Shraddha Suri Marwah, Managing Director, Subros Ltd.
Q. Beginning with passenger cars and finding a firm footing in the commercial vehicle market, how do you look at the Subros journey?
A. Subros Ltd. was established in 1985 as a joint venture between the Suri Group, Denso Corporation (Japan) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Japan). It was the result of a brave decision of the chairman of Suri Group, Ramesh Suri. Over 95 per cent of the passenger vehicles sold were without an air-conditioner. It was the foresight of the promoters of the company that led to the establishment of Subros. Today, Subros has come to have a capacity to produce 1.5 million units. It is commanding a 40 per cent share of the Indian passenger vehicle market. We are keen to replicate the same success in the commercial vehicle space. Incidentally, we see the same trend in the commercial vehicle space that was seen in the passenger vehicle space in 1985. Over 95 per cent of the commercial vehicles sold are without an air-conditioner. It is because of the government notification (that driver cabins of CVs should have a blower starting January 01, 2018) that a pull in the direction of thermal systems is emerging. Since all the processes are same when it comes to CVs from a thermal engineering point of view we were able to smoothly expand into the
CV space. Q. How are you driving Ramesh Suri’s vision?
A. The belief of Ramesh Suri in the thermal product domain is commendable. It is this vision of his that is driving us. We are following him. His mantra, ‘Perfection is a never ending journey’, we continue to follow at all the levels of business we conduct. We continue to invest in new technology and develop new products. We have retained the confidence of our customers, and are partnering them for their programme road-map. It is his vision that has led us to expand into new areas.
Q. How do you look at the association with Denso Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation?
A. Our association with Denso Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation is about seamless communication. We share a strong bond of trust and support. Denso, as a technology partner, has been a pillar of strength. It has, and continues to help us to address the needs of our clients like Maruti Suzuki. In 2012, we formed a joint venture, Denso Subros Engineering Center, to focus on application design and new technologies.
Q. How much are CVs contributing in revenue terms?
A. Passenger vehicles are currently contributing 85 to 90 per cent of the revenue. The remaining is contributed by CVs. We are focusing on CVs in a big way as we feel that this business will grow at a faster pace. We have a clear plan to have the CV business contribute 75 per cent revenue in the future, and the remaining 25 per cent from passenger vehicles. We see demand emerging out of state transport organisations as they expand their AC bus fleet. The government notification for fitting of blower is also creating a pull. Infrastructure improvement, we are confident, will increase the demand for air-conditioned CVs. We see demand coming from government’s focus on airconditioning locomotive driver cabins and local rail rakes too.
Q. What rate of growth in CVs are you looking at?
A. Though at a nascent stage, we see the CV thermal market growing at a fast pace in the near future.
Q. Isn’t the cyclical nature of CV market in India a challenge?
A. The cyclic nature of CV market in India is not different from the global markets. Market demand for better and faster transportation is facilitating growth. Government support and regulations have been a positive growth driver as well. We don’t see a challenge therefore.
Q. How do you look at bus market growth?
A. Public transport will play a key role in decongesting the cities. Improving living standards and growing aspirations are driving the demand for AC buses. The market in per centage terms may not be significant today, in the near future we are confident of it growing to 30 per cent of the total market size. Rise in road infrastructure will lead to AC bus demand. We see a strong opportunity in that space.
Q. How big is the market for tractors, construction and earthmoving equipment?
A. Concerns of health and safety are creating demand for air-conditioned operator cabins in tractors, construction and earthmoving equipment. Companies focusing on employee health are noticing that AC cabins are improving driver efficiency. Demand of AC is thus growing. It is growing especially in tractors and backhoe loaders. Enhanced productivity due to AC