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Construction : Cover Story | December 2018 | Source : Equipment India

Equipment Pulse

With the construction equipment market is on a growth path, Equipment India explores the market scenario of construction equipment and allied products and services.

Market analyses predict substantial growth of construction equipment industry in India in the next five years. The estimated growth is attributed to a spurt in infrastructure development in the past few years which is about to continue in the coming years as well. The development in infrastructure sector has laid the growth path of the entire construction equipment value chain which constitutes the construction equipment, aggregates (components, accessories and spares), and services such as equipment financing, rentals, auction, etc.

Positive trends
The construction equipment market in the recent years had progressed well with most of the equipment categories recording hefty growth in sales. According to Anil Bhatia, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TIL, in the near term, economic corridors, expressways, logistics parks, new metro railway projects, new investment in the oil and gas sector and increased wind power generation will spur the demand for cranes. He adds, "There is likely to be higher demand for cranes in the 25T-60T segment. The demand for port equipment is likely to rise in line with increasing containerisation, development of dedicated logistics parks and the growing thrust on developing container terminals along the extensive Indian coastline."

Also, demand for cranes and reach stackers has grown by around 20-25 per cent in the last couple of years. Customer preference is shifting in favour of higher capacity equipment. Says Raj Shrivastav, Executive in Charge - Crushing, Screening & HMAP, TIL, "We see an immense focus on infrastructure (roads, airports, ports, smart city projects, etc) and industrial projects. These will create a robust demand for crushing and screening plants and equipment.

At present, this construction equipment sector is mainly dominated by backhoe loaders (more than 40 per cent of total demand) but broad-based growth is expected across products, with each segment expected to see growth. According to Manish Arora, Business Head, Mahindra Construction Equipment, "The BHL industry in past two years has grown consecutively over 20 per cent year-on-year basis and we at Mahindra Construction Equipment has kept pace with this growth clocking over 1,000 units each year. We have climbed up the industry ladder in terms of market share to be at number 4 position in the BHL market and maintained it for past two years."

The market growth in OEMs is an opportunity for aggregate players such as Eaton, "The industry seems to be on an upswing. A major reason for this is the growth in infrastructure projects. The government's focus and investments in infrastructure projects has grown substantially and this trend should continue for the next couple of years."

Importance of advanced equipment
Projects are becoming bigger and complex. Project execution times are getting shorter and stringent. Revival of the infrastructure sector has put construction equipment in demand especially in projects such as road, airport, railways, real estate and industrial projects. Going forward, customers will also demand end-to-end solutions combined with strong customer service and support. Of course, growth of this segment will be hugely dependent on government policies.

The sharp rise in demand for manufactured sand (M-sand) and plaster sand (P-sand) - with the National Green Tribunal having banned natural sand mining in most places of India - would further spur the demand for crushing and screening equipment. The foremost priority will be to ensure higher profitability and productivity for the customer. Availability of trained operators will continue to be a challenge.

SP Rajan, Head - Plant & Equipment, L&T Construction highlights, "Today's construction environment revolves around adjectives like the largest, tallest, largest, longest, the most complex and most importantly the fastest, thus throwing challenges to the engineers on daily basis. The only way forward is the use of advanced construction equipment technologies to meet these never ending challenges.

New features and technologies
highlights, "We are market leaders in high capacity truck cranes, truck-mounted cranes and rough terrain cranes. Truck cranes are characterised by high speed for greater inter-site mobility and limited off-road mobility accorded by large wheelbase and better suspension."

Alam elaborates on digital technology. "A major technology trend now is digitalisation. Customers are looking for more connected products that allow life and performance tracking with real-time data to deliver maximum equipment uptime. Our customer centric approach and unrelenting focus on innovation empowers us to stay ahead of the curve."

Meeting the demand
Bhatia adds, "Exciting times are ahead for material handling equipment. With the impending revival of infrastructure sector and the government's definitive focus on growth, sales are expected to rise in the coming days. There is a likelihood of demand shifting quickly in favor of high capacity mobile cranes, the segment in which TIL dominates. When that happens, the challenge will be to address the increased demand with the right products and optimise equipment uptime by way of prompt aftersales service and easy availability of spares. The port sector, and consequently the port equipment segment, is also expected to witness aggressive growth led by big projects in port modernisation and new port creation, and increased palletisation & containerisation of goods. Overall, the outlook is very positive."

Financing has a never-before kind of relevance in this growth era of construction equipment. Says DK Vyas, CEO, SREI Equipment Finance, "The construction equipment finance industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20-21 per cent for the next three years until Fiscal 2021. With the current announced projects which mostly have started from the third quarter of Fiscal 2018, demand will continue for the earthmoving equipment industry, which will have a share between 68-70 per cent of the overall CME finance market. Banks and NBFCs are expected to have an equal share in the CME finance industry for the next one to two years with the equipment leasing industry expected to grow at a CAGR of 15-16 per cent until Fiscal 2020.

Buoyant future
The construction equipment sector in India is growing at a faster pace, driven by the huge investments being made by the government and the private sector in infrastructure development. According to Off-Highway Research report, CE market in India has grown by 17 per cent to 78,109 units. In the first half of 2018, CE sales is estimated to have increased by 33 per cent over the figures of 2017. This growth momentum has continued in the second half of 2018 also. Demand for construction equipment is now projected to witness a robust growth of 27 per cent in 2018. The following interviews bring forth more information on the market scenario in different equipment segments.

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