JLG says the time is right for access in India
By Chris Sleight10 February 2011
JLG plans to set up as many as five parts, service and support locations in India in anticipation of an acceleration in the demand for powered access equipment. Some estimates say the platform population in the country could be as high as 15000 units within three years.
Vice president for Asia Pacific, Andrew Satterley said India's investment in infrastructure, along with an improving culture of safety and productivity were key drivers for this anticipated growth.
"We see now as the critical time because of the infrastructure investment and the multi-nationals moving into the region. Those companies are fully aware of the powered access concept from their work around the globe, and now they're moving in here they're expecting to see it. We've had a distribution network here for some 15 years, but we haven't had our own presence. What we're doing now is committing to India with our own branch operation - parts on the ground, stock on the ground, training and service support.
"The climate here is that this is the time for our equipment. There's more and more focus on safety of workers and there's a lot of pressure on productivity to complete projects on time. Our equipment is rapidly becoming a key in being able to do that. The time is right for us," he said.
According to Mr Satterley, the construction industry is driving the take-up of powered access, with the strongest demand for 60 foot and above booms and 32 foot-plus scissors. He added that the rental market was still immature, but starting to gain momentum.
JLG's first branch will be in Mumbai, with up to four more expected to follow in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata. "We'd like to have them all up and running within three years. The first one we want to have up and running by October. We've been looking at potential sites and we're now down to two. The question then is whether we purpose build or refurbish and existing building," said Mr Satterley.
"We hear customers saying they expect 15000 machines to be operating in India within the next two to three years - that's what they're telling me. That would make the market about two thirds the size of Australia, and it took Australia 20 years to get to that point.
"I think telehandlers are on the horizon. Again it's on the back of multinationals coming in and saying 'We're not going to use a pick & carry crane. We're going to use a fully-rated, fully engineered telehandler.' I think people are initially going to buy used because of the price point, but eventually it will take off. There are a couple of pretty big tenders out there for telehandlers for the Indian army, and that helps create the demand as well," said Mr Satterley.