In an intensive interview with CE&CR, Mr. Dimitrov Krishnan, vice
president & head of Volvo CE India, talks about his company’s
preparedness to meet the new construction segment requirements
considering his experience and how it is leading the way in excavator
CE&CR: When did the company set its footprint in India? What are the Volvo equipment most suitable to the Indian market?
Dimitrov Krishnan: Our presence in India dates back over 20 years, with our first office opening in 1997 employing a team of just three people. Since then we have grown to be the largest global construction equipment brand in this country. Today Volvo CE employs a team of hundreds and operates a world-class manufacturing plant in Bangalore. We also have one of the most experienced and wide-reaching networks of distribution partners. The most popular products in India from the Volvo CE line are our excavators and wheel loaders for earthmoving and material handling respectively. In road building, our compactors and pavers enjoy widespread use among contractors. Several products that are popular here are built at our Bangalore factory and we are proud to support the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
CE&CR: How does your company develop new products for the future markets? Can you explain with an example?
D.K: Volvo CE is recognised as one of the global construction equipment industry’s leading innovators. There are many examples we can provide, but perhaps the most relevant is the work we are doing in terms of electrification. Volvo’s pursuit of electrically-driven vehicles could be a game changer. Recently, our company unveiled the world’s first fully-electric compact excavator, the EX2, which is equipped with electric drive systems and electromechanical linear actuators. Volvo CE believes that going electric is the future of our industry. The EX2 prototype shows our determination to provide zero-emissions machines in the future, which will have the same power and force as conventional equipment. We have also presented our HX1, a prototype autonomous, batteryelectric load carrier. It is one element of a project that aims to electrify a transport stage in a quarry – from excavation to primary crushing and transport to secondary crushing. It has already picked up industry awards for innovation.
CE&CR: What types of projects are using Volvo equipment? Are these products able to withstand the climatic conditions of Indian projects?
D. K: Volvo CE is the only major manufacturer with a leading presence in the three major construction equipment sectors in India: general construction, mining and road building. Part of the reason we enjoy this
Mr. Dimitrov KrishnanJexclusive position is because our equipment not only withstands the Indian climate but its performance in these conditions exceeds that of other equipment. While we try and drive innovation and new technology we never lose sight of what the customer cares about most –uptime. As a manufacturer we are 100% focussed on increasing ROI for our customers and that means faster cycle times and longer periods between maintenance or stoppages.
Vice President And Head
Volvo CE India
CE&CR: Government’s planned expenditure on infrastructure surely brings in opportunities for the CE sector. These opportunities are backed by challenges like inflation, availability of skilled labour and operators, timely delivery and above all maintaining and enhancing quality to meet the competition. What has been your strategy to meet these challenges?
D.K: In terms of inflation, there is little we can do to influence the wider economy, but we do offer customers a range of financing options through our Volvo Financial Services arm. This function helps customers secure a finance package that works for them, easing the pressure on cashflow and allowing them to concentrate on the day-to-day running of their business.
CE&CR: The United Nations has established sustainable development goals. What is the contribution of Volvo towards achieving sustainability?
D.K: We set ourselves four key technology challenges that we call Triple Zero and 10x: zero emissions, zero accidents, zero unplanned stops and 10x higher efficiency. To help us achieve our goals, we have a clear focus on electromobility, intelligent machines and total site solutions. We believe this will help us achieve our ambitious goals and pave the way for a sustainable construction industry.
- Zero emissions will help make customers’ businesses more environmentally sustainable.
- Zero accidents will come from pioneering safety innovations where machines could instinctively avoid accidents – generating a completely safe working environment.
- Zero unplanned stops will create a world without machine breakdowns, where machines predict and plan their own maintenance – making unplanned stops a thing of the past.
- Our 10x higher efficiency goal is directly connected to the electrification of construction equipment and site optimization, which we believe will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
- Our efforts all centre round the three guiding principles of the Volvo Group: quality, safety and environmental care. We are committed to building the highest quality machines, so Volvo CE models use the latest technology to deliver better productivity and longer uptime. Similarly, our attention to greater safety has helped us create some of the most advanced operator cabs in this, or any, industry. And being committed to environmental care has led Volvo CE to produce machines that achieve its famous fuelsaving capabilities.
CE&CR: Can you share with our readers briefly about your manufacturing facilities and their locations, product line, capacities and investments planned?
D.K: As one of the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturers, we have 13 factories worldwide, including our facility here in Bangalore. Our full product range includes: crawler excavators, wheeled excavators, compact excavators, articulated haulers, rigid haulers, large wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, compact track loaders, demolition equipment, asphalt pavers, asphalt compactors, soil compactors, pipe layers and forestry equipment.
CE&CR: How have you set up the network for the after-sales servicing and spare parts?
D.K: One of the most important technologies we use to support our after-sales service is the unique CareTrack telematics system, which gives owners up-to-the-minute data on a whole host of performancerelated features for their fleet. What’s more Volvo’s skilled team are on-hand to provide advice and guidance on the technology, helping owners achieve real savings in both time and money.In addition, Volvo has one of the largest and most experienced dealer networks in India, able to provide expert advice and support whenever it’s needed, and there are a range of Customer Service Agreements available. The most comprehensive is the Gold Customer Support Agreement, and this option is increasingly popular in India as work levels rise and construction schedules are squeezed. It offers preventive maintenance, inspections and repairs carried out at the earliest opportunity by trained Volvo Service Technicians and gives companies the best possible peace of mind. As infrastructure development in India moves into the 21st Century, construction operations are in the spotlight like never. The fine margins on modern job sites mean that securing a small advantage in something as routine as excavator choice can translate into a big difference in profitability. With Volvo CE, construction companies know they can take advantage of equipment with best-in-class productivity, and when support’s needed world-class backup is available.
CE&CR: What are the initiatives taken by your company in the sphere of Corporate Social Responsibility?
D.K: Volvo has been associated with GMRVF Hyderabad since SEP 2012 and with Delhi since AUG 2014 to provide a Volvo designed CSR activity which leads to livelihood and employment prospects for youngsters, especially from the underprivileged sections, training them to be future operators To manage this activity Volvo has contributed Volvo Excavators located at Hyderabad and Delhi units of GMRVF. This uniquely designed JrOptrExc – course is for duration of three months and is a strict structured curriculum as per IESC norms. On the above note, Volvo also launched The Operator Champion competition to encourage further talent and better skilled operators in the industry. Such an event highlights the importance of skills development in the construction industry and the vital role equipment operators’ play. Last year, competitions were held across the country with final wrap up in Bangalore. Each finalist competed in a series of challenges, timed to test speed, dexterity, logic, and more. Operators were challenged on both live equipment and simulators, for both Excavator and Wheel Loader operating systems. On the final day, the operators took part in one more round of competition before reconvening later that day for the announcement of the winners.
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