Interview

Director Human Resources and Marketing Communications, Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd

Ruchi Ahluwalia

Q1. Please tell us about the journey of Scania in India till now.

Scania is proud of its rich history spanning over 127 +  years. From its foundation in 1891, Scania’s culture of continuous innovation has made it one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, buses and engines.

Our India story goes back to 2007 when we entered the market through our dealers, Larsen & Toubro. In 2011 we incorporated Scania Commercial Vehicles India. In the last six years since it’s inception, Scania CV India has undergone an amazing transformation. From a greenfield site, we are now a completely modern factory, dedicated to providing our customers with products and services that will add immense and incremental value to their business.

We launched a Regional Production Centre (RPC)at Narasapura near Bangalore in 2013 for establishing a strong local presence. It was further complemented bylaunching a skill development academy in 2014 for our Indian workforce and driver community. In 2017 Scania launched India’s first U Body – BS IV Tipper.

2019 was one of the most dynamic year in Scania India’s history. Anticipating the tough market conditions, narrowing margins and higher productivity targets Scania proactively introduced New Truck Generation for our Indian customers. To maximize impact and engage more closely with on-site influencers', we introduced SAMPARK an initiative which took the NTG and Scania’s global automotive technology to the doorstep of Indian mines. Additionally, we also launched a Central Parts’ Warehouse in Nagpur, moving closer to our largest distribution partner. 

Furthermore, efforts have been taken in developing a more competent and scalable India organization as our commitment to the market grows. The reputed Great Place To Work certification conferred to Scania India is another big indicator of our commitment to investing in our people and reinforces our strategy.

 

Q2. How this market is different as compared to other foreign markets?What are the main products & services available for the Indian market?

India is one of the most dynamic country and is witnessing a huge transformation. CV segment has always reverberated this dynamism.

We understand that the success of our business is directly linked to the quality we deliver to our customers and how well their businesses perform.

Hence we continuously strive to learn and understand our customer’s needs as transport companies and also our customer’s buyer demand for transport services.

We learn and synergize with our ecosystem partners like L&T, dealers, bodybuilders, financiers, and regulatory authorities.

We aren’t just implementing international best case practices in India. The beauty of this country is that it also generates immense learning that we can ladder up into our global business.

Scania India has offered globally advanced and undiluted products and services to Indian customers. Be it the most fuel-efficient driveline, the safest truck cabin or vehicles with aggregates and bodies for carrying a higher payload. Or be it best in class Site optimization, Fleet Management Service packages, Data based consulting, Driver coaching and uptime management through most trained technicians.

We have never shied away when it comes to constantly learn and offer the best solutions to ourIndiancustomers.From products to services, from parts to contracts to coaching, we are building an India arm that offers unique and complete solutions to our customers

And we have every intention to keep learning and excel even further. 

 

Q3. How Scania is prepared for the new emission norms?

Energy efficiency has been at the core of Scania’s offerings and hence our products have consistently improved performance by enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.Scania became the first manufacturer to introduce trucks with Euro 6 engines on the market, enabling foresighted to invest at an early stage in the cleanest emission technology available.

Using that expertise, We are ready for all the upcoming emission norms in India. With upcoming emission norms we see opportunity including;

  • Existing and well tested solution with highest market acceptance in Europe
  • Significantly positive impact on the environment
  • Full readiness to provide this solution and known aftermarket requirement “not re-inventing the wheel” 

We are also optimistic that uniform quality fuel will be available throughout the country including the remotest mining sites.

 

Q4. How the new technology like IoT, AI and other are changing the CV industry?

Since 2011, all Scania vehicles are equipped with the computer Scania Communicator as standard. The Communicator collects and analyses data in order for us to provide our customers, and in turn their customers, with ideas and solutions on how to improve efficiency in the transport value chain.

Scania’s early introduction of connectivity is paying off enormously – benefiting both customers’ uptime and efficiency, as well as our innovation and product development.

Through our early exploration of  connectivity, we saw the potential of connectivity to be a major force for increasing our customers’ efficiency and profitability and to help enable the shift towards a sustainable transport system.

With the advent of IOT there is an increasing realization among the customers that the key to operational productivity lies in the ability to transform real-time operational and logistical data into valuable, actionable information which impacts their entire operation.

Narrowed margins have further forced customers to review their operations and apply principles of lean production to identify waste and problem areas across their site.

Connected vehicles and service solutions are being specifically developed to equip customers with real-time logistical data from across their fleet and operations so that the decisions can be made based on facts, not fiction. 

 

Q5. How Scania is contributing towards sustainability?

At Scania, we apply the three pillars of energy efficiency, alternative fuels and electrification and safe and smart transport in different ways, depending on our customers’ individual needs rather than pushing a particular technical solution.

Globally, Scania has the broadest range of alternative fuel-enabled vehicles in the market and is committed to the cause of sustainability, a value that is evident in our operations, people and products. At Scania India,  we are driving the shift to sustainable transport solutions by sensitizing not just our workforce but also partners, suppliers and customers.

The recently launched NTG Heavy Tipper is engineered for maximum productivity and uptime. The agility of the tipper, quicker Turn-Around-Time and robust design make it the most optimal vehicle for mining operations. Given its superior performance, the NTG Heavy Tipper is more productive with a lower fleet size when compared to other products in its category or with Heavy Dumpers. The lower number of vehicles directly translates to reduced carbon emissions.

New Truck generation has been also winning the prestigious green truck of the year awards consecutively for 2018 & 2019  in European countries like Germany and Italy.

Running a sustainable operation is key to growing the business. Our hallmark in India has been Energy Efficient Operations and have been honored with the Digital Manufacturing and Green Manufacturing Award 2018. We ensure the products and servicesproduced here are made using material, tools and techniques that minimise the environmental impact.

 

Q6. What were the products showcased by Scania in Excon 2019? How’s your experience in Excon?

Scania showcased its recently launched NTG Heavy Tipper, parts and service solutions along with BS IV CEV ready industrial engines, at EXCON 2019.

We showcased the various benefits offered by the Heavy Tipper including:-

  • 18% Higher Payload with 23 Cu.m. Rock Body
  • Up to 5% Higher Uptime
  • Stronger Aggregates for Longer Life
  • Swedish Crash Test Certified Cabin for Enhanced Safety.

New Truck Generation Heavy Tipper is proving to be a major success not only in India but in all the global mining markets. With the New Truck Generation and solutions, we are actively acquiring new customers and diversifying into new segments.

The BS IV CEV ready industrial engines displayed during Excon are globally acknowledged for reliability, efficiency and environmental performance. 

EXCON  2019 was a great platform for Scania to showcase our capabilities and connect with our existing as well as new customers. We had several productive discussions and meetings at our stall and could engage with industry stakeholders. Excon gave us the opportunity to reiterate our strategic initiatives and promise to support the growth of the infrastructure segment in India and strengthen the India growth story.

 

Q7. How Scania is dealing with the Indian customers? How you are fulfilling their after sales requirements?

Scania believes, Indian customers deserve the best of the global technology and will continue to offer undiluted, best in class mobility solutions with the highest levels of performance, safety and minimize environmental impact.

We are encouraging the operators to view mine or a construction site as a factory production line. From digging to loading and supply, every operation is being aligned with each other. Behind the scenes, there is a need to ensure the mining operations are sustained through a holistic network of services; from parts storage to environmental stations, accommodation to kitchen facilities and more.

Along with our customers, we are co-creating new solutions that are synced with overall mining and construction operations thus ensuring higher productivity and customer profitability. 

At Scania, our work doesn’t end with the delivery of the vehicle. We provide a suite of services tailored not only to enhance vehicle productivity and uptime but also reduce costs and manage risks, all by using data to drive the decision making process. One such innovative use of technology is the Scania driver evaluation portal, which analyses the driver behavior on certain key parameters and grades the drivers as per their performance.

Based on the vehicle population & customer needs, Scania and L&T have arranged Network points, On road support, Parts Centre and Parts warehouse at Strategic locations on a pan India basis. Scania independently has network facilities at 11 locations and is further complemented by L&T’s network facilities at  key locations.

Earlier this year Scania launched a Central Parts’ Warehouse in Nagpur. Located at the zero-mile center of India, Scania’s state-of-the-art Central Parts’ Warehouse is spread across 30,000 sq. ft., with over 8,500 Stock Keeping Units and caters to Scania’s off-road, on-road and engine products.

This strategic move closer to our largest distribution partner, L&T, vastly builds on synergies and improves the operational efficiency, reduces the order processing time for our customers across India, thereby resulting in better turn-around-time and better availability of spare parts. This would help the customers achieve better Total Operational Efficiency (TOE), furthering the Scania philosophy of ensuring customer delight.

I am very happy to share that Indian customers who are considered to be among the most diligent customers across the world have been very receptive and quick to realize the added value.

We have been able to achieve threefold gains of diversifying in the related segments, widening our customer base and penetrate our existing customers.

 

Q8. How was the year 2019 for the commercial vehicle industry?

Despite the market challenges, the Indian CV industry has continued to evolve holistically in 2019. Safety, efficiency, technology, environment, driver comfort and digitalization have been at the core of this evolution. Considering the above trends, the premium segment which is currently at a very nascent stage will continue to grow at a steady rate.

 

Q9. What are the future growth plans of Scania?

India is a very important market for us. We have now entered a new page in our history in India by entering the mining and construction segment with our new offering. Moreover, we have significant services portfolio within the mining sector.

Taking our commitment to India forward, we have drawn up a five-year strategic plan for the company where we have charted out a definite statement, including our Vision & Mission:

  • To be a leading contributor to customer profitability by value selling
  • To be a leader in transport solutions by pioneering the shift in sustainable space
  • To live the Scania way by staying premium throughout

Our key strategies to achieving the targets revolve around: 

  • Volume & profitability strategy – expand in existing segments
  • Growth strategy – invest in future markets and new segments
  • Building a scalable & competent top organization

In 2020, we will continue to expand our footprint in existing segments while looking for possible investment opportunities to diversify. We are looking at capitalizing on the current industry trends while contributing heavily to the market. With our extensive experience in offering transportation solutions for the mining industry, we are looking at providing more innovations to optimize operations in India.

As a forward-looking company, we are also continuously exploring new segments and the possibility of testing the market for haulage segments. From an industry perspective, we are confident that the growth will come when we secure these values and our portfolio fits perfectly with the customer needs of business profitability.