The New Wheel Loader Will Be a Great Fit for Heavy-Load Applications says Surat Mehta Head of Business SDLG India
Capitalizing the momentum gained in India SDLG launched a new wheel loader during bauma Conexpo India 2018 edition. “Beyond specific application needs, there are two things that we always seek to deliver in SDLG machines: Reliability and cost-effectiveness,” stated Surat Mehta, Head of Business, SDLG India. Mehta was instrumental in bringing out the LG958L with side discharge buckets which opened up new avenues for the wheel loader market. “At SDLG, we continuously strive to understand customer needs and match products to these needs. The LG958L with side discharge buckets is one of these products and I am proud to have had been a part of this project,” Surat said.
Mehta has his sights set on growing the company’s reputation for reliable and cost-effective machines. He is focused on meeting customer needs to ensure that the company’s machines continue to play a role in India’s infrastructure growth.From 2013 to 2017, SDLG wheel loader sales increased by more than 60% in India as the company built a reputation for producing cost-effective construction equipment that is reliable and simple to operate. While motor graders constitute a smaller portion of overall sales for SDLG in India, it is largely the same story. The company grew its market share for the product line with the introduction of the G9190 in late 2013, then the smaller G9138 in 2016. In Conversation with Infrabuddy.com, he discusses about the company’s expanding business and new sectors the company is venturing into.
At Bauma ConExpo
In India, we are into wheel loaders, mortar grader space, and in Bauma we have launched new wheel loader, which is in the series of 5-ton grader in the F series grader. Until now, we were working with the L-series grader. This F-series grader has a better productivity, bigger bucket size and fuel efficient. We have also improved on the hydraulics engine and the look of the machine. SDLG has a strong position in the 5 tonne wheel loader space. We need to consolidate it and that is the reason, with time new product has been introduced.
Concentration on Product designing for Indian Market
SDLG Machines are manufactured in China as they manufacture for the entire globe. We have the standard aspects for India. Our designs are more focused considering the customers needs. Time and again those aspects are continuously updated in six months time frame. If we need the minor change in it, communication is made to the factory in China and changes are done considering the geographical conditions in India.
With our products, our focus is on road construction, irrigation. Of late, we have gone into material handling and ports, railways. Reasonable success is achieved in cargo handling, wagon loading railway sidings. Ports we are most focused and in 2019 in a big way with the specialised attachments, which will help us in cargo handling. Today 50% goes into the roads, 25% in road handling and 25% in wagon loading railway sidings. We foresee a huge demand growth in ports segment, which is the area of focus in near future.
No competition in of the sectors neither by the government because we comply with the regulations layed by the government. From the application part material and cargo, handling requires different kind of attachment features so we customise our products according to the need of the customer. That is exactly what we do and that is not the challenge. We have lot of front attachments available and we customise according to the machine. Material handling we give a smaller bucket. If machine blocks has to be handled, we give a gap lap. Huge boxes to be handled we give a fork. Every attachment is different, customised and given to them.
Development in Intelligent Machines
Our machines are intelligent, we have not invested into telematics machines, primarily because they cater to the value segment, they do not go into the premium segment. What customer wants is economically viable machine, reliable machine that can give return on investment very fast. There are services, which we cater to SDLG. However, having said that we have on board diagnostics systems available. Engineers can just plug in into the computer, download the data and guide the customers on what the machine errors are. No telematics as of now that too SDLG Machines.
Liquidity Crunch Impact
We do not see liquidity crunch happening in future for our company but it has affected the market temporarily but with the inflow of funds from the banks, the financing has started. The financing was down because most of the equipment companies were financed for a month or so now they are back on track. We are on an average selling 35-40 machines and that is the trend across the year and maybe in the coming days we will do much better.
Tie up with the government for infrastructure projects specially ports and shipping
Our first point of contact is not the government, it is the off load or the cargo handler. Those companies who actually take the contract from the government we tie up with them and then supply equipment to them. We keep a track of whatever new projects are coming up. Maybe today we are having about 10-12 major ports and 150 minor ports, those minor ports are coming up and ocean movement of the material is going to go up. Inland will also go up. Aerial you will handle on-road inland is much lower that what you can do on sea. We foresee lot of export and import would happen, so that is the area of focus to us. Railways, we handle minerals only. Coal movement from the coal mining areas, thermal plants across the country because still India is still thermal power dominated country. That happens. Orissa lot of iron movements is there so these are some of the important sectors and areas where we are very actively engaged.
Business coming from South Asian Countries and Its Impact to India
Not exactly. Indian ports would be used for domestic consumption and exports, do not see India being a transit place. Likes of Singapore, are more as far as transit hubs are concerned where trans-shipment of cargo happens. I do not foresee that in India. Lot of domestic demand is going rise, see an upward swing. If that happens the movement will be much higher. Do not foresee India to be a transit hub.
Business expectations from core sectors
The infrastructure growth in India and investment into it is irreversible. The rate of growth may vary but the reversal is very unlikely to happen because the construction industry has grown 35-40% in 2018 and it will not grow to that level in 2019 primarily because of the general relaxation that is happening. Still there will be growth almost 10-15 or 15-20% growth but that does not stop the growth generation of the company. Whatever government comes this growth journey would continue and be back on track by 2021. We will continue to have CAGR of 20% for next 4-5 years.
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