“With road works being allocated regularly, there is an increase in demand for road construction equipment,” says Rajinder Raina, General Manager – Marketing, Escorts Construction Equipment
As the government is making all efforts to fast-track the road building sector, how do you look at the opportunities as a road building equipment manufacturer?Road is one of the top priorities of the current government. With the PM monitoring the progress like a CEO, asking for powerpoint presentations and pushing for increased targets. This was shared by Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a recent conference held in New Delhi.
With road works being allocated regularly, there is an increase in demand for road construction equipment. A part of the demand is getting met by deployment of idle machinery. The demand for new machines is encouraging.
Could you share your outlook on the road building equipment market in India?Road construction shall be undertaken by NHAI for highways and expressways and under PMGSY for rural and tier-III roads. Besides, smart cities and other international funded road works are going to come up in the coming years. For executing these works, the industry is equipped to supply requisite machinery. The installed capacities and appropriate technology is available with the manufacturers.
However, with more concrete roads coming up, demand for construction equipment for such roads is going to grow much faster.
How are road building equipment industry faring? Domestic vs. global markets? In developed countries, there is more demand for equipment used in maintenance of existing highways. The new road construction is comparatively very low in contrast. India is going to see construction of new roads and widening of the existing roads. Therefore Indian market will grow at a much faster pace and it will also make economical and business sense for the international players to make India the manufacturing hub and export equipment from these facilities. Compaction equipment manufactured in India is export worthy.
Is the road building equipment industry going through a radical change in terms of technology? The road construction equipment in India has all the international players offering contemporary technology. There is going to be no radical change in near future except for the BS IV engines. GPRS and other remote and intelligent compaction systems are already an option being offered.
However, there would be some equipment like 15-tonne and above compactors getting used in the coming years.
Further, cold milling machines have started finding favour with contractors for relaying asphalt turfs on the existing expressways and highways.
Are you planning any product launch in this domain to cope up with market trends?Given the fierce competition, to stay in one of the top three positions, it is important to offer competitive advantage to the end user. Escorts has the widest range of compaction equipment to offer. A couple of new launches are on cards in the coming few months. Also changes on the existing models have been incorporated to make the machines more rugged, robust and reliable.
As changes are expected in the road construction processes, we at Escorts are keeping an eye on the same to offer the right equipment as and when the demand in the market comes up. Not to forget that Escorts pioneered vibratory compaction in India.
What are some of your long- and short-term objectives to maintain your position?Road construction remains one of the focus areas of Escorts. The compaction product range shall be regularly upgraded to match the demand of the customers and deliver as per the application. The upgradation of engine to next levels of exhaust emission norms, reduced noise levels, operator comfort, ergonomics and safety is a constant on-going process for R&D department of Escorts as the demand from the project side keep growing.