Jun 1 2013 | Equipment Zone

The construction equipment market did indeed grow slower

"Liugong India Pvt Ltd (LIPL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s leading construction equipment manufacturer Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co. Ltd which was established in 1958. If China is the Asian “tiger,” LiuGong could be called one of its “cubs.” LiuGong Group comes under one of China’s Top 500 Manufacturers. Liugong has been in the construction equipment business in India for over 10 years and offers the widest range of construction equipment."

Rohit Punjabi, General Manager (Strategy Development), LiuGong India Pvt Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company offerings in the C&E segment, plans to explore opportunities provided by infrastructure development in India, adoption of latest technology for their products, optimism amidst slowdown and skill development initiatives.

Tell us about your company and offerings in the Construction & Infrastructure Equipment segment?
Liugong has been in the construction equipment business in India for over 10 years and offers the widest range of construction equipment. These equipments are designed to excel in Indian conditions and are well suited to take up any project specific requirement for construction.

Our initiatives and activities are focused on heavy range of equipments like tracked excavators, wheel loaders, motor graders, soil compactors etc. Liugong can offer a complete package of equipment solutions for almost every application. We have focused factories, manpower, after sales support personnel for tracked excavators, wheel loaders and compaction equipments. Excellent operator comfort and safety, ease of maintenance and service are common to all these machines. All of them are supported by world class, best in industry parts and service network. With strengthened critical components and superstructure, proven reliability of hydraulic components these power packed; robust machines are productive and durable in the toughest conditions. With a clear vision and a backup from the engineering department, Liugong is partnering with customers, and providing customized products for right applications with added value for money. Liugong has its well proven products, viz CLG856BSIII and CLG418 motor grader. For general construction, Liugong offers other product range like CLG835BSIII wheel loaders and excavators ranging from 6T to 45 T, the most popular models being CLG908C , CLG920D,CLG922D which are 8T 20T and 22T class respectively.

India has set a target of $1 trillion for investment in infrastructure in the next five years. Which are the verticals according to you that will drive demand for your products?
India’s infrastructure needs a tremendous boost for the next several decades to make it adequate for basic requirements of citizens. The proposed investment of a trillion dollars will go into the urban as well as rural infrastructure building. The construction equipment industry on its part will have to meet the particular technological demands of the market. The focus on infrastructure presents Liugong with a tremendous opportunity. We continue to upgrade our products in line with the requirements of the Indian market. We have the dedicated design facilities at Pithampur, Indore where talented young designers are on the job to develop entirely new products for our market. Also, with the strategic investments in place for manufacturing, we have the right kind of facilities and can upscale to the levels of production whenever required.

With regard to your products in Forklift segment. Could you provide us details about the unique features and USP of DIESEL FORKLIFT TRUCK CPCD30?
The Liugong Forklift is a quality machine that is designed to increase the productivity of material handling operations while maintaining a low cost of ownership. The main feature includes:
1. Wide operation environment with people oriented seat, which reduces the operator’s fatigue.
2. Adjustable steering wheel and new type multifunctional instrument.
3. Double lifting cylinder which helps in wide front vision and high working efficiency.
4. Streamlined body design which leads to nice appearance and antiskid sides pedal brings convenient operation.
5. Horizontal swing cylinder and swing axle with shock absorber
6. Front and back open engine cover, which helps in the easy maintenance of the machine.
7. The dual air filters is optional and vary according to the requirement of customer.
8. Air vent is in the top of machine which ensures clean air supply and long life of machine.

Are you able to meet the latest tech requirement of the customers in India?
Our machines cater to the requirements of construction industry and various manufacturing units across the country. We have a well-equipped manufacturing unit supported by in-house designing unit, which assists us meeting the bulk demands of our customers. The finalized machines are tested on well-defined parameters such as Efficiency, Reliability, and Durability to ascertain their superior quality standards. Presenting a unique mix of technology, functionality, and quality, Liugong machines guarantees best operational results. The business model we adopt provide value based solution to customers with total product solutions in terms of quality, reliability, durability & its cost effectiveness resulting in Value for Money and the right vendor choice. The products in place too have excelled in various segments & lived up to its reputation & appreciation & accolades for its performance competitive pricing with high returns, productivity, and product support.

Are you planning new product launch or manufacturing facility in India in the near term?
There are no limits to innovation. New technologies will always be required for every sector, CE sector is no exception. Equipments being used in developed markets use high end technology make it easier for us to embrace new technology and put it to implementation. We have exciting product launches planned in the near future which we shall talk about in due course.

What kind of growth do you see amidst global turmoil and economic slowdown prevailing in India?
The construction equipment market did indeed grow slower; nonetheless we are still talking about twenty percent annual growth. The reason for this decline lies in growing uncertainties regarding the market and its regulations as well as rising capital costs. Liugong India is optimistic about a recovery simply because the company’s infrastructure needs are so acute, so huge and so critical, that there is no getting away from reverting to top gear expansion. Mid-term prospects are bright; the ongoing slowdown is merely a blip. We will see the industry bounce back to the growth trajectory.

What’s the size of the equipment market in India? How much market share are you targeting in the next five years?
The earthmoving segment, in particular has been driving the overall construction equipment industry in India, with strong demand emanating from government-backed infrastructure projects. The segment is poised to register a remarkable compound annual growth rate of approximately 21 percent during 2011 to 2015, as per estimate. We also expect significant growth from infrastructure. The current five-year plan of the government, which covers the period up until 2017, includes doubling the investments in this sector compared to the recent one.

The Indian Construction Equipment industry is facing shortage of trained operators for various equipment / machinery. Do you have any plans for skill development programme in India?
India is blessed with immense talent however lack of trained and skilled manpower in relation to heavy earthmoving equipment is a major concern. Skill of operator is linked to the quality of the work and safety at site. For every operating construction machine the customer needs at least two skilled operators. To embark upon this Liugong is vigorously conducting the operators training programmes at the site for the customers. We also conduct classroom training and provide hands in training at our Pitampura plant as well as at our training centers in Indore. Apart from above we also provide modules, regular health checkups, customized services, spare recommendations, fleet maintenance contract and MARC contracts.

There is a shortage of operators in India and these initiatives will also help in employment generation in the country. We have trained over 5000 young men till date and this number will increase exponentially as we execute our plans to train more operators over the next few years.

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