Caterpillar has been active in India since the 1930s. Today, together with dealers, Caterpillar India employs more than 10,000 people. The India presence includes state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, high tech research and development, as well as numerous global support organizations.
Ramesh Tiperneni, Country Manager, Caterpillar India told Sandeep Menezes that while customers understand the benefits technology can deliver, selecting the appropriate products and reporting tools can be challenging.
Excerpts from the interview:
How do you foresee the evolving growth scenario and main demand drivers across the equipment sector?
We anticipate that better economic growth should result in an improvement in sales in both power systems and construction industries. The growth will vary in terms of the industries, but the build-out of infrastructure that must occur as the country and the Asia region urbanizes is going to provide a large platform for growth. Caterpillar’s belief is that “the road to progress must begin with a road.” We believe that Caterpillar and its dealers are in a good position to help meet this demand.
We are witnessing major technological reforms in the Indian construction & mining equipment industry as demand for specialized and high-capacity equipment is on the rise. Comment.
When it comes to operating and managing equipment and production, technology is playing a bigger role than ever. While customers understand the benefits technology can deliver, selecting the appropriate products and reporting tools can be challenging.
Cat machines are equipped with advanced technology that transforms project implementation practices. Whether our customers want to know exactly where their machines are or maximize machine health and utilization.
To meet the customers growing demand, Caterpillar has introduced Cat® Connect – a marketing framework that simplifies and clarifies how technology can increase safety, efficiency and profitability. With Cat Connect it is easier to navigate our range of technological capabilities so customers can save money, increase productivity and improve safety. Customers can get in on any level, experiment and change or grow as needed.
In the mining industry, miners are always looking for ways to enhance mine site safety, reduce costs, improve profitability and boost efficiency. Cat® MineStar™ System helps customers do that, providing the most comprehensive suite of mining technology products in the industry. It consists of a number of configurable capability sets that allow you to scale the system to your mine site needs.
Interest rates have started to soften although they remain high, and most equipment sales happen through financing rather than self-purchase. Therefore do you think it will boost growth in the industry?
A reduction in interest rates would provide a benefit to the customers.
Going forward, does Caterpillar India have a long term roadmap for the construction & mining equipment segment?
Our global vision is to be a leader wherever we do business and the same holds true for India. We are investing in our operations to support the ever-increasing customer base here and we also have plans of launching other products in India which are in the pipeline.
We are continuously ramping up our services and distribution network across India which will improve our capability to supply high quality service parts and highly skilled service engineers close to our customers. We have eight territorial dealerships across India owned by GMMCO and TIPL. With 150 plus dealer outlets and still growing, these include branch offices, area offices, retail outlets, workshops and site support.
Does Caterpillar India intend to launch any new products in near future or increase focus on a particular product segment?
Caterpillar is continuing to expand in India and, we have added a number of significant products to our local manufacturing portfolio to serve customers’ needs.
As part of our strategic plan, we launched the Cat 320D2 excavator, an upgraded version of its predecessor 320D, and the 950 GC wheel loader at EXCON in 2013. Earlier this year, we announced the launch of Cat® 3406C, an industrial diesel engine that provides customers with an economical, fuel efficient and dependable solution in countries with lower emission standards. Most recently, we introduced the New Cat 424B backhoe loader to customers in India. We also announced that Caterpillar and Tata Capital have collaborated to provide diverse finance options to customers in India.