Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, construction equipment maker JCB said it was ‘confident’ of starting operations at its export-focused manufacturing plant in Vadodara, Gujarat, in the first quarter of 2022, CEO and MD Deepak Shetty said.
The company, for which India is one of the largest markets, is seeing increased demand for construction equipment world over as economies are recovering from the pandemic, he pointed out.
“JCB operates in more than 155 countries around the world and India is one of the largest markets for JCB globally… this is a unique year. Following actions taken by governments of various countries, almost all economies are recovering well. So, we are seeing a great opportunity everywhere, but India continues to remain one of the largest and the biggest markets for JCB,” Mr. Shetty said.
On the Vadodara unit, he said, the facility “is the next step in the direction of ‘Make in India’ for the world. This particular facility will be manufacturing components for our facilities in the U.K., Brazil, and the U.S., and we will be exporting them.”
He added that with economies around the world recovering, JCB India had seen a threefold growth in export numbers. While he did not share exact numbers, he said currently 18% of products made in India were being exported to more than 110 countries.
In the first phase, the company has invested ₹650 crore in the Vadodara plant, the total investment for which is expected to be more than ₹1,000 crore. The company plans to have women accounting for 50% of the workforce at the plant.
“In our Jaipur facility — in the traditionally conservative state of Rajasthan — 34% of our workforce is women. They build the toughest of the components, assemble machines and also engineer them… For Vadodara, we have set up a target of 50% women workforce,” Mr. Shetty said.
The company expects to have 1,200 people working at the facility once it is fully operational.