Completing 20 years of its operations in the country, Volvo Group in India today said it is looking at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent to 15 per cent over the next seven to ten years.
The company also said it will continue to invest in technology and talent in the days to come.
“The last two years have been phenomenal for us; we have grown by 40 per cent in our top line and also in rofits, which is very good,” Volvo Group India Pvt Ltd President and MD Kamal Bali said.
Speaking to PTI here, he said “…I can say that we are looking at between 10 to 15 per cent growth rate CAGR over the next seven to ten years, and that is the rate at which this industry will comfortably grow.”
Pointing out that all the segments that the company caters to were connected with the real economy, whether it is urbanisation which needs buses, constructing roads which need construction equipment or transportation of cargo which needs trucks, he said “all of these are going to grow.”
In 2018, the company should grow between 10 and 12 per cent, he said, adding, that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been “very positive.” Volvo Group in India includes multiple business areas and brands such as Volvo Buses, Volvo Penta Engines, Volvo Construction Equipment, UD Buses, Volvo Trucks and Eicher Trucks and Buses, among others.
Eicher and Volvo trucks are sold via a joint venture company – VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd. The company said it has already invested in its facilities and capacity for the next 5 years, and would continue to invest in technology and headcount addition.
“Over the last twenty years we have invested close to Rs 2,500 crores between us and our joint venture with Eicher… in the last two to three years we have invested another about Rs 300 crore in India,” he said in response to a question about investment.
Stating that as far as investments are concerned in plant, machinery and capacity, they are already there for the next five years, he said “but, of course there will be investments in technology and hiring new people.”
More than 400 people were added last year by Volvo, which will raise its headcount close to 4,000 excluding the joint venture company. “We will continue to hire…similar number; about 400 people will be added this year as well,” Bali said.
Asked about technology related investment, he said it could be on embedded electronics, telematics or connected solutions at the company’s group technology center here where about 1000 engineers are working on design of bus and trucks for the global organization.
Stating that India will become a major hub for medium duty engines, he said, “we will build all engines which are 8 liter and medium duty and supply it across the world.”
“We have already setup the plant and have started to supply these engines to Sweden and France. These are Euro VI engines,” he added. Stating that between electric and hybrid there were about 5000 Volvo buses that are plying globally, Bali said in India they had brought in two hybrid buses in Navi Mumbai two years ago and “they are doing exceedingly well.”
He said “We are already observing between 30-35 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to standard diesel bus. This is a process which will happen….we are looking at next steps in this journey.”
“Our strategy was to start with hybrid which does not need much infrastructure around” whereas government’s stated approach is to go straight away electric. “…we are ready for both.”
Bali said the company exports buses and construction equipment from India to South East Asia, ASEAN countries, Latin America, South Africa, Middle East and also France.
Noting that the company has two brands Volvo and Eicher, one top end and the other mainstream brand, he said, “we are trying to bring in UD brand for buses, which you will see very soon. UD comes under semi luxury category.moneycontrol