Kobelco Cranes India Pvt. Ltd manufactures hydraulic crawler cranes and started its Indian operations in August, 2010. The company provides crawler cranes in 100 to 250 ton class. Its products are suitable for applications in the fields of factory plant construction, bridge construction, wind mill construction and other general construction works. The company’s Sri city production unit is spread across 40,000 sq. m with an annual production capacity of 90 crane units in different classes.
Yutaka Goto, President & Director – Kobelco Cranes India Pvt Ltd tells Sandeep Menezes that the company is evaluating if more components can be manufactured in India but the most important aspect is maintaining high quality.
Excerpts from the interview:
What is Kobelco’s future business strategy in India?
We started production of cranes at the end of 2011 in India. Since then we have been producing more than 100 cranes in India. But unfortunately the last three years have seen the market not being very good. In fact, the crane market has been shrinking in India over last three years.
With the new government having taken charge, we hope that the economy starts recovering from early next year. Currently the domestic market demand is not much for us therefore we are looking towards exports.
Which export markets are you targeting?
We are mainly looking at South-East Asia. These will be ‘Made in India’ cranes that will be exported to the South-East Asia market.
Tell us about the current quantum of Kobelco’s exports from India?
Currently we are only manufacturing for the Indian market. But hopefully our products will be exported to the South-East Asia market from next year.
Going forward, does Kobelco have any capacity expansion plans in India?
We are still planning and hopefully will expand in the second half of next year. Therefore we will be looking to enhance the capacity at our existing facility.
It’s been six months since the new government has taken over the nation’s reign, how do you foresee the construction equipment industry’s performance?
We feel that the construction equipment industry will witness a growth of around 10 to 20 per cent in the forthcoming year.
The main demand for this growth will come from the infrastructure sector.
Does Kobelco assist customers with financing?
We do not really provide any kind of financing solution to the customer by ourselves. But we introduce various financing companies to the customers.
We are facing a shortage of trained equipment operators and technicians nationwide. Comment.
We provide training to the customer’s manpower while selling the equipments. But we don’t have any free training school.
The government has been pushing with its ‘Make in India’ campaign. Comment.
The main components like engines are imported. Therefore the local content may be around 30 per cent. We are evaluating if more components can be manufactured in India but the most important aspect is maintaining high quality. It is important that good quality components are provided by Indian vendors – otherwise we will lose our reputation. We are proud of our quality and need only good quality components from Indian vendors.
Right now, we are selecting local vendors on the basis of quality and hope that the local components can be increased in near future.
We hope that our products can have at least 50 per cent local content in the next two years. But this depends on the quality of components that the Indian vendors provide us.