Surendra C. Kalyanpur, Managing Director, Sridevi Tool Engineers Pvt Ltd
Mumbai-based Sridevi Tool Engineers specializes in design, development and manufacture of plastic injection moulds for automobile, white goods, luggage and other engineering industries. Established in 1972, the company is one of the largest commercial tool rooms in India with a capacity to produce moulds up to 3000 T of locking pressure. The company, equipped with the best of production machines sourced from Europe and Japan, has an uncanny eye for quality and precision. With an enviable customer base built up over a span of four and a half decades, the company is thriving on import substitution, developing some of the most complex moulds which otherwise have to be sourced from Korea, China or Japan after a long wait and spending a colossal amount of foreign exchange. Mr. P.K. Balasubbramaniian speaks to Mr. Surendra Kalyanpur, Managing Director, Sridevi Tool to ascertain the capabilities and commitments of this technology driven company which is on a growth trajectory to make the most of the boom experienced in the automobile industry. Excerpts:
I am a self-made entrepreneur. After my Intermediate Science, I picked up a job. I started my career with Lawkim Motors in Thane where I worked for long 10 years. Then I moved to Bharat Bijlee, also in Thane, wherein I had a stint of about 4 years. In both the places I was in the Machine Shop. The rich practical experience I gained helped me in my career. So my foray into the die & mould business, I would say, was by choice.
I started my company, Sridevi Tools, in 1972. That was the time when no tool rooms were available in the country. Die & Mould making was a highly skilled job. CNC machines were not available then. We started our operations with a small drilling machine, a lathe and 5-6 people. We first made PVC fitting moulds and then moulds for making TVs and refrigerators. 1986 was a turning point in our business. That was the year when we first bought a 3-axis milling machine, Deckel from Germany. Since then there has been no looking back. We operated from Saki Naka for about 17 years. In 1986 we came to Vasai.
Sridevi’s modern manufacturing facilities in Vasai, near Mumbai
We have a full-fledged manufacturing facility in Waliv in Vasai, Mumbai – a 60,000 sq. ft. area housing our factory and office. We have some 39 production equipment which include 27 CNC machines and 12 EDMs – all imported from Europe and Japan. We have a workforce of 400 people which include 200 engineers.
I would say dedication and hard work. Ours is a specialized line which needs focus and unwavering commitment to quality and precision. We have to give our 100% all the time.
Instrument panel moulds developed by Sridevi. The company has developed several import substitutes
We specialize in making precision engineering moulds for manufacturing automobile parts and products. All automobile majorsin India including Maruti, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero, Honda, Yamaha and Tata Motors are our customers.
We are tied up with all 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler manufacturers and tier-I suppliers in India who refer their requirements to us. Our offers are considered based on the cost, capability and delivery. Once an order is placed on us, we design the mould, procure the raw materials, and get down to machining, assembly, trials and tests. The raw materials used are tool steels and alloy steels and requisite hardware. Most of these raw materials are imported. And the tests are done on injection moulding machine. After the trials and tests, the moulds are dispatched.
We make moulds of 250T to 3000T locking pressure. Our capacity utilization is 100%. A small percentage (5%) of our production is also exported to European countries like Italy, Spain and France, as well as to Russia. Export is not a thrust area for us since most of the MNCs are here and we serve them.
Sridevi put up an impressive show at the recently held Die & Mould India International Exhibition at BEC, Mumbai
Our going is good. For the last 2-3 years we have registered a growth of 20% year on year. This year, we expect a 30% increase in our turnover. We are on an expansion mode. Land has already been acquired for starting one more production unit. We would also be investing in import of some more special machines. We are exploring newer market segments. Aerospace, for instance, is a potential market.
Our thrust will be more on developing import substitutes for OEMs. Every mould is different and customized, demanding stringent quality control requirements. Moulds for automobile lights are something very critical. Instrument panel moulds are mostly imported from Korea, China and Japan. We have already developed these moulds. There is a huge demand for these moulds. Instrument panel moulds, as a product range, should enhance our turnover by another 10-15%.
Sridevi has received a number of Awards in recognition of its outstanding performance
Well, all our activities are oriented towards delighting the customer. Our customers are quite happy to work with us because of our quality obsession, cost-competitiveness and prompt delivery schedules. This is evident from the fact that we have got several ‘Best Performance Awards’ from our clients like Honda.
We always strive to keep ourselves abreast of the technological innovations in our field. Quality improvement is an on-going process at Sridevi. We invest heavily on plant and equipment to improve our quality and precision. This year itself we are investing Rs.28 crore and importing sophisticated manufacturing equipment.
Five years hence we should be a Rs.250-300 crore entity with a wider customer base.
The Die & Mould Industry in India is worth Rs.16,000 crore. Of this, 30-40% is still being imported. So one can imagine the growth potential of this industry. Tool-making is basic for the growth of the machine tool industry. At the same time, tool-room companies are all family run. They keep a low profile. The industry as a whole does need encouragement and support from the Government.
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