PIX is one of the fastest emerging global players in mechanical power and fluid transmission business. Equipment India finds the trends and the product expertise offered by the company from Amarpal Sethi, Chairman & Managing Director, PIX Transmissions.Striving relentlessly through rapid development and delivery of innovative high quality and cost effective solutions to become a world leader in power and fluid transmission and allied business, PIX Transmissions has already expanded its business fortunes across geographies. Today, PIX is one of the fastest emerging global players in mechanical power and fluid transmission business manufacturing high quality belts, hoses, hose assemblies & end fittings for industrial, automotive agriculture, marine, pharmaceutical and other sectors in the industry to suit various power drive needs."Today, the focus on India is more than any other part of the world; the reason being India is very progressive. We are at a stage where we are crossing the bridge from being a developing to developed country; and at this juncture, there is so much of automation and mass production which is envisaged creating major demands for high quality products, whether power transmission or hydraulics; that is big driving force for us," exclaims Amarpal Sethi, Chairman & Managing Director, PIX Transmissions. "We are quite excited about India; compared to the last edition of IMME, there is a sea change in the equipment displayed outside; the total dimensions are changing," Amarpal pointed while sharing his views on the belts and hoses industry scenario during the recently held international exhibition on mining in Kolkata.Product strengthSpeaking about the range of products offered, Amarpal says, "There are only two companies in the world who have the same synergic products under one roof - PIX in India and Gates of US. This is one big USP we have - synergic products giving complete solutions." We are a major player providing complete solutions whether for the drive solutions, or transmission belts, or whether hydraulic solutions." PIX are a major player in the industry offering V-belts & Hoses suited for industrial, agriculture, automotive, as well as all the various industries like mining, cement and pharmaceutical sectors. "One of our core competencies is the range what we offer to our customer. Under belts, we have complete spectrum like the traditional belts to the new generation belts, or ribbed belts, synchronous or timing belts. Probably we are the first company in India to make a complete range of timing belts as well as developing timing belts for special applications," he points out.Amarpal further adds, "As far as the product range goes for hydraulic hoses, here again, no one in India is having the range what we offer -we go up to 4 inches in 2 wire construction, 3 inches in 2 wire, and 3 inches in 6-wire construction. We produce all these in 60m length, (200 ft which is for the American market standards) whereas nobody in India is doing this." He proudly adds, "The range is so large that I can say it's comparable to any of the multinationals in the world in our industry."PerformanceSpeaking about the revenue model Amarpal says, "Recently, we have completed capex at the investment of 84 crore, whereby we have added capacity. Coming to hydraulic hoses, PIX has the largest capacity in the country today, of over 16 million meters a year. It's time for us now to encash on the capacity that we have created, and that's where the revenue will come from."Though the financial crisis had its impact on the performance of the company, according to Amarpal the performance in the last was reasonably good. "Last year we did revenue of 180 crore, (combined), and this year we will be closing around 250 crore." Targets are laid as for the next financial which is a whooping 350 crore. Giving a hint at the revenue model Amarpal says, "60 per cent of the revenue of PIX is from export, and the balance 40 per cent is from India." "As a company we have several overseas subsidiaries of our own, in UK, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, UAE, and China. These are basically stock points and service centres."Queried on the possibility of a reversal of trends in the revenue pattern, he said, "The world market for our products - belts and hoses, as per survey should be around US $ 22 billion. India is far away from that, so obviously reversal of trends looks to be remote." The revenue was basically from the topline - industrial application, agriculture, chemical, cement, packaging, and of course, the engineering industries.Global capabilitiesSpeaking about the capabilities of Indian players in the global market, Amarpal had this to say, "We are quite capable of competing in the global market as far as components are concerned. We have the largest number of manpower, and when it comes to talent, nobody can beat India today. Another 20 years down the line, we will have such skilled workforce which no other country can think of. Today, we are the driving force behind many economies in the world, including US. At the same time, he minces no words when he talks about the lack of structure tapping the huge mining potential. "Mining is massive in china; India is not far if you see the statistics, unfortunately, we have too many vested interests not to exploit the opportunity, he says. "We need some political corrections; it's only a matter of time that when the economy grows further, these corrections will take place automatically and things will improve.Mining potentialBut how strong is PIX in the mining segment? Amarpal candidly admits, "In mining, at the moment PIX has a very small opportunity, as we have not exploited this option so far. We didn't work much on that potential, as well as we did not have the entire range. But things have changed; now we have the entire range of products for the mining segment. With all the certifications now in place we feel that on the hydraulic front, probably in next two years about 15-20 per cent of our revenue will come from mining sector." He further adds, "We are eyeing for the mining business in China, Australia, Russia, and also looking opportunities in Mangolia as well as Latin America." In India on the mining segment we are working with Fine Equipment, and now trying to work with Sandvik in India, he added.Safety focusHydraulics calls for a very close watch on safety factors; it can destroy equipment, or can even kill a worker/operator. There are cases where company has been sued for injury cause to worker, when the hoses have gone burst. Safety factors have to be added to as per international standards. Normally on hydraulic application the safety factor is 4 to the working pressure, on water application it is 2, on steam and gases it is 10. Elaborating on the safety issues Amarpal says, "Unfortunately, in our country the concept of health and safety is still a low key. But when you talk about big OEMs, they understand the value of safety factors, and that is where organized industry comes to play." He points out, "In our company we have all the facilities available to test the burst pressures. Recently we have imported equipment where we can test burst pressure up to 60,000 psi - it's for the new kind of hose we have developed - hydroblast, basically used for high pressure cleaning of big vessels. Again this is for the first time somebody has made it in India." Amarpal says, "Any major company of repute is very particular about the hydraulic applications; no good company will take risk on that. May be here we don't have a product cover, but overseas markets are different. When we sell a product, we have a worldwide cover on product liability," he points out. He also pointed out the approvals of all the statutory bodies in the world whether it is BIS, ISO/TS 14000, ATEX, MSHA, GL, DGMS, USCG, DNV, MA & OHSAS 18001 etc.Industry sizeTalking about the market size and trends Amarpal says, "As per the survey what we had, the Indian market size for hose along with assembly between OEM and aftermarket should be in the vicinity of 800 crore, growing rapidly at 20-25 per cent per year, whereas for belts for automotive, agricultural, and industrial segments will be somewhere in the vicinity of 500 crore."So what give you the competitive edge? Amarpal says, "We believe first of all in relationships; we believe in service, and we believe in being a fair-priced company, giving value for money. As a sensible buyer, if you value relationship, you value service, you prefer a guy who gives the same to you. The second thing is that we are very transparent in our work culture. We invite our potential buyer to come to our plant, see the facilities, the testing equipment, and he can carry his own test, the way he wants it. That's probably the reason why we are the only company in India with a client based Kubota in Japan, Karcher in Germany, Terex in UK, Wipro in India, Plasser in Delhi. Yes, there is no product insulated from competition, from the country and overseas, but then we have to carve our own niche platform, and position ourselves, which we have been doing successfully. And we have dedicated budget for every year for R&D.On the future prospects of business he said, "Five years down the line PIX will have a turnover of 700 crore." And he means it, as we understand.