Schaeffler betting big on India

Schaeffler India, Indian arm of the ¤14 billion Schaeffler Group of Germany, is betting big on India and ‘India’s growth story’. The company, which is in the process of merging three units Schaeffler, INA Bearings and LuK India, will be investing ¤40 million-¤45 million (nearly Rs 335 crore) each year for the next few years. This is significantly higher than ¤18-20 million (about Rs 158 crore) which the company had been investing in India for the last seven-eight years. The amount will be utilised in setting up new plants, expanding product portfolio, strengthening R&D activities and so on, said Dharmesh Arora, CEO, Schaeffler India.

Significantly, The Schaeffler Group is a global automotive and industrial supplier with operations in nearly 170 locations in over 50 countries. The company has 74 plants worldwide and produces high-precision products with a high level of vertical integration. It also has 18 R&D centers develop new products, technologies, processes, and methods for solutions that are tailored to the market. With nearly 2,400 patent registrations in 2017, Schaeffler is Germany's second most innovative company according to the DPMA (German Patent and Trademark Office) and is therefore one of the leading innovators in the industrial sector. At present the company holds 26,000 active patents and patent registrations.

In India, Schaeffler, formerly known as FAG Bearings India Ltd, has three strong brands – INA, FAG and LuK. The globally leading manufacturer of rolling element bearings and linear products for automotive, aerospace and industrial uses, is now seeing tremendous opportunities in India, especially if the three entities come together and work closely with customers, Arora said, adding that the new merged entity would offer a complete one-stop solution to customers leveraging the complementary nature of products and synergies between the three companies. That’s not all. The supplier base will also gain a larger ability to supply a larger content to the company. In fact, the final entity will be one of the largest automotive and industrial suppliers in the country with more than 3,000 employees, four plants and Rs 4,000-crore-plus turnover. The company is expecting 57 per cent of its business to come from automotive business while the remaining 43 per cent from other industrial business, going forward.

Arora, who was here in connection with the golden jubilee celebration of the Eastern India Ball Bearing Merchant Association, said that GST implementation has come as a boon for large organised sector players like them, by bringing in transparency and thereby fuelling trade growth significantly.

Ritwik Mukherjee