Recently, JCB India Limited launched four new construction and earthmoving equipments- 38T Tracked Excavator, 2I.5T Tracked Excavator, 3DX Xtra Backhoe Loader and 3DX Backhoe Loader in Nepal. Introducing the machines at ConMac exhibition 2018, JCB strengthened its network between customers, dealers and operators through their advanced telematics technology- ‘Livelink’- integrated into its machines. For rendering the service, its authorised dealer in Nepal, MAW Earthmovers opened dealership premises in Kathmandu. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director and CEO of JCB India, was recently in Nepal for the inauguration of the dealership. In an interview with New Business Age, Sondhi spoke about JCB’s products, market presence and management.
How do you evaluate the growth of the earthmoving equipment market in Nepal? How is JCB growing in Nepal?
We are growing by 15 to 20 percent every year in Nepal. We expect the growth will continue. In addition, that will depend a lot on how the government develops infrastructure in the future. We can find many ongoing infrastructure development and construction activities here at present. We hope the Nepal government continues to invest in infrastructure, which will then improve the quality of life of the citizens.
What share of the earthmoving equipment market does JCB command in Nepal? How is the market competition for JCB?
The overall market share of JCB earthmoving equipment is close to 50 percent in Nepal. Backhoe Loaders occupy the highest market share of 66 percent. We have over 20 percent market share in the excavator segment and more than 50 percent market share in the wheeled loading shovel. However, the most important thing is that we have the widest network and that too by a huge margin. We have 217 engineers in Nepal.
Market competition is less than half of our presence here. In Nepal, there is a representation of all the heavy equipment from all over the country. Nevertheless, by the number itself also it can be understood that JCB forms 50 percent and the rest together form 50 percent. Our number of branches and facilities are a testimony to our service.
What are the unique selling propositions (USPs) of JCB equipments?
We have three passions – people, product and at the heart is our customer. So what do the customers need? The customer needs a product which is reliable and of global quality. Therefore, we ensure that our standards all over the world across all factories are of global quality. The second thing customers need is servicing.
We should have parts and service centres along with well-trained technicians. JCB constantly provides training to Nepali people all the time so that the customers get trained engineers when they need them.
The use of information technology is becoming important for earthmoving brands. How is JCB incorporating IT into its products?
Every JCB machine is incorporated with a software box called Livelink. This advanced telematics technology helps customers to monitor their machines remotely regarding its service, operations and security parameters. They can know where the machine is, how it is operating, fuel level, productivity and performance of the machine and information regarding when the next service is due. The software is always linked to the operator, owner of the equipment and to our headquarters in Delhi.
What JCB products are in demand here?
Backhoe Loaders are the most demanded JCB product in Nepal. People have developed a perception of the backhoe loader, whether they are of JCB or any other brand, as being a JCB just like toothpaste is often referred to as Colgate. Globally, we are number one with more than a 50 percent market share and in India; we have a market share of more than 70 percent.
MAW Earthmovers has been the dealer of JCB in Nepal since 2003. How do you assess the last 15 years of partnership with MAW Enterprises?
We are very proud and we have grown together. We sold eight machines when we first started our dealership here in 2003. This year we will sell over 2,000 machines. Further, creating employment for young people is also an important part of the journey for us. We also have an operator-training school.
JCB is a family company and all our dealers are family-owned companies. For example, the Agrawal family runs MAW. We are not just growing together but also investing in growth for better customer service.
How is JCB managing marketing, sales and distribution and after-sales services of equipments across Nepal?
It is done through the dealership. For marketing, there is a focused person, trained by JCB’s marketing service. Our service people are trained by JCB service. Likewise, there are people trained by JCB’s parts team. Ultimately, it is a dealership consisting of local people who will have to go ahead and perform. We are providing training and constantly working with the Managing Director of MAW, Vishnu Kumar Agrawal, who ensures that our people are trained well.