India attractive investment destination, hub for us: JCB
London: India is an attractive destination for making investments and has already become a hub for construction equipment manufacturer JCB, chairman of the UK- based company Anthony Bamford said Sunday.
"India is a very important market for us. We see big opportunities in India. We have invested hugely here and would continue to do so as it is a hub already for us," Bamford said.
Heading the family-owned business J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) since 1975, Bamford is slated to formally assume seat in the House of Lords on November 7.
"Our perspective is that India is full of energy... vibrant. Look how India came out of big crisis in 2008-09, probably the country that handled the crisis better than any other country. Investing in India is important to us," Bamford said.
Infrastructure has huge potential in India and the company is looking at playing a vital role in its growth, he said, adding that JCB has directly invested over USD 250 million (Rs 1,250 crore) in India in recent years, with dealers also investing heavily.
"The infrastructure has got more capacity. Any particular moment we could produce more machines in India. Infrastructure is not complete here but things are picking up fast," he said.
Bamford said machines are being exported to Africa, Malaysia and other parts of the world from India and the "quality of the products is extremely good. We are proud of it."
Among the top three global players in construction equipment, JCB is the market leader in India with an estimated market share of over 50 per cent.
"India is now JCB's single largest market in terms of volume many more JCB machines are sold in India than in its home market in the UK," Bamford said.
Much of JCB's success in India is due to its commitment to invest in the country, based on the company's anticipated long-term growth, both in terms of infrastructure development and domestic/commercial building requirements to support a growing population, he added.
The company's manufacturing facility for backhoe loader at Ballabgarh, Haryana, is the largest such facility in the world. JCB has sold over 175,000 machines from India.
JCB is setting up its fourth factory in the country at Jaipur, costing Rs 500 crore. It is likely to be operational by April.
Bamford said the Jaipur plant will supply components to the assembly business in Ballabhgarh. "It also will be doing some of the products but we haven't determined which are the products."
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the group, JCB India has one facility in Ballabhgarh, and two in Pune.
Since taking over as the chairman, Bamford has taken JCB from a one-factory operation in Staffordshire with a turnover of 43 million pound to a global business with 22 plants around the world employing over 11,000 people making over 300 different products.
The group reported turnover of 2.7 billion pound in 2012 and record earnings of 365 million pound.