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When he was a child, Arvind Garg would accompany his father, a mining engineer, to the mines on the weekends. Even at such a young age, he knew he had found his calling.
Just days after his final college exam, he joined Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. Now, after 39 years with the company, he holds the role of Senior Vice President and Head of L&T Construction & Mining Machinery business.
“For me, it was almost like a homecoming, to get into a business that I had seen my father in,” Garg tells The CEO Magazine. “L&T is one of the most respected companies in the country and so it was the realization of my aspirations.”
Since those early days when the machines were still in their infancy, he has seen the company grow to where it is today, with digitally-enabled machines that have a great focus on safety and fuel consumption.
“If you look at some of the most iconic projects that have been built in this country, and the mining activities that have taken place, we have played a very important role in helping the nation build infrastructure in a cost-effective manner.”
Last year, L&T Construction & Mining Machinery business celebrated its platinum jubilee – 75 years of operation in India, playing an important role in building the nation.
“If you look at some of the most iconic projects that have been built in this country, and the mining activities that have taken place, we have played a very important role in helping the nation build infrastructure in a cost-effective manner,” Garg says.
L&T strongly believes in providing the best after-sales support to its customers by ensuring the timely availability of spare parts and the deputation of well-trained service executives. Its national network of service centers overhauls and refurbishes machines, increasing their uptime considerably.
“In the process, we have built enduring relationships with customers, because for L&T it’s always the customer who comes first,” Garg stresses.
“A lot of us speak about customer-centricity, but I can tell you with pride that we have today customers whom we started with in the early 80s when I joined.”
Some of these customers have now become among the largest fleet owners of these machines in the country. “So we have learned to understand and respond to their needs,” he adds.
Equip-Care, a system developed in-house, helps L&T measure how it is performing in terms of customer satisfaction.
“We have continuously invested in digital solutions and are upgrading the technology of the machines. We have built a strong service support network and aftermarket infrastructure to support the machines in the field to ensure high availability, so that the customers can utilize these assets well and get the quickest return on their investments.”
Looking ahead, the company is implementing its Lakshya strategic plan, which aims to double its sales and its size by 2026.
“We see that India today has the third-largest construction machinery demand in the world and we believe, through an independent study done by consultancy firm BCG, that India is likely to become the second-largest market for construction and mining machinery by 2030,” Garg reveals.
“We see ourselves as leaders in this space and we are deploying the right ingredients to achieve this growth.”
In addition, L&T, with its principals, will introduce several new models of machines and is in the process of implementing a customer relationship management system while looking at digital solutions for warehousing.
“A lot of us speak about customer-centricity, but I can tell you with pride, that we have today customers whom we started with in the early 80s when I joined.”
It is also extending the warranties for its machines, aided again by digital advancements, and strengthening its dealer network. “So it’s about strengthening the infrastructure on the ground and investing in digital,” Garg says.
“The focus is also on biofuels, so we are introducing machines and are adapting them for operating on biofuels, especially for mining customers. We’re also looking at introducing fuel-efficient hybrid machines.”
With so much going on at L&T, it is critical to have the right culture in place to support its ambitious plans with everyone aligned in their mission to serve its customers.
“As a company, we are a meritocracy,” Garg says. “The only thing that matters to us is performance, potential, the ability to work in strong teams, and to be able to do right by our customers.”
It’s a culture that he has always loved and that has helped him to thrive in his own career.
“When leaders see somebody doing well, they give them challenging opportunities so that they keep performing and growing,” he reflects. “And that is why I am where I am today.”