Vipin Sondhi, the managing director and CEO of JCB India Ltd
Vipin Sondhi is the managing director and CEO of JCB India Limited. He was in Nepal for CII conMac 2018, the largest construction equipment exhibition, taking place in Nepal for the first time. Arpana Ale Magar of Republica talked with Sondhi to know more about the exhibition and the market of JBC India.
Could you explain the rationale about holding CII conMac 2018?
CII is the largest construction equipment exhibition that is being hosted by Nepal for the first time. Nepal is very important market for us, and of course a fast growing one. Major manufacturers are here, so taking advantage of this opportunity we decided to hold the exhibition in Nepal this year. We hope customers from across Nepal as well as government officials will visit the exhibition. Both of them are important for us. Customers are the ones for whom our products are targeted, and the government makes policies that might impact us.
You said Nepal is a fast growing market. How has been the market for JCB products so far?
With the ongoing infrastructure development activities, there is high demand of heavy equipment in Nepal. So we have very good customer base here. Growth of our products' sale in the Nepali market is really satisfactory. The growth rate is increasing by 15 to 20 percent annually so we hope the infrastructure will remain a priority for the Nepali government. Morang Auto Works, our dealer in Nepal, is one of the top five dealers for JCB in the world.
What is your specific marketing strategy for Nepal?
Well, it's all about management. We keep it simple so that we could communicate with our customers well. Because all we have to do is to meet the requirement of customers. Our service does not end with selling products. Customers need after sales service and spare parts that the dealers need to take care of. So at first, we offer reliable products and afterwards we continuously communicate with operators for better service.
How competitive do you think the Nepali market is for JCB products?
It's a very competitive market and we do expect competition. There are manufacturers from Japan, China and India supplying products to the Nepali market. This is very good thing from a customer's perspective. Our only goal is to be as close to the customers as possible. We have a leadership position here in Nepal and we are very proud of it.
Would you like to discuss your CSR activities in Nepal?
We are providing technical trainings in Nepal regarding heavy equipment. We have already provided operator training to around 3000 people so far in order to boost their skills. We have our own operator training school. Apart from that we have also been involved in skill management. And even during the earthquake, we donated 13 heavy machines to the Nepali government for use in rescue operations.