‘Talent crunch derails auto components manufacturing’

“Infrastructure deficit, talent crunch, access to world-class technology & quality practices are some of the biggest challenges the manufacturing industry in India facing today”, says Nirmal K Minda, CMD of N K Minda Group in an interview with OEM Update
NK Minda Group is one of the leading suppliers of proprietary automotive solutions to OEMs. Brief us about your auto components business.
N K Minda Group is a technology leader in auto components industry and is a leading supplier of proprietary automotive solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) as Tier-1. We manufacture switches, electric mirrors, horns, lamps, blow moulding components, electronics & sensors, CNG-LPG kits and batteries for OEMs.
N K Minda Group is a global player in automotive sector with manufacturing facilities in Indonesia and Vietnam and offices in Japan, Europe, Taiwan and China. We have 26 manufacturing plants in India and have joint ventures and technical agreements with many world renowned manufactures such as Tokai Rika (Japan), Kyoraku (Indonesia), EMER (Italy), Roki (Japan) and Kosei (Japan). Our continuous effort is to deliver high technology and quality products to our valued customers such as MSIL, TML, TKML, M&M, BAL, TVS, HHML, HMSI, HSCIL, VW, GMIL, FIPL, RNPO, IYM etc.
What are the products and solutions you offer to the OEMs?
The product lines that we offer to OEMs are: switch 2W/HBA, switch 4W + HVAC, switch 4W + HVAC, sensors, actuators, solenoid, mirrors, lighting, HLL motors, horns, CNG / LPG kits, batteries, blow molding components, seat belts, wheel covers, cigar lighter, alloy wheels, air filters and die casting.
What is your annual turnover from auto components business?
We are today a US$ 373 million group and rapidly expanding with increased market share in our product lines.
Please brief us about your overseas business. What are your future expansion plans?
We have sales offices in California (USA), Turin (Europe) and manufacturing plants in Karawang (Indonesia), Vin phuc (Vietnam). Apart from these we have design offices in Turin (Europe), Chiyoda-ku Tokyo (Japan) and in Tainan (Taiwan). We also have a strategic sourcing unit in Zhejiang-China.
The future plans are dynamic and details would be shared at an appropriate time.
How do you see the performance of automotive components industry in India?
As per the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Indian automotive components industry is growing with a growth rate on turnover of almost 21 per cent.  The organized sector in India contributes to more than 85 per cent of country’s total production of auto components.
With business sentiment gaining momentum post recession and consumption of finished vehicles growing steadily, auto component industry in fiscal 2010-11 has registered encouraging results.
Can you share your comments on opportunities, recent trend and roadblocks in the growth of auto components manufacturing sector?
•  Global SMEs can invest in green-field manufacturing in India to meet growing domestic demand for auto-components.
•  Opportunities for Partnerships with Indian SMEs at Tier 2/3 level – the Next Wave – covering the entire automotive supply chain to address not only product technology, but also “Process Technology”.
•  Opportunity for supply base discovery.
•  Opportunity for Strategic Alliance to cover Global customers
•  Joint R&D with Indian companies for new product development and designing is also an attractive proposition.
•  Infrastructure Deficit
•  Talent Crunch
•  Scaling-Up the industry
•  Access to World-class Technology and Quality Practices
•  Remaining cost competitive
•  Access to and availability of cost-effective capital
•  Trade Policy
Today, many MNCs from automotive industry are setting-up manufacturing plants in India. How do you see the opportunities? 
We are the leading Tier 1 suppliers to OEMs and are confident that the MNCs would see value in the products we offer.
Any affect of Japan tsunami over the automotive components sector?
It was a very unfortunate calamity which affected Japan. Though there are general versions of many effects such as supply disruption, delay in model launches, economic effects etc. However we are also observing extensive measures being taken by OEMs and their Japanese partners to come out of this situation quickly. By seeing the efforts being put in by the industry, we hope the effect of this crisis will be minimal on Indian auto industry.
Performance Highlight
•  JV with ROKI Co. Ltd., Japan for producing air filters
•  JV with KOSEI Aluminium Co. Ltd., Japan for producing alloy wheels
•  Opening Design Centre in Tainan, Taiwan
•  Received ACMA Awards for Manufacturing Excellence 2010
•  Enhancing number of aftermarket business partner to 522
•  Enhancing number of domestic plants to 26
•  Continuation of maintaining a CAGR of 26 per cent on Group turnover
N K Minda group opens design centre in Taiwan 
N K Minda Group has recently opened a state-of-the-art design centre in the city of Tainan in Taiwan. The company has invested approximately USD 783 K for this project. With the opening of this Design Centre, N K Minda group has extended its engineering wing for designing and developing automotive lighting products. “The Design Centre will give a necessary fillip to the group’s expertise in optical and mechanical designing of automotive lamps, in addition to capitalising on the strategic advantage of Taiwan as an established and high quality, yet cost effective, destination for tooling”, a company statement said. Nirmal K Minda, CMD of N K Minda Group, said, “Setting up a Design Centre in Taiwan is a major initiative for us and has been taken to interface with Taiwan supplier community and program managers. It will give us an easy access to product designing capabilities, tool making and machine development.”

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