About an hours drive from South Delhi lies Ballabgarh, the industrial belt just inside Haryana. Among the scores of manufacturing units there, is the worlds largest plant to make backhoe loaders (a tractor-like vehicle with an arm and bucket mounted on the back and a loader mounted on the front). The plant, which can produce up to 100 of these two-tonne machines a day, is a prized possession of the UK-based construction machinery maker JCB. And every morning when Vipin Sondhi, the managing director and CEO of JCB India, takes the one-hour drive from his house to the unit, he remembers a tough decision that he and his boss in London, JCB Chairman Anthony Bamford, took three years ago. And every morning he feels vindicated about it.
We were planning to expand this facility, recounts Sondhi as he sits in his office, situated in the middle of the facility that was set up in 1979. The expansion had started in 2007, but the economic slowdown a year later put a question on the viability of the nearly Rs 300-crore investment. Should the expansion be paused? But we were sure of the Indian infrastructure story in the long term. Our chairman shared the vision and we went ahead with investment, says Sondhi.
Today, he can look back and smile. The last three years have been among the most successful for the company. The Indian market is today the largest for the Staffordshire-based company. While its present in 150
01:19 PM, Dec 01, 2011