Shandong Heavy Industry India Pvt. Ltd (SHIG) began in 2006 with trading and then with a manufacturing plant in 2014. How’s been the journey so far?
The Indian consumer has typically been brand loyal to quite an extent, but over the last decade has started to recognize high-end engineering products that are being offered by new players in the arena. We offer diesel and gas engines under renowned brands such as Weichai, Baudouin, and are the largest manufacturer of diesel engines in the world with a capacity of over one million engines per annum. It is not an easy task to maintain the number one position year-on-year, thanks to our strong R&D wing, which enabled us to roll out engines with quality and performance to our esteemed clientele. The focus on after-market-support has also played a pivotal role.
Incidentally, we have a market share of over 50 percent in the marine segment, which is highly sensitive to performance with the fishing vessels operating days on end, uninterrupted in the high-seas.
We have strategically ventured from trading into manufacture of the diesel engines up to 1200 HP from our state-of-the-art plant in Pune, Maharashtra from the year 2014 and are now equipped to offer engines for various applications, which include engines for trucks & bus, earth moving & construction, power generation and so on.
The economy both globally as well as in India has been going through a slow phase for the last eight months or so. How has this affected SHIG’s business in India?
Presently, we cater with our engines mostly to the marine and power generation markets and to some extent to the commercial machinery segment. The power generation market has its ups and downs based on the economy, but here again, our focus is mainly on the higher segment of 200 kVA to 2500 kVA with the high-end Baudouin range competing with limited players. We have made in-roads with the Baudouin range over the last 18 months and it is a brand to reckon with. The marine segment was affected over the last 18 months with its cyclic drop in demand, but is now on the revival mode.
Given the current economic scenario, what is your long-term outlook for the Indian market?
The potential for the Indian market is very encouraging with a huge demand expected in the infra and other related areas leading to a demand for commercial vehicles, construction equipment vehicles and other related equipment. We are studying the specific market potential in various segments which will act as a growth driver and intend to enter into the market in the short run.
Who are SHIG’s key customers and what kind of products are you supplying to them at present?
In the marine segment, Weichai has a strong presence and is No. 1 in the Indian market with over 50 percent market share. We have a strong sales and service network across the coastline to provide effective aftermarket support.
In the Power generation segment, we have corporate alliances, including Ashok Leyland with whom we have aligned to promote the Baudouin range of power generation engines up to 2500 kVA in addition to other OEAs (Original equipment assemblers). The G Drive engines are assembled into complete diesel generating sets, sold and serviced by our channel partners. Our range of engines are also operating fitted in special equipment such as Cranes, Wheel loaders, Dozers etc and our OEAs include Sany, XCMG, Liugong, L&T, to name a few.
Some of our other group products include Hande axles, Fast Gearboxes which are being procured by some of the major players including Volvo Eicher, for specific models of their vehicles.
Tell us something about your manufacturing plant in terms of its size, infrastructure, capabilities and capacities.
Our present capacity is 10,000 engines per annum in phase 1. We are presently concentrating on power nodes from 180 kW to 500 kW and will extend the range below 180 kW and above 500 kW shortly. We have over 80,000 diesel and gas engines supplied to highly satisfied customers and operating in the India market for power generation and marine applications supplied from the year 2006. We have commissioned a test bench to test engines up to 2000 kW power range too. We have in place an expansion option to cater to the increased demand.
Tell us something about your exports business from the Pune facility.
Presently, we cater to the Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. However, we intend to use our India base to offer many of our platform products to the Middle East, Africa and South East Asian countries.
Which are the different products and brands that you are manufacturing at the Pune facility currently and will you be looking at expanding the portfolio in near future?
Currently, we manufacture engines for various applications and all other products are offered through the trading route.
Would SHIG also be open to join ventures and / or technical collaborations with companies operating in the Indian market? If yes, then what kind of partners would you be looking at?
We are already in discussions with large engineering corporates for offering our high-end products and services, which may fructify as supply of aggregates in CKD/SKD form, or entering into a JV mode, collaborations too. The products include drive-train aggregates such as engines, gearboxes, axles, fully built trucks & buses etc.
The Indian automotive industry is all set for a definite transition from BS IV to BS VI engines from April 1, 2020. Is SHIG ready to cater to this new emission norm?
Weichai with technical collaboration has upgraded its engine portfolio to the Electronic HPCR platform in the year 2009 and have a large volume of engines operating in the field. The group has got five R&D centres located globally with over 4000 R&D engineers on board.
Currently, the range of diesel and gas engines from the WEICHAI and BAUDOUIN portfolio of 2.3L to 17L meets the latest Euro VI / BS-VI emission norms and are currently being offered to our customer base in Europe and USA. We may be in a position to offer our engines for specific nodes required by Indian players and we are open to entering into a tie-up or JV to manufacture the engines in India.
How has been your personal journey in India?
I have been in India from the year 2008. I find India unique with its rich heritage and culture and the people are warm and friendly. I also relish some of the Indian cuisine.
What do you think about our Group’s industry-oriented initiative like ‘The Festival of Manufacturing’?
This is a really good initiative as it is one of a kind where there is a lot of emphasis on the manufacturing industry. There are a lot of things that we manufacturers do that needs to be celebrated and showcased to people and this is the perfect platform for us.
“We have strategically ventured from trading into manufacture of the diesel engines up to 1200 HP from our state-of-the-art plant in Pune, Maharashtra from the year 2014 and are now equipped to offer engines for various applications.”