Rajesh Aggarwal, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, Drive Systems India.
Oerlikon´s Drive Systems Segment India is looking to double its turnover to Rs 2,000 crore in five years, says Rajesh Aggarwal, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, Drive Systems India. Excerpts from the interview...
Could you brief us about your presence in India? How critical is this market for you?
Oerlikon´s Drive Systems Segment has been present in India since 1999, with production facilities of both its brands Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield at Greater Noida and Belgaum. Both the plants roll out high precision gear components, synchronisers and clutches, driveline products, custom gear assemblies, Torque Hub®, electric transaxles, CVT transmission for tractors, axles and shifting solutions. A third plant in Gujarat is also now on stream since first quarter of 2015. We cater to all leading OEMs for agricultural machinery, commercial vehicles and construction equipment in India as well as locations across the globe.
India is gaining a lot of eminence both as a market and manufacturing base. Currently, nearly half of our turnover is derived from the domestic market sales, with the balance coming from overseas sales in the US, Mexico, Europe, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Russia, China, etc. We are on par or even much better than European and the US quality products.
Please tell us about your presence especially in the construction equipment space. Which segment do you see unprecedented growth?
Oerlikon is world´s leading player in the design and manufacture of synchronisers for tractors and construction equipment, passenger cars and trucks. With extensive range of synchronisers from 62 to 170 mm diameter and many more in labs in ether single, double and even triple cone solutions, we cater to all the major OEMs in India and abroad for tractors, construction equipment and commercial vehicles. Our synchronisers can be found in all leading OEMs´ transmissions across segments and geographies. Although we are catering extensively to the construction equipment such as backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders and excavators, we see some enhanced growth prospects in the other segments also such as motor graders and compaction equipment segment.
What is the dimensional range and type of gears used in construction equipment? What are the applications included in your product range?
It is very difficult to talk about the dimensional range due to wide applications, transmissions, axles and engines. They generally start from 2.5-module to 6- module in gears for construction equipment. We have in-house capability to produce from 0.75-8 module in gears with outer diameter up to 400 mm. We supply gears for all the applications like engines, transmissions and axles. Apart from gears, we also supply many other drive components like synchronisers, ring gears, shafts, bevel sets, electron beam welded assemblies and planet carrier assemblies. We also provide complete axles for wheel loaders and motor graders. Apart from these, we have wide range of planetary drives - Torque Hub® - for wheeled, swing and track applications. We are the technology leaders and provide global quality standard with products customised to Indian market requirements for various applications.
Could you name the key reasons why OEMs prefer your products? What are the customers´ requirements?
We are known for the durability. Most of the construction equipment are run on heavy loads. So we always maintain the quality levels in our products. This is because these machines are like a bread-and-butter (for operators) and cannot experience any sort of downtime. So, apart from quality, we are known for innovation too. Moreover, in India people tend to overuse and even abuse these machines. So, we have finetuned it in such a manner to serve the needs of Indian customers. We offer international quality products at Indian costs, which gives us an edge over others.
Why have you invested for a Greenfield facility when the market itself is in recession?
Keeping in mind the growth prospects of the domestic market, we have invested substantial amount for setting up our third plant at Sanand, Gujarat. This is the 10th factory for the segment globally. Our new plant in Gujarat has already commenced commercial operations in Q1 2015 and when fully completed within five years, it will be the biggest facility for Oerlikon Drive Systems in the world. At the Sanand plant, the range of products will be from transmission synchronisers, for which India is already recognised as an international competence centre, to assemblies for full and final transmissions as CVT transmission for agricultural tractors, transaxles for leisure vehicles, and axles for wheeled loader and other on/off-road applications. The new plant is spread across 35 acre, and will employ more than 1,000 persons when in full production. The facility will also showcase Oerlikon´s commitment to environmental sustainability with high energy efficiency and efficient waste water management.
What is your presence in the aftermarket vertical?
We generally sell our products in the aftermarket through the OE´s channels. Since the market dynamics of aftermarket are very different to that of OE´s business, currently we are more focused towards developing and growing OE business.
What are the latest trends and developments in your product line? Do you have a customised approach in designing the product? In which areas do you plan to expand your product range, over the next 5 years and why?
Research and development (R&D) is fundamental to Oerlikon´s continued success in India. The company has a design team at its Greater Noida plant through which it has been constantly bringing in new products to the market and been able to reach new markets such as Europe, US, Turkey, Russia, China and Brazil from India. Here, we also have an in-house application engineering centre and the products are developed keeping in mind the local requirements. We have developed Torque Hub (planetary drives) from Oerlikon Fairfield, which are used in India and also shipped out to various countries with the US being our major market. The products are used in a wide range of applications to operate machinery and equipment for agriculture, construction, energy, mining, and transportation. We are also working towards expanding our range for Torque Hub« drives, electron beam welded assemblies and synchronisers.
What is your percentage contribution of various segments to your total sales?
Our revenues are majorly dependent upon agricultural segment followed by construction equipment, commercial vehicles and utility vehicles (golf carts). We have limited presence in passenger cars segment in India at present.
What is your growth target for the next few years?
Despite the downturn in the domestic market, we have been achieving a double-digit growth. We have already Rs 1,000 crore in revenues and are aiming to double it in the next five years. At present, we are waiting for the market conditions to improve and also exploring to enter into new markets. More than the monetary targets, we are also investing in human resources as people are our main assets.
Oerlikon´s drive systems
Oerlikon´s Drive Systems Segment, a part of the Swiss-based Oerlikon Group with its Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield product brands, is a leading global provider of complete drive systems, high precision gearing solutions, transmission components and shifting solutions. With a presence in four major continents, both the brands provide a wide range of products, solutions and innovations from gears and components, planetary drives, axles and engineered drive solutions for intense challenges in agriculture, construction, commercial vehicles, railways, on & off highway and automotive industry.