- LiuGong India Having entered India in 2002, LiuGong started its manufacturing operations in 2008. 'Going by the LiuGong culture, we have always been open to opportunities,' say Wu Song, Managing Director, LiuGong South Asia, and Nischal Mehrotra, Director (Sales & Marketing), LiuGong India, as they share more in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
How important is the Indian market for your company? Since the beginning, we were observing the Indian market, based on which, we have also formed JVs with companies. The reforms India has witnessed have been similar to the China scenario. And, in order to benefit from these reforms, we realised that we must be among the first movers. Also, the India and China market have several similarities: Talented people; huge population and demand coming from the domestic market; considering the size of the domestic market in China, the cost of manufacturing is increasing, and probably same is the scenario in India today. In India, LiuGong has 300 people, only 100 less, compared to China. So, we see the Indian market booming, and, with the growth in the domestic market, India is becoming no less than a manufacturing harbour.
Tell us about the emphasis laid on R&D. As compared to the functional departments within the company, R&D is the biggest department with maximum number of engineers. This department is responsible to understand the exact market requirement; the required design based on the market demand and construction requirements; how will the project be completed; and the kind of training that the dealer, sales and marketing team will require. So the R&D team in India has a full range of responsibilities.
What are your recent innovations in technology? We have recently designed our smart wheel loader 856H. Here, we are using a variable horsepower engine as well as variable pumps. This has contributed to immense fuel savings, of even up to 25 per cent. On an average, savings of 15 to 25 per cent is also huge for any customer. What's more, this machine is equipped with the GPRS system, which helps the customer see real time data on his mobile or laptop at any point in time. On a weekly basis, through telematics, the system updates on fuel consumption, production, etc.
In terms of growth, how has 2017 been for the company? This year, owing to the roads sector, we have witnessed a 40 per cent growth in sales. The roads sector has majorly contributed to our growth and that is why we are coming up with compactors as well as 21 tonne plus excavators. Also, we have been number two for graders. So, our focus is now on offering a one-stop solution to the customer.
With the Bharatmala programme, how do you view future opportunities? We are hopeful that this programme will give a new boost to the entire industry. We are optimistic about the road sector, owing to which, in future, the plan is to increase our complete range of road equipment for the Indian market.
At present, we are offering tandem and graders, but in future, we have plans to come up with our own pavers and pneumatic tyred rollers.