The country’s two established heavy equipment suppliers now have a competitor in the form of Indian firm Bharat Earth Movers, which has set up an operation in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.
Bharat’s total investment, including a basic assembly plant and after-sales service network, is expected to reach an estimated $44 million.
“Based on our study, Indonesia presents big opportunities for heavy equipment,” Bharat’s chairman and managing director, V RS Natarajan, said at a launch ceremony in Jakarta on Monday. “We believe that the total market is worth between $500 and $600 million.”
Until Bharat’s arrival, there had only been two heavy equipment suppliers in Indonesia - US-based Caterpillar and Japan-based Komatsu.
Natarajan said that Bharat would be seeking a 10 percent market share worth an estimated $50 million in its first year of operations.
“Currently, we have contracts with two Indonesian companies - Bumi Resources and another Bakrie group company,” he said. “The contracts are worth $44 million and cover three products: hydraulic excavators, bulldozers and wheel dozers.”
Over the next two years, Bharat is targeting $300 million in heavy equipment sales. “And if we achieve that target, we will open a full assembly plant in Indonesia,” Natarajan said.
Bharat is an Indian state-owned company run by that country’s Ministry of Defense.
It produces 35 types of heavy equipment for the mining and construction sectors, defense equipment and metro and railway equipment. To establish its edge among the competition, Natrajan said that Bharat would offer customers lower prices, faster arrival times and warranties of up to 17 years.
“India and Indonesia are quite near each other, compared to Japan or the United States. So we’re able to promise the customer faster arrival times,” he said.
This is the fourth branch outside of India that has been established by Bharat, with the others being in Malaysia, China and Brazil.
“We chose Indonesia as this country has a strong mining sector, but lacks heavy equipment,” Natrajan said.
The arrival of Bharat comes at a difficult time for the heavy equipment industry, as the economic slump continues to eat into mining output.
“Many of the existing companies have had to postpone expanding capacity due to the global crisis, which has forced mine operators to delay their purchases of heavy equipment,” Pratojo Dewo, the chairman of the Heavy Equipment Industry Association (Hinabi), said on Sunday, as quoted by Kontan business daily.