Joining hands with Komatsu, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) presented an array of new launches at bauma CONEXPO INDIA (bC India) 2018. The company through its strategic alliance seeks to add value by enhancing the way in which customers do their job in the most cost-effective manner, according to Arvind K. Garg, Executive Vice-President and Head, Construction and Mining Machinery Business, Larsen & Toubro Limited, who is also the President of ICEMA (Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association).
Please talk about your offerings at bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2018 (bC India)?
We have on display the entire range of Komatsu products, various excavators, bulldozers, and L&T range of products, which are largely towards road building. The capability of providing solutions to customers is not only in the form of equipment but also in our capability to provide them with innovative solutions. We have attachments like rock breakers and quick couplers as well. We are displaying a selective range of Genuine Parts in the stall and our team is here to explain what we are doing to help keep the machines running all the time.
Digitalisation is playing a crucial role currently. The only way to succeed as volumes increase for customers is to have visibility in their operations and data accuracy driven that is accurate. As a company, we seek to ensure customers do their job better in the most cost effective manner, thereby helping increase product awareness. We believe in bringing contemporary technology in the country, giving contemporary products to customers backed by service that they deserve where machines run to the maximum, availability is high, ecosystem is strong and the network is robust. The only way to serve our customers well is to help them do their part of the job easily without having to worry about how the equipment is.
How is the Komatsu-L&T alliance one of the robust examples in India? What is contributing to its success?
Komatsu and L&T decided to enter into this strategic alliance in 1998. Both the companies have been in India for several decades. Being an Indian company, L&T understands the requirements of customers and realises that Komatsu’s products and its cutting edge technology adds to its strength. There is a lot of synergy between the partners. The value of a product gets enhanced when you have augmented a part of providing solution to a customer. As partners, we have worked closely with the customers, understood the changing requirements and introduced new models with new generation features and saw great success in the market.
As far as our own L&T product range is concerned, most of the products are actually complementary that do not compete with Komatsu. The entire L&T road making machinery is not in the range of Komatsu. Therefore, it is a natural extension for us because when we go to a customer engaged in building a road, we can give them Komatsu excavators and Komatsu motor graders, but after that, the customer need not look elsewhere . This is where our L&T compactors ,pavers fit in seamlessly.
Over a couple of years, we’ve been able to reach the scale because the Komatsu products are good, so are L&T’s services. Customers have invested their faith in us and our job is to live up their expectations. We were the pioneers in bringing excavators in India, it was all about selling the concept and solution, and explaining to customers why it made sense. A lot of work in terms of doing certain things like continuous improvement initiatives taken for customers digitally to see how operating cost can be put up, application engineering groups that work with the customers to look at their mining sites, for instance, to look at their application and to see how jointly we can find the solution which is most cost effective for customer and aids productivity and efficiency, and ensures safety of their operations.
So, training also includes becoming an integral part of the customers’ operations and provide whatever knowledge we have from global perspective. Komatsu operates across the globe, thereby facilitating cross-learning. We are trying to get our customers upgraded in a very different manner, supporting them wherever they go from machine operation to maintenance.
How do you plan to scale up for the range of products?
Road sector is growing rapidly owing to government’s focus. We are at early double digit market share, hence have potential for growing the same. Secondly, the only way to expand our volumes and share is by creating value for customers and paring cost for them. We can export the L&T Range of machines to neighbouring countries so as to be able to participate in infrastructure building, and expand volumes in the process. Also, the L&T range of products are export worthy and most of them have won design excellence awards.
Are more products expected to come from this range?
We are now bringing our pavers and skid-steer loader. So, we would take a brief pause to the transit towards new emission norms. Having been in the space for a couple years now, we’ve also got feedback on the way to make this better. Effort has been put in to see how the design can be enhanced, and how customer feedback can be integrated into what we’re producing. If we are bringing in new products, next couple of years, the focus will be on improving these products , take them to the next level and scale them up .
Only way to expand our volumes and share is by creating value for customers and paring cost for them.
Arvind K. Garg, Executive Vice President and Head, Construction and Mining Machinery Business, Larsen & Toubro Limited, President of ICEMA.