Havells in expansion mode, targets Rs.500 crore from exports

By John Stanly, IANS,

Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) : Electrical and power equipment major Havells India is expanding its switchgear business to take its export earnings from Rs.150 crore to Rs.500 crore in the next three years, a senior company official said here Wednesday.

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“We are consolidating our processes in the switchgear segment by almost doubling our installed capacity,” company president Sunil Sikka told reporters at the company’s flagship manufacturing facility here.

Havells’ new facility for manufacturing switchgear – electrical equipment such as fuses and circuit breakers that are used for isolating electrical equipment – will be commissioned near the existing plant here by August, Sikka said.

With the commissioning of the new plant, the Baddi unit’s annual capacity will go up from three crore to five crore switchgears for domestic use, while that of industrial switchgears will increase from 60 crore units to 100 crore, and electrical wiring accessories to 7 crore units from 2.5 crore units.

The company has invested Rs.150 crore in its switchgear business, including setting up of the new plant.

“This step will give us an edge over the competition due to better efficiencies in the system backed by large-scale automated operations at a single unit,” Sikka said.

He also downplayed the recession in the developed countries, saying: “We are using the recession in the US and Europe as an opportunity to expand our products in those markets.”

According to him, western economies are “weak and shrinking”. “They can’t afford to boost their manufacturing capacities at this point. So, they are now looking at countries like India and China. This is an opportunity for us.”

About 50 percent of the total production at the Baddi unit will be exported, Sikka added.

The company has also tie-ups with several global majors, including General Electric and Siemens-Electrium, to market its products overseas.

Sikka referred to the fast-recovering Indian economy, and said he expected the demand for electrical goods to go up in the coming years.

“We expect 50 percent increase in our switchgear business in the domestic market in the coming three years,” he said.

The existing plant, which was commissioned in 2004, currently employs 400 people. The new plant is expected to create some 250 fresh jobs, Havells vice-president Bagirath Singh Galgat said.