Half a year into the job, Surat Mehta, new head of SDLG’s business in India, has his sights set on growing the company’s reputation for reliable and cost-effective machines.
From 2013 to 2017, SDLG wheel loader sales increased by more than 60 per cent in India as the company built a reputation for producing cost-effective construction equipment that is reliable and simple to operate. While motor graders constitute a smaller portion of overall sales for SDLG in India, it is largely the same story. The company grew its market share for the product line with the introduction of the G9190 in late 2013, then the smaller G9138 in 2016.
With the momentum that SDLG has gained in India, new head of business Surat Mehta is focused on meeting customer needs to ensure that the company’s machines continue to play a role in India’s infrastructure growth.
“We have 16 dealers across India but, since it’s such a large country, growing this network is important for us and our customers to increase the accessibility of our machines as well as the aftersales service support available for them,” Mehta said. “For wheel loaders, SDLG has a strong market position in the 3-tonne to 5-tonne range and I aim to strengthen our position further. For motor graders, there is potential to grow our customer base as well, with road construction activity levels remaining high in India.”
While Surat is only seven months into his new role, he had a prior stint providing strategic support for SDLG’s operations in North India. It was during this time that he introduced a version of the LG958L wheel loader, equipped with a side discharge bucket. With the side discharge bucket, the LG958L wheel loader can handle rock loading in tight locations like tunnels. This capability opened a new sector in India – one with a pipeline of 1,190 tunnels spanning a total length of 3,578 km (according to Indian Infrastructure) – to SDLG.
“At SDLG, we continuously strive to understand customer needs and match products to these needs. The LG958L with side discharge buckets is one of these products and I am proud to have had been a part of this project,” Mehta said. “But, beyond specific application needs, there are two things that we seek to always deliver in SDLG machines: reliability and cost-effectiveness. At the upcoming bauma Conexpo India in December, we are going to demonstrate that commitment once more with the launch of a new wheel loader that customers will be able to see first-hand.”