Universal Robots focuses on SMEs in India

‘Short payback periods making collaborative robots affordable for small firms’

Updated - March 27, 2018 03:27 pm IST

Published - March 26, 2018 10:11 pm IST - MUMBAI

Growing reach:  By the end 2019, the firm may set up a plant in Asia , says Jürgen von Hollen.  Special Arrangement

Growing reach: By the end 2019, the firm may set up a plant in Asia , says Jürgen von Hollen. Special Arrangement

Universal Robots, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of collaborative robot, or cobot, arms, is focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow its business in India, the company’s top executives said.

Over two years, the robotics firm has supplied 400 cobots to companies in India, of which 10% have been sold to SMEs.

‘100% growth’

“We are growing 100% in India year-on-year and this will continue for the foreseeable future,” said Pradeep David, general manager, South Asia, Universal Robots.

“There is huge demand from the SME sector which we had not seen earlier. So, we are changing our approach to cater to them,” Mr. David added. “Big companies are installing cobots but what is exciting over the last two years is that small companies are also [able to] afford cobots which are paying back in one or two years,” he added.

“The SME sector in India is massive... the sky is the limit,” Mr. David said.

Jürgen von Hollen, president, Universal Robot, added that he saw greater potential in Asia and India than before.

‘Awareness will rise’

“Here, there is [the] least amount of awareness on cobots. If 10% of people in the world know about cobots, it is 1% in India. If one can move to 5% in three years, then I will not worry too much about the volume. It can come from India,” Mr. Hollen said.

He said the company global revenue for 2017 soared 72% to $170 million.

Mr. Hollen said that towards the end of calendar 2019, the company’s current facility in Denmark would become saturated, making it necessary to set up another factory which is expected to be in Asia.

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