent freight movement along national highways, which is currently 40 per cent. It would connect Rajasthan to Punjab and cover Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar further to Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and go up to the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur and Mizoram.
This means that our served industry will benefit 'big' and for a 'long' time. It will change the face of the industry and take technology to a different level altogether. The deployment will not be limited to a particular area but across the country. The industry would need to plan scaling up of production to match the surge in demand. More importantly, the vendors and suppliers will have to plan for greater volumes, which is going to be much higher than their best ever.
How is the programme expected to enhance the order book position of your company? We intend to enhance our market share in the growing volume market for which the product offerings, manufacturing processes and quality is being taken to the next level. The manufacturing capacity is in place for the projected numbers. We are ensuring that our vendors or suppliers work in tandem with us for catering to the expected as per the projected demand.
Most importantly, dealership outlets are being added keeping the scale and expanse of project in mind.
The skill sets of manpower are being upgraded through regular trainings as response and turnaround time is going to be a key factor on the service side.
Which major equipment segments that are likely to get a boost? It is essentially the road construction and allied equipment that will get a boost. Equipment such as excavators, backhoe loaders, cranes, haulage trucks, motor graders, and concreting equipment will benefit the most.
This project will also open avenues for new products, services and processes. We will see some major players getting into the rental services; CMCs and AMCs will get repackaged as will buy backs and pre-used equipment. There is an opportunity for equipment aggregators on the lines of UBER and rent a car.
Tell us about your offerings for projects that would be awarded under this programme. Our launches in Excon 2017 in Bengaluru, Escorts compactors 3212 in particular, will find huge favour in this project. Our backhoe loader JUNGLI and many of the TRX cranes will find huge demand. There are more products on the anvil, which shall be launched prior to the start of Phase-1 of the project. We are looking at the possibility of getting into new product offerings, which shall be communicated at the right time in future.