HARTING in expansion spree, to set up facility in Chennai

 HARTING offers electrical and electronic connectors, device terminations, network components as well as cable harnesses for networks or machinery, or for power and data application in factories. On the sidelines of IMTEX 2015, Girish Rao speaks to Subhajit Roy and talks on the company’s aggressive growth plan.
How was the year 2014 for HARTING in India and what is yourtarget for 2015?Though a lot is being talked about growth and positive sentiment, we are yet to see the impact in the market. If we look at the machine tools market, the demand is always driven by the automobile industry. Most of the metal cutting machines and metal forming machines come under the industrial automobile sector.Currently, the automobile industry is not investing much in the market.Therefore, there is a slowdown in the machine tools market.
At HARTING India, we are doing really well in the OEM segment and growing faster than the market. Our year-on-year growth rate has been more than 20 per cent. We achieved around 28 per cent growth during the first quarter (Oct – Dec 14) compared to last year.
What is your long-term prospective for HARTING India?Our long-term perspective is ‘Vision 2020’and we have defined our strategy based on that. We have to grow atleast by 20 per cent every year to reach our 2020 objectives.
From the corporate initiative, our core strategy will be ‘JUMP Strategy’ which means whatever we are doing we need to jump to the next level. We would like to become a complete solutions provider in the component segment and therefore add value to our customers.
What are your efforts to achieve this vision?We already have a small facilitynearChennai and would like to enhance our manufacturing facility. We are in search of around 12 acres of land in and around Chennai having good connectivity with the airport and port as there will be a lot of German interactions.  Also, today we have around 50 distributors and going forward we would like to have around 150 distributors.
From a component supplier to a system supplier – how would you define this transition?Earlier we were known as a connector company and today we have much more products to offer beyond connectors. Apart from connectors we have Ethernet switches and cabling solutions. We have rugged RFID systems and will take up complete hardware and software projects especially on rugged industrial environment. We have introduced new products to the industrial automation range and integrating everything to offercomplete packages for our customers.
Which are the key market segments that will drive you towards desired growth?In India we are strong in 4 markets: machinery and robotics; wind energy; transportation (railways and shipbuilding); and automation. Out of these we are market leader in railwayssegment and undisputed leader in the energy market for the wind turbine sector.
Railway market is divided into two segments – rolling stock and signalling. Harting is very strong on signalling side and major OEMs like Siemens, Alstom are our clients in this segment. We are expanding this market with adding new products like addressing systems from the driver to the announcement and display systems.
On the other hand, railway coach manufacturers like Integral Coach Factory (Chennai) and Rail Coach Factory (Kapurthala) are using our products in the rolling stock segment.
What kind of response you are getting from OEM’S?Over the years, we have build very good reputation as far as wind turbines and railways are concerned people who are concerned with critical applications where they don’t want to take any chance will come to HARTING no matter what the market is going through. Major machine makers will always go for our connectors as they deliver highest reliability.
————-“We are in search of around 12 acres of land in and around Chennai having good connectivity with the airport and port,” says Girish Rao, CEO, HARTING India

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