By the year 2020 the market is expected to cross 30,000 units per annum which it did in the year 2011. This is subject to infrastructure sector developing at the expected pace. These volumes look very much possible, says Rajinder Raina, General Manager Marketing, ECEL.
Excerpts from the interview…
What is your assessment on the business potential for backhoes from plant hirers?
The slowdown in economy had hit infrastructure sector in the past few years which resulted in de hiring of BHLs in the market place. This in turn led to fall in rentals. As the market started looking up, the first idle machines were the first one to be deployed helping stabilisation of rental rates. Improvement in rental rates helps BHL market demand grow as more than 70% of the buyers are the rental/hiring companies. Things are looking much better now.
What hp and capacity range is in demand in rural market?
72hp, 2-wheel drive is the preferred model of BHL in the rural sector. Tier 3 & 4 are going to be the markets to watch out for. Besides other allocations for farm and rural sector, PMGSY received a generous allocation of Rs 19,000 crores and irrigation a decent Rs 17,000 crore. This will give a boost to the BHL demand in the rural sector.
Is finance an issue still here as most of the NBFCs and banks are still too cautious?
Equipment finance is certainly a struggle for the first time buyers with most of the NBFCs still smarting under high delinquency in the past three years. Their process of due diligence has become more stringent which keeps out customers with poor financials.
How do you assess the impact of BS IV coming into force from April 1, 2017?
Various engine manufacturers are upgrading their engines to BS IV emission norms. Changes are being incorporated for the upgradation but what is needed is the shift to the next level which will take some time.
Escorts is imparting training to the after sales support engineers across the channel to ensure that BS IV engines deliver the desired results. These engines need better maintenance and the FIP needs superior infrastructure for repairs & recalibration.
Please brief us on design & productivity improvements in your latest model / variants?
Escorts BHL model Digmax II was the first machine to offer telematics. The structural stability has been proven in various mine applications, be it stone or marble. The specifications give it the best reach on all three axes. There are two variants of engines available with matching hydraulics that delivers high output per unit time as also fuel consumed.