- MRV Johnson, Chief Sales Officer, KION India
With remarkable and promising growth in the electric (E) and warehousing (WH) segment, KION India intends on being at the top of the line in tapping opportunities that will come its way. MRV Johnson, Chief Sales Officer, KION India, tells us more.
How do you view the current market for MHE?
The current material handling equipment (MHE) market is a highly competitive one with a number of local and international brands providing solutions for various product needs in different price segments. Local manufacturers continue to dominate the market with value for money products, but face competition from Chinese players on the price side and from European and Japanese brands on the technology front. The market dynamics continue to change rapidly, but it is expected that the market will rapidly grow in coming years.
What are the demand drivers across market segments, and where do you see the current opportunities for your company?
A push towards modernisation of logistics infrastructure has led to an increase in demand for MHE equipment. Efficiency in operations is becoming more important for businesses to drive growth and profitability. With increasing space crunch, requirement for modern warehouses is increasing. Growth of e-commerce and spending on logistics infrastructure is further driving MHE market growth. There is an opportunity for KION India to further exploit the E and WH segments which are growing rapidly. Also, the number of imported machines is going up and we can pitch our foreign brands to effectively capture the market in this segment.
Which are the popular picks in the MHE segment? Introduce us to your offerings in this direction?
IC 3 tonne and E 2 tonne are the most popular picks in the industry. KION India enjoys around 50 per cent market share in the internal combustion (IC) forklift market. Our popular 3T automatic transmission IC truck is the only fully-automated version among Indian manufacturers with single forward and single reverse speed selection. We have a highly energy- efficient range of electric forklifts and warehousing equipment. Besides, our range of MAX 20 and MAX 30 models, our new KE 20 model employs dual drive motor technology and has a small turning radius. Our new VVE stacker has a side stabiliser to make it suitable for height applications. Our new 2 tonne reach truck is capable of reaching up to 11.5 m.
Any recent innovations in the market in the category of MHE that you would like to share with us?
Innovations come into play while designing value for money products that meet the high technical requirements of the customer, but at an affordable price. We have successfully launched many premium products with high-end specifications at affordable prices in the Indian market.
One innovation from the company came in the form of our new VVE stacker. Modern Indian warehouses are now easily reaching up to 6 m height. For heights above 6 m, reach trucks are the usual choice.
But these products are costly and the average customer cannot afford them. So, we came with a much cheaper alternative for this issue. Our new VVE stacker traditionally goes up to a height of 5.4 m, after which the side stabiliser opens up and allows it to reach a height of 6.5 m.
Despite the availability of a wide range of MHE in the market, what are the challenges being faced?
A major challenge for the growth of the MHE industry is low awareness about its usage and impact. Using MHE over traditional methods of material movement can give a major boost to efficiency.
How do you view the growth of this segment in the next five years?
The market is expected to grow at an average of 9-10 per cent YOY in the next five years. The E and WH segments have shown remarkable growth of over 25 per cent in Q1 2016 over Q1 2015. The combined share of both these segments is expected to grow by around 5-6 per cent by 2020, thereby reducing the share of IC segment which is currently around 41 per cent of the market.
Also, there will be growth in the rental market and fleet management services during this period. Companies will opt for fleet management services for a comprehensive solution to their business needs, avoiding in-house maintenance hassles.