How have Europe, China and North America, fared vis-a-vis freight and passenger traffic?
North America has traditionally been a freight market, given the oil prices in the region. As per UNIFE 2016, the market has declined over the last year. China also has a large freight market. Globally, the freight market has registered a decline driven by these two large markets. The Indian freight market in comparison has seen a steady growth of 2.4 per cent compared to the previous year. Europe is more driven by passenger/ mainline traffic rather than freight, which has increased marginally. Maximum growth in mainline market has been driven by China and India (6.5 per cent average growth over 2007-2015); not surprising, given the growth in population and urbanisation in these countries.
How can India cater to European countries looking at opportunities here?
India should continue its strong focus on 'Make in India', and incentivise that process by building in some elements in the evaluation criteria that require companies to invest in India and deliver solutions with high Indian content. That way we create more jobs in India, and also improve supply chain delivery.
Alstom will be manufacturing locomotives in India. How do you plan to source equipments?
Under the contract, Alstom will supply 800 electric double locomotives to the Indian Railways. We will invest 200 million euros to set up a factory in Madhepura for the manufacturing of locomotives and two maintenance depots. Proximity to customers and localisation is central to our strategy for growth. In line with the 'Make in India' policy, Alstom has been localising its supply chain in India extensively, and aims for 80-90 per cent of indigenisation in the contract. Some of the components for the first five locomotives will actually be sourced and manufactured from Europe, after which the level of Indian content will be maximised. This plan is actually even more local than what the contract requires. ~