It all started with an agent-cum-distributor moving with lock, stock, barrel from Kolkata to Pune a decade ago, just to take over as the CEO of Nord Drivesystems Pvt Ltd, almost a decade later. Sunil Mehta, CEO, Nord Drivesystems Pvt Ltd, reminiscences, “Nord then had little or no turnover, and the brand was known only to handful of customers. A slow moving socialist economy started transforming into a fast moving capitalist economy. This brought us some very good customers who decided to buy globally acceptable quality machinery and equipment. During those days most of the business was generated from the construction & pharmaceutical machinery, switchgears and the crane industry. Later on the steel industry consisting of the rolling mill, the pipe and tube mills, in India, gave us the much needed impetus and high volume growth.” Impressed with the increasing business volumes, Nord Group started its Indian subsidiary in 2005 by the name Nord Drive Systems Pvt Ltd. And since then there is never looking behind.
The facility and the team
Taking pride in the company’s newly constructed facility, Mehta remarks, “we worked closely with our Indian and German architects to construct this environment-friendly plant. The design is based on ‘green concept’, ensuring a bright working environment within the factory through the day. We do not need electric lights between sunrise and sunset.” He says, “investments for this facility would have crossed Rs 350 million, but once we consolidate our operations, we will reach a certain level of turnover.” With a team of 55 people to support its operations, Nord is a reasonably lean and flat organisation. Presently it has four branch offices at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and plans are afoot to open at Kolkata. Speaking about his team, Mehta elaborates, “we have resident engineers, and managers at Baroda, Jamshedpur, Coimbatore, Chennai and Hyderabad. We will keep adding qualified manpower as and when situation demands. Today, more than 50 per cent of our team consists of sales, managers, and engineers spread all over the country making it easy for our customers to access us for timely pre and post sales support related activities.”
Specialised in gear motors and drives, Nord caters to wide-ranging sectors. Its products certainly can be sported in application areas where something requires to be lifted and transported. No doubt its largest market is material handling. According to Mehta, good volumes of business also flow from steel, metal, crane, material handling, and conveyor industry. In baggage handling, especially in airports thousands of geared motors and inverters are used. Nord also caters to construction, packaging and cement industry. He predicts, “gear motors and gear drives have its future in packaging and pharmaceutical industry.” “Geared motors are the most selling products of India. We are known in the market for quality gear drives and gear motors,” he adds
Since 2007 the company has assembled about 3,000 gear drives worth Rs 80 crore, including the biggest in its manufacturing range. Talking about Nord’s product portfolio expansion, Mehta shares, “we will certainly follow the natural process of growth for a healthy company. We will manufacture motors, housings, set up machining centres, etc. This is the normal process of evolution of a gear drive company. Again, this comes with rise in business volumes to justify viability. But critical components, for example, gears and shafts, shall continue to come from Germany to ensure same levels of quality that our valued customers are accustomed.
Planks to bank
Nord strongly believes in the customer perception of its quality. Enlightening on quality aspect, Mehta opines, “various customer feedback have endorsed our capability as quality manufacturer. Customer focus is the universal solution to be ahead and get the best of business and volumes. I am proud to have a very dedicated team who understands this philosophy.”
Further he adds, “we have a disciplined and well-trained work force in our factory and field who ensure that quality be enforced at every step. Our experience shows that this doesn’t come easily and needs to be updated at regular intervals. Hence, expert trainers from Germany are deputed to impart training to our staff regularly.
Revealing the company’s growth in terms of revenues, Mehta puts, “we should close business with Rs 300 to Rs 350 million this calendar year. We are targeting a growth of 50 to 70 per cent next year assuming that the present financial slowdown is a temporary phase for Indian industries. Our growth rates will remain ambitious for the next five years at least.”
“As a young dynamic company, we will continue growing extremely well and hope to reach a turn over of Rs 100 crore in the next three or four years. We have a motivational internal slogan within our production and marketing team -‘100 people, 100 crore -1400 days’ for the coming future.”
The road ahead
Sharing the future plans, Mehta states, “we are not looking at exports, primarily as the Indian market potential is humungous and needs all our attention to develop. For the future we should be able to include the ASEAN countries as trade barriers come down and our assembly and manufacture capacities go up.
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