Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head of Volvo CE India
Volvo, a Sweden-based multinational, is very active in the field of construction and mining. The company also has a manufacturing facility near Bengaluru. Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head of Volvo CE India, responded to few of our questions.
How has mining and construction industry changed in the last five years in India?
The government's ambitious infrastructure plans are giving a strong push to the industry and customers are looking for more productive machines that will speed up construction projects. We're seeing another interesting trend around equipment choice. Indian contractors have traditionally favoured backhoe loaders as the preferred machine for many tasks, including earthmoving. But, as the market matures, customers are favouring the improved productivity and efficiency that excavators can deliver.
Projects are getting bigger and timescales are getting tighter, so contractors are looking to equipment and technology to bring them some advantage. We expect the rental market will continue to grow in India for some time as the country's economy matures. Excavators will likely be a key product line in the development of the rental business here.
In the short- to medium-term, we see a very bright outlook for the market. India has a lot of potential and the government's strong push for infrastructure development is helping realise some of this potential. This will almost certainly lead to stronger growth in the construction equipment industry. As a market leader, Volvo CE is excited to play a part in facilitating India's development.
What is the progress of your manufacturing activity in India? Have been able to develop quality vendors?
We have a manufacturing plant in Bengaluru and that has helped us to create products locally that suit local needs yet possess the advanced design, productivity and reliability that Volvo customers expect. We have a good network of local vendors and we expect that to increase over time also.
India is a very cost-sensitive market, and on the other hand Volvo insists on quality of a product. Are Indian customers ready to pay the price considering the quality of a product? Do you think is the mind set of an average Indian buyer is changing?
India is less price-sensitive than it was previously, reflecting how the market is maturing. Correspondingly, there is growing acceptance of new technologies and the benefits they bring.
As with all things, it's important to strike the correct balance.
India is home to some of the most sophisticated equipment buyers in the world. While cost is always a factor, issues such as lifecycle cost, fuel efficiency, reliability and resale value all have to be considered also.
How are the hire-purchase schemes offered to Indian customers working? Have these been successful?
Volvo Financial Services operates at attractive interest rates India and lease options are under evaluation. This allows the buyer to avail the high quality equipment which gives competitive rates to new machine. Our dealers can be contacted for more details.