Special Correspondent

Half of group’s worldwide sales to come from India

New unit to make maritime, aerospace components

Plan for technical education institution in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: The Caparo group is confident that its India operations will contribute as much as half of its total worldwide sales in the coming years, according to Angad Paul, its Chief Executive, and Chairman of Caparo India.

“India is one of our largest customer bases … every automotive company in the country is a customer of Caparo,” said Mr. Paul.

Along with his father and Chairman of Caparo group Lord Swraj Paul, he was addressing press persons here on Thursday ahead of the inauguration of Caparo’s manufacturing facilities at Sriperumbudur by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

The Sriperumbudur industrial complex, set up on 120 acres with an investment of Rs. 400 crore, houses an aluminium foundry, as well as facilities for forging, casting, tool and die making linked to research and development. It has the capability to design small automotive components and also serve as a platform for designing new vehicles. Mr. Angad Paul said the facilities would also be involved in manufacturing maritime and aerospace components.

Investment

The group is also setting up another manufacturing facility on a 100-acre plot at Oragadam, near here, with an initial investment of Rs. 300 crore. It will manufacture tubular parts for automotive and aerospace, automotive braking systems, fasteners, composite material and also have testing facilities.

“The largest single concentration of our business facilities in India will be in the South,” Mr. Angad Paul said. “By 2011, we estimate that we will have a turnover between Rs. 3,000 crore and Rs. 4,000 crore from our India operations, of which a large proportion will be from Tamil Nadu.” Caparo India, which expects to invest around Rs. 1,000 crore in the state, is also planning to set up a manufacturing unit to cater to TAFE Limited (Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd) at Nilakkotai, Dindigul district. The plant will be established on 20 acres. The group plans to set up a technical education institution in Tamil Nadu, on the lines of the Caparo PTU School of Excellence in Material Manufacturing that it has set up in Jalandhar.

“There is no shortage of good people in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Paul said. “However, we have to invest in training, apprenticeship and education.”

Lord Swraj Paul praised the Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi, his Cabinet colleagues and the bureaucrats in the State for the assistance that they provided to Caparo, for and during the setting up of its Tamil Nadu units.

Sunil Pahilajani, Managing Director, Caparo India, and David Dancaster, Finance Director, Caparo Plc., were present.