Construction sector is expected to witness a turnaround in the sector following the initiatives taken by the government to boost the infrastructure and the announcements made in the Budget, says construction equipment maker JCB India’s CEO and managing director Vipin Sondhi. In an e-mailed interview with Shruti Srivastava, Sondi shares his enthusiasm on the expected revival in the industrial demand while detailing what more needs to be done to lift the sector, which has witnessed decline in sales for the last three years.
What are the expectations of the construction sector from the present government?
Indian diesel generator market witnessed tremendous growth over the past few years with considerable rise in construction sites, hospitals and educational institutes. There has been a strong demand for power back up across all major sectors including industries. However reviving investment demand, which is a major growth propeller, has to be among the top priorities of the government. Reviving industrial demand and renewing focus on construction projects across the country is the key to stimulate demand for these products. This has been largely addressed by the new government. However, on ground, implementation needs to pick up to fuel growth.
How are the initiatives like ‘Make in India’ taken by the government helping the sector? Do you think the campaign will help the sector grow?
‘Make in India’ campaign is one of the major national programs which has been designed to facilitate investment and establish India as a global manufacturing hub. Moreover, we feel the campaign will push for necessary policy reforms which will make it easier for prospective investors, both domestic and international, to explore India as a business destination, particularly for infrastructure building equipment. It will also foster innovation, create employment opportunities and will protect intellectual property rights.
When do you see the buoyancy in the construction sector returning?
With the government’s renewed impetus on infrastructure, the construction equipment industry is now poised for tremendous growth. The government has instilled a positive outlook in the country by announcing an investment increase of Rs 70,000 crore in the Budget 2015-2016, by launching new infrastructure projects and by allowing huge domestic and foreign investments in infrastructure industry.
Announcements like US Companies planning to invest $42 billion in India over the next two-three years, Japan planning to invest $35 billion in India primarily in building the railway infrastructure and smart cities will give a huge boost to the infrastructure industry.
We have seen a strong intent from the government towards infrastructural development since the beginning and they have introduced some notable reforms — projects like Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga, and Make in India. But to achieve these targets, the government needs to ensure that all the bottlenecks are removed and the stalled projects are cleared without any further delay. The need of the hour is to identify projects of national importance and ensure they are implemented expeditiously. We need to have a mechanism in place which will streamline the on ground execution thus, ensuring a long-term demand for all construction equipment.