- Kairas Vakharia, Senior Vice President-Innovation & Business Head-Construction Equipment, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Mahindra & Mahindra´s foray into the construction equipment industry comes on the back of seven decades of experience in making tough, rugged and durable utility vehicles and tractors. Kairas Vakharia, Senior Vice President-Innovation & Business Head-Construction Equipment, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, shares more on the company´s focus in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
Tell us about your products - four wheel drive backhoe loader, crane and front end loaded - showcased at Excon.
Our backhoe loaders normally focus on the operating cost and fuel consumption. We ensure our cranes are safe with sensors that indicate when the operator is pushing the crane in to an unstable driver situation and telematics help update the on-site supervisor if the operator is doing something unsafe.
What is the emphasis you lay on training?
When we deliver a machine, we train the operator on how to optimally use the machine to ensure efficient fuel consumption, get optimal productivity, identify the RPM required to run the machine in different situations, how to lubricate the machine, etc.
How do you view the current construction scenario?
At present, the road building sector is doing well; mining has started moving in the right direction. However, general construction and agriculture is still low, which feed a lot into the backhoe loader market. We expect them to pick up in the next few months and see the backhoe loader market growing. We performed well this year with 58 per cent growth in the first six months of this fiscal (April to September). So we are growing in market share and penetration, but the industry is not yet turning around.
Any plans for new launches or upgrading your equipment?
At present, we are focusing on cranes, loaders and backhoe loaders. Depending on the market, next year, we may focus on working on these products, and in the long run, come out with other products. We don´t have definite plans yet; we will watch the market carefully in terms of growth and opportunity.