Rohit Gambhir, Managing Director, ESAB India
ESAB India Ltd started its operations in 1987 by acquiring the welding business of Peico Electronics & Electricals Ltd (now Philips India Ltd). How has been the journey so far?
The journey has been very exciting for ESAB, as we have helped the industrial growth in India by bringing in new technologies. We have focused on being a full welding and cutting solutions company that can help improve productivity, quality and cost competitiveness of Industrial users. During this time, we have acquired many other companies globally and are working to bring their technology to India as well. We have a 75-person-strong Global R&D Center in India catering to both Indian and global needs. India is a major focus market for ESAB, and we look forward to further investments in India. We are the market leaders in India and are working to increase our share in this great market, which will soon be the third largest in the world.
How has been the Indian market for ESAB as compared to other international markets?
Indian market has been growing at a faster pace for us then rest of the world. We do think that India, with its higher growth and embracing new technologies, will be a major growth driver to rest of the world.
During 2017, Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) had agreed to sell unit EWAC Alloys Ltd to ESAB Holdings Ltd. What is the current status?
This has been bought globally and works as an independent entity in India. They have strong robust plans to increase share in India and globally as well.
What is your say on the Indian welding market? Also brief us on your company’s presence in India. Any expansion plans?
The Indian welding market is based on the strong focus by the government on manufacturing and infrastructure, and is expected to do very well in the next few years. Major policy improvements (like GST) have made business easier and significantly increased the possibility of growth. In the first six months of the calendar year, we have grown by more than 25% in almost all segments in India. ESAB is present in all sectors and have a strong sales, service and distribution network across the country. We are investing in getting new technologies to India, major expansion in R&D and production capabilities.
ESAB India had acquired the welding business of Sandvik Asia Pvt Ltd, Pune somewhere during Feb 2018. Please elaborate.
This is a relatively new acquisition and is in the process of being integrated globally.
Can you quickly take us through your product line?
We have the full range of Welding and Cutting products covering:
- Cutting machines
- Industrial gas equipment
- Consumables (Electrodes, Solid Wire, Flux Cored wire, Fluxes and Tig Rods)
- Arc welding equipment
- Hard facing products
- Personal Protection Equipment
- Service and process support
With this, we provide a full range of products, both made in India and ESAB worldwide.
Any recent developments?
The recent developments are in bevel cutting machines (made in India); new high-production arc welding equipment, high-end gas regulators, and improved stainless steel electrodes. Besides, there are many other applications being developed in ESAB India R&D.
Could you please share some of the interesting projects you work upon?
We are working with large manufacturing units to bring global Friction Stir Welding and Laser Plasma Welding solutions to India.
We have known that Boeing had selected ESAB as a partner in the manufacturing of fuel tank structures for SLS.
This was a global order taken in the USA.
What challenges do you come across and how did you manage to cope up with the same?
The challenge for us is majorly on introducing new products and technologies to India. The initial cost of product and training is very high. However, we look at it as our investment in making the Indian Fabrication market a world class market and growing our share in the same.
Availability of skilled manpower in one among the major challenges. Your say. What is ESAB’s role to cope up with the same?
We have two training centers in India wherein we train workers from across industry segments. Apart from this, we also help in providing automated solutions that can help the industry.
Safety at work is one of the key considerations. What is company’s effort towards health and safety?
This is a major focus from ESAB globally. We have a strong EHS culture and training to ensure that every employee is safe, healthy and aware at all times.
Women in Welding are a growing trend. What is the company’s initiative towards encouraging women in welding?
We have always been a strong diversity company. We have many women team members in R&D, production and quality and have special focus to increase their strength.
What are your future plans?
We plan to continue to invest in R&D and local manufacturing capabilities – making India the global hub for key manufactured products and R&D.
We plan to significantly increase export out of India and continue to aggressively gain share in all segments of Welding and Cutting by new products and solutions.