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Yaskawa India’s Robotics Division to focus more on non-auto sector

Our main objectives are to educate our customers for automation of process, reduce operational costs and increase quality output.
_ Sanjay Tiwari, Dy. COO & Head (Finance) of Robotics Division, Yaskawa India Pvt Ltd
  Started its robotics applications business in India in 2005, Yaskawa India has grown over the years exponentially.  Last year, the company has sold over 400 robots in Indian market for various applications. Yaskawa is majorly serving to auto OEMs and their Tier-1 and Tier 2 vendors.  Yaskawa India’s Robotics Division now plans to focus on expansion of business in general industries like FMCG, heavy engineering, bottling plants etc. Last year, they also started to explore education market as a part of spreading automisation education to next generation.
Sanjay Tiwari, Dy. COO and Head (Finance) of Robotics Division, Yaskawa India Pvt Ltd speaks to Subhajit Roy and reveals his company’s future growth plans.
Yaskawa has more than 100 years of experience in motion control and robots manufacturing in Japan. How do you look at your journey of robotics automation in the Indian market?Yaskawa Electric, since its inception in 1915, has always supported the leading business of age by transforming itself from a motor manufacturer, to an automation company and to a mechatronics company based on its management philosophy of contributing to the evolution of society and the welfare of mankind through the performance of its business. We are committed to contributing to the further evolution of our society by strengthening our core business of servo motor, controller, AC drives and industrial robots and by offering customers new solutions using these core technologies to the full. In 2015, we completed our 100th anniversary of foundation with record setting performance and build up foundation for advancing our business towards next 100 years. Our robotics applications’ presence in India started in 2005. Our core strengths include welding, assembly, coating, dispensing and material cutting. From a stable of over 175 robotic variants, we have been able to successfully integrate over 3,000 installations in both general production lines and specific process cells. There is a lot of potential in Indian market for automation and use of robotics to improve our operational efficiency. Currently, our auto sector is using the robotics automations in many processes but still automation level is less than 10 per cent. We are constantly putting our efforts to educate industries for use of robotic automation. We are market leaders for welding robots in India as well as selling a reasonable good numbers of other robots like handling and paint. We need to further put efforts to develop other sectors to use robotics automation like bottling plant, pharma industries, and FMCG industries. There is a huge potential if we compare ourselves from Europe and the US market. What’s your comment on the recent performance of Indian manufacturing sector?Indian manufacturing sector has returned to growth in January and February this year, majorly due to high pace of rise in new business orders. While Chennai floods had taken a toll on the manufacturing sector in December last year, the sector saw production as well as new orders – both domestic and export surged in January, as per the monthly Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey conducted by Nikkei and Markit. The opening month of 2016 saw a rebound in new business from both domestic and external clients. Due to high inflation, price pressure remained on upside with high input cost. A huge appreciation in JPY vis-à-vis INR impacted a lot to all manufacturing companies who are importing from Japan.  Brief us on your performance and future expansion plans.Last year, we observed a growth of 5 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of FY 2014-15. We sold more than 400 robots in Indian market for various applications. This is other than cross border sale i.e. other than various Yaskawa Robots arrived from different countries. We had a challenging year due to stiff competition, lower growth volumes and higher movement in JPY against INR etc.  We are very optimistic on Indian economy for the year 2016-17. We are majorly focusing on expansion of business in non-auto sectors like FMCG, bottling plants and education. Our main objectives are to educate our customers for automation of process, reduce operational costs and increase quality output. Our next year’s expansion plan is based on the same. We are planning for investment in R&D to meet expectation of Indian customers.  What is your CAPEX plan?Most of our current CAPEX investments are on improvement of efficiency rather than expanding capacities. We are majorly focusing on improvement of operational efficiencies like automation of current processes, development of add-on products, and improvement in supply chain by development of in-house expertise.Currently, Indian market is stagnant in terms of demands for passenger as well as commercial vehicle. Most of auto OEMs are not doing major investment for creating additional capacities. Non-auto sector is still not doing major expansion due to limited demand. Govt is planning a legal framework to set standards for manufacturing exports. What’s your opinion on this move?The basic objective of setting legal framework by Govt. of India is to create more jobs, grow manufacturing sectors to increase its contribution in GDP to 25 per cent from 16 per cent, increase technological depth and reduce dependence on imports to improve trade balance gap. This is much awaited move demanded by most of corporate, trade associations and trade bodies. It will definitely help manufacturing sector to revive its growth and increase competitive in world market. Will it make any impact over Yaskawa’s business?Our exposure for export market is limited to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. We have limited exposure in Gulf and African region. Due to lower volume of export in Yaskawa India’s business, it will not really impact us.

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