JCB banks on India play, eyes highest revenue share by 2018

Macdonald said infrastructure tops the growth agenda for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Group remains "very optimistic for the next five years".

Staffordshire: With the change of guard at the Centre, focus back on infrastructure development and better clarity on the policy front, global construction equipment major JCB Group is looking to generate the highest share of revenue from India by 2018.

The Group is the leading player in construction equipment manufacturing in the UK, Europe, India and Russia. Also, it takes the top spot globally in terms of manufacturing backhoe loader and loadall machines used in construction business.

"Our market share in India is very big... There is an environment of optimism. India could become the largest contributor of revenue growth by 2018. Right now, 17 percent of the revenue comes from India, including exports," JCB Group CEO Graeme Macdonald told reporters at its world headquarters here.

The present revenue share includes exports to about 50 countries from the Indian manufacturing units.

"From our perspective, India has been very challenging for the last three years... Since the new government came to power, all policy framework is in place. But that hasn't yet translated into action on the ground. Our view is projects are going to start soon," he said.

The company's revenue stood at UK pound 2.5 billion and earned profit (EBITDA) at UK pound 303 million, according to its global earnings data for 2014 released recently.

Macdonald said infrastructure tops the growth agenda for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Group remains "very optimistic for the next five years".

Going forward, JCB is working on doubling the range of products at its Ballabhgarh, Pune and
Jaipur facilities in India by 2018, from the current 46.

"The key for India is products and distribution. The customers are very demanding. The big investment area will be launch of new products. We are looking for more dealer outlets throughout the country, especially rural areas, as there is an opportunity for basic infrastructure requirements there," Macdonald added.

According to Macdonald, India's job is cut out as it needs to work on addressing the perception among foreign investors about doing business here. He is of the view that implementation of GST will be a big positive in this regard.

With a footprint of 600 outlets and 60 dedicated dealers across India, JCB's current headcount stands at about 5,200.

The world's third-largest construction equipment maker, JCB runs 24 plants spanning four continents, including 12 in the UK, 5 in India and the rest in Brazil, the US and China. It employs more than 12,000 globally.

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