Earthmoving and construction equipment major JCB India expects a strong recovery towards the second half of the year aided by the accelerated vaccination programme along with Centre's focus on infrastructure creation.
Accordingly, the company has pinned hopes on the record high budget set aside to create infrastructure especially roads and highways.
"Overall, we are hopeful of a strong recovery towards the second half of the year once the vaccination programs start showing their effect and the pandemic begins to taper," said JCB India's CEO and Managing Director Deepak Shetty.
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At present, India suffers from a massive resurgence in Covid cases. However, a sharp decline in new infection rate has triggered hopes of an accelerated recovery.
"The second wave has once again disrupted the momentum. With the health and safety of employees being critical, we took the hard stance of temporarily pausing all manufacturing across our plants in India."
"The demand in April and May over the past two months has also expectedly remained subdued due to the various restrictions across the country."
Nonetheless, he cited that as infrastructure development activity slowly resumes its pace, resumption of demand and re-energising the supply chain will take some time to settle down.
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"However, as an organisation, we remain positive about India's growth story and are hopeful of seeing a strong recovery like we saw last time."
"Infrastructure is vital for the development of the country as it has a significant multiplier effect. The investments and the focus in the sector must continue."
According to Shetty, the government's continued thrust on building infrastructure is encouraging to the construction equipment sector.
"Infrastructure creation also opens opportunities for allied industries like raw material, quarrying and equipment manufacturing, among others. Critically it also creates jobs and livelihoods."
"Despite the current challenges that we face due to the pandemic, we feel that India presents great opportunities for the future."
Besides, he pointed out that outlay for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is the highest ever this year.
"The capital expenditure allocation for FY 2021-2022 is also much greater than the previous years. The Railways are set to emerge as a growth driver in addition to 'Roads and Highways', which was long overdue."
"A record allocation for railway corridors and other structural developments has been made. This will certainly help in generating on-ground activity in the sector."
Furthermore, he said that formation of a Development Finance Institute (DFI), the stress in capital requirements for long-term infrastructure projects should significantly ease out.
"This was also critical to infrastructure development and a long-standing request of the industry."
Similarly, the company sees significant export opportunities through 'Make in India' for the world.
At present, it exports to over 110 countries from India and is looking forward to healthy export numbers this year.
In addition, he opined that creation of rural health infrastructure as well as other schemes to reinvigorate the economy will aid in supporting the expected uptrend during the second half of 2021.
Currently, JCB has has over 60 dealers and 700 outlets for professional product support.