Shrad­dha Suri Mar­wah, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Subros Ltd.

Commercial Vehicle - - INDUSTRY TALK -

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

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