Heading the Development

December 2014
RAMESH TIPIRNENI puts product development on the forefront in anticipation of the upturn ahead.

caterpillar has been active in India since the 1930´s. We connect with over 10,000 people for work, including our employees, dealers and suppliers. We are committed to offering our customers in India the same range of quality products, services and solutions that help make progress possible across the globe.

India´s growth story
The world has been talking about India´s growth potential for many years now. According to the latest economic projections from industry sources, the country´s GDP is expected to touch 5.0 per cent by the end of 2014 and 6.4 per cent in 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pointed out that urbanisation should be treated as an opportunity.

An increase in domestic demand created by an urbanising population and continued growth and development will benefit the entire industrial sector.

Growth in global population, particularly in the Asia Pacific calls for more energy, water, roads, schools, housing, power systems, airports and dams. The country represents a tremendous opportunity for Caterpillar considering the needs for infrastructure, energy, transportation, mining and defence.

That said, Caterpillar will continue its expansion in India. We have added a number of significant products to our local manufacturing portfolio to serve customers´ needs. We are also investing in our operations to support the increasing customer base here and plan to launch more products in India.

Product package
As part of our strategic plan, we launched the Cat® 320D Series 2 Hydraulic Excavator (an upgraded version of 320D) and the 950 GC Wheel Loader at EXCON in 2013. Earlier this year, we also announced the launch of Cat 3406C, an industrial diesel engine that provides customers with an economical, fuel-efficient and dependable solution in countries with lower emission standards.

Further, we introduced two variants of the Cat 424B backhoe loaders (New 424B and 424 HD) to customers in India. Both variants are being manufactured in the state-of-the-art facility at Thiruvallur. Recently, we started manufacturing skid steer loaders for export and will shortly launch these new products to the India market. Moreover, we announced the Caterpillar and Tata Capital collaboration to provide diverse finance options to customers in India. With the acquisition of Bucyrus, we now offer the widest range of mining equipment for surface and underground mining.

Benefitting business
Cat machines are equipped with advanced technology that transforms project implementation practices. From advanced engine technologies to in-cab monitoring and from machine health management to fleet-wide information systems, Cat technologies are reshaping the process of using, managing and owning heavy equipment.

Since every jobsite has its own unique challenges, customers need technologies and services that can be combined and customised in ways that benefit their business. For example, for road building, the advantages include improved accuracy in grading and significant decrease in labour costs and rework. It also improves operator performance as grade control system gives inexperienced operators an in-cab guidance display system.

For services, our strategy is to support our global presence by establishing R&D centres in different regions. This allows us to build a strong and globally diverse leadership team that focuses on the Asia Pacific region and drive innovation. Caterpillar has a strong culture focused on our people and is built on the foundation of ´values in action´. We are on a multi-year strategy journey and on track to deliver value to the enterprise and be a good local citizen.

Looking ahead
Caterpillar and its dealers have a long history in India. We have eight territorial dealerships across India owned by GMMCO and TIPL. We have more than 150 dealer outlets that are still growing, including branch offices, area offices, retail outlets, workshops and on-site support. Together with our dealers, we are focussed on improving our technical capability, training and development of our people. We will also continue to make investments in technology to expand our operations and product support to help our customers across India.

Our Vision 2020 strategy sets the stage for the next phase of the company´s leadership and growth in the global spheres it serves. We will execute our strategy by working to meet our aspirational and sustainable development goals. Some of our goals for sustainability include:

  • Design all new facility construction to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or comparable green building criteria;
  • Reduce energy intensity by 50 per cent; and
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions´ intensity by 50 per cent.

The Caterpillar Production System provides the recipe for efficiency and excellence in our facilities. We actively encourage employees to conserve resources and be more efficient. As we operate in a more efficient and sustainable manner and provide our customers with the right products to do the same, we promote sustainability while helping our customers save money.

About the Author:
Ramesh Tipirneni, Country Manager, Caterpillar India Pvt Ltd, in 20 years with the company, has held a variety of leadership positions in product development, sales and distribution and operations. He has worked in Peoria, France, Geneva, South Africa, and Johannesburg before moving to India more than a year ago.