MD and CEO
Recently JCB handed over seven heavy equipments and generators including Backhoe, Loadall and Robots to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFLD) to support the post-quake reconstruction initiatives of the government. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director and CEO of JCB India Limited was in Nepal for the handover. Krishana Prasain of New Business Age caught up with Sondhi and Vishnu Agrawal, Managing Director of MAW to talk about, among other things, the equipment assistance, JCB’s support for the post-quake reconstruction and about the road and highway expansion in Nepal. Excerpts:
What brings you to Kathmandu?
Basically I am here to handover JCB equipments to the government of Nepal to express our support in the post-quake reconstruction efforts. Nepal needs machineries and equipments in order to effectively run the reconstruction drive.
I am also here to meet our customers to thank them for continuing to buy JCB machines and to know if they are having any troubles or not. Nepal is an emerging market with lots of opportunities. Likewise, we are also here to assure them over the availability of machines, spare parts and efficient after sales services. All in all we are here to hear our dealers and customers.
How is JCB assisting Nepal in the post-quake reconstruction? What role did the company play in rescue and recovery efforts after the earthquake?
Our machines are meant for clearing, saving lives and then used for reconstruction because they dig, move and lift earth.
Vishnu Kumar Agrawal: The very day after the devastating earthquake, we handed over 11 machines to the Nepal police with operators. Those machines were used for rescue efforts and removal of debris. The machines were provided to the authorities in Kathmandu and also in Gorkha for a limited period of time.
How are JCB products effective in the reconstruction of Nepal? How is JCB providing its equipment support to Nepal?
We make a range of equipments. We have machines of every use such as the movement of goods, compaction, digging and laying of roads along with the construction works.
Vishnu Kumar Agrawal: Our machines mainly perform two kinds of tasks. One is the digging of earth next is the flattening of soil. We also have machines that compact the soil. So for rescue and rehabilitation tasks, our machines work best.
Can you mention specific JCB products for reconstruction works?
The Backhoe Loader is the most used machine which you can see on the road most often. The second one is Chain Mountain Tracked Excavator. Both are the largest selling equipments in Nepal.
How do you see the market competition in Nepal?
We focus on our customers and contractors. We aim to deliver quality equipments with high-class reliability. Our objective is also to provide fuel efficient machines with easily available spare parts and proficient after sales services. Since we are the single largest maker of different kinds of machines and equipments, our customers need not go beyond JCB. JCB has almost 48 equipments in its portfolio for earth moving, construction of roads and other infrastructures and related works.
What is the market share of JCB in Nepal?
We have the largest share of the market in the Nepali earthmoving Industry.
Vishnu Kumar Agrawal: Our share is more than 60 percent in overall heavy-duty machines market. The Backhoe Loader segment is the largest with 75 percent market share.
How is the demand for JCB equipments in Nepal and around the globe? What are its most sold products in Nepal and why?
The demand for JCB equipments in Nepal is very good. We are the global leader in Backhoe Loaders and Loadalls. The most sold product is Backhoe Loader and second is the Tracked Excavator. Currently, all our 48 products are available in the Nepali market.
Construction and expansion of roads is rapidly taking place in Nepal. What are JCB’s products for roads and highways?
We have all necessary equipments for the construction of roads and highways such as excavators, backhoe loaders, compactors and tandem rollers. We are working with local authorities regarding the construction of roads. We are also engaged in explaining the features and advantages of our machines while also providing training regarding the operating and maintenance of the machines.
Nepal is a geographically diverse country with different kinds of terrain. How do you manage to provide service if the machines go out of order in difficult areas?
Nepal has difficult terrain. Our equipments have been designed accordingly and we put all our machines in tough tests for hundreds of hours before the products come out to the market.
Our machines also need maintenance after working five or ten thousands hours. We are providing services through various centres across Nepal. We also have service vans to provide on-the-spot services. Similarly, if the machines encounter serious problems somewhere we arrange to bring them to the nearest maintenance facilities.
How is your company’s partnership with MAW?
Both companies maintain a very good relationship. MAW has grown very well with us.
The Nepali earthmoving equipments market is showing almost 100 percent growth over the last few years. No other market in the world is growing that rapidly. We are happy that our Nepali customers have chosen JCB as their preferred machines.
What are JCB’s plans for Nepal in the upcoming days? Any new product JCB launching this year?
We want to ensure our Nepali customers that all new JCB products are coming here such as skid steer loaders, loadalls and generators. All products are top-class and we export the same products to over 60 countries. Therefore, our duty is to ensure parts, service and provide training to the people of MAW.