Special Correspondent

The company will continue to source products made by SSIs

  • Set to reach a turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore this year
  • Company undergoes restructuring into five business units

    CHENNAI: Bajaj Electricals of the Bajaj Group proposes to expand the capacity of its high mast lighting and glavanising plant at Ranjangaon near Pune to 50,000 tonnes annually from 30,000 tonnes, according to Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director.

    The plant, which has started rolling out "world class high masts", freeing the country from total dependence on imports from the U.K. and West Asia, will also enable the company to reduce its delivery schedule to two weeks or even less, Mr. Bajaj said.

    Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr. Bajaj said the company had also for the first time made "monopoles" for the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI), which had expressed satisfaction with the limited supplies. Such poles, he said, would be of particular use to companies building towers in metropolitan centres and forest areas inasmuch as they occupied limited space at the base and at the same time rose high above tall buildings and tree cover.

    The Ranjangaon plant produces transmission line towers, telecommunication towers, substation structures and galvanized, conical and tubular poles.

    The CMD said Bajaj Electricals (a quoted company in which the promoters hold 67 per cent stake) was this year set to reach a turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore against Rs. 845 crore last year. In the first three quarters, it had achieved a growth of 27 per cent. He attributed the company's fast growth in recent years to its restructuring into five business units lighting, luminaires (light fittings), appliances, fans and engineering and projects and taking cognisance of the existence of the big unorganised sector and making a dent into it through appropriate pricing strategies.

    Mr. Bajaj said the company's exports totalled Rs. 32 crore and were destined for more than 20 countries, including in West Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

    Replying to questions, he said that despite de-reservation of many products in its portfolio, the company would continue to get them made by SSIs (small scale industries) since the small sector was not a barrier to quality and good relations had been established with the manufacturers. It was only when products required high levels of investment beyond the reach of SSIs would the company make them on its own.

    He said products sourced from China accounted for about seven per cent of the company's turnover. These included steam irons, which were not made in India by anyone. The product had been adapted to the hard quality of water in India by having a mechanism to expel residue. Once the volume of demand become viable, it could be made in India, he added.