Indian brands of earthmoving equipment are making inroads in the market but still don’t measure up to machines from global brands like CAT, Wirtgen and Vogele, says Pramod Joshi, DGM, P&M Operation, JMC Projects India. “Machines from overseas brands are more expensive to buy but make up in higher productivity and lower maintenance cost, besides performing more accurately.”
“We are engaged in reputed four to eight lane expressway projects that need heavy and quality machines,” says Ashim Paul, Plant & Machinery Head, Adani Transport. “We usually prefer compactors, pavers, graders and excavators from global brands as they are more accurate, productive and meet the NHAI codes specified for equipment.”
“The lack of quality of products made in India relevant for the requirement has led to demand for foreign alternatives, Chinese or Italian machines that can fit contractors’ ROI target,” agrees Manish Arora, Business Head, Mahindra Construction Equipment.
With many global brands now manufacturing in India, it isn’t as if using a global brand implies using an imported machine. Nischal Mehrotra, Director, Sales & Marketing, LiuGong India tells us that imported construction machines form a minuscule amount of all machines in use: “Primarily, motor graders and higher tonnage excavators are being imported.”
So, what needs to be done to build world-class Indian construction equipment brands?
Joshi believes Indian companies need to be driven by quality over quantity and focus on R&D to compete with global manufacturers. He cites the example of asphalt pavers—“India is still nowhere in that segment; we need to develop a world-class machine.”
“Government incentives to the sector may help improve the quality of machines,” believes Joshi.
Additionally, he also sees scope for the Government to support Indian brands. “To some extent, the Government is furthering the use of equipment from global brands by specifying (in tenders) the use of machines with built-in sensors; and rightly so because they perform better,” he says. “To incentivise domestic companies, the Government must insist on the use of Indian equipment for all projects.”
- CHARU BAHRI