Freudenberg continues to grow globally with innovative products
German headquarted Freudenberg group has continued its good business development despite challenging economic conditions. In 2017, the group boosted sales to €9.3 billion or Rs 68,959 crore. That constitutes a rise of 18.3% over the previous year. Freudenberg’s business also performed strongly in India, with sales growing by 25% to Rs 2,768 crore. This rise is the result of continuous investments in existing and new projects like the production facility in Chennai.
“We are on track. Our new facility in Chennai is an important next step, not only to grow, but also to underline our long-term commitment to the local market,” Georg Graf, Freudenberg Regional Representative India, said. The project has cleared all the legal hurdles and construction work at the site has started. The total investment is around Rs 210 crore.
“These important decisions contribute to the sustainable growth of the entire Group. Both, operationally and strategically, 2017 was a successful year for Freudenberg worldwide. We are well on our way to be one of the most innovative and efficient technology companies,” Graf added. The company aims to balance its portfolio further towards generating one-third of sales each in Asia, North America and Europe.
“The Indian market plays a key role in our existing and future operations, and our diversified and innovative portfolio caters to the demands of the Indian industry,” he said. Freudenberg in its 7 Business Groups in 50 locations in India employs about 2,688 people. It has 6 R&D centers and14 production sites with state-of-the-art shop floors.
Innovation is key to Freudenberg’s long-term corporate success. During 2017, the Group invested on innovation and conducted research and development activities for Rs 3,157 crore (previous year: Rs 2,764 crore). This corresponds to 4.6% of sales (previous year: 4.3%). The share of products less than 4 years old reached 33%. An average of 3,445 employees (previous year: 2,751 employees) were employed in research and development.
For Freudenberg, striving together for solutions that support global sustainability is part of its mission to improve living conditions all over the world. The Group’s sustainability strategy is based on 6 core themes. They are: materials, waste, energy, emissions, water and health. “Our solutions are already used in many Indian industries and we continue to support our local partners with innovative and sustainable products and processes”, Graf said.
The Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ product portfolio is engineered to reduce weight, fuel consumption, emissions and ease installation challenges in today’s start-of-the-art engines, transmissions and e-mobility platforms. Freudenberg’s sustainable solutions for the food and apparel industries are essential to the daily lives of tens of millions of Indians. High-performance specialty lubricants from Klüber Lubrication, a Freudenberg Chemical Specialties company, ensure the safe production of condiments and dairy products, while simultaneously lowering energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
As a value-oriented, familyowned technology group, success for Freudenberg is not merely defined in terms of finance, but also always goes together with taking responsibility for society. These 2 goals have been inseparably linked since the foundation of the company. For Freudenberg, commitment to Corporate Citizenship goes beyond the value chain. In addition to several measures, the objective of the “e²” (education and environment) international programme is to give people access to education and work and to encourage environmental protection.
Sanjib Das, CEO and Director, SIGMA Freudenberg NOK Board and Georg Graf, Freudenberg Regional Representative India