Indo-German Newsletter Karnataka Region

An interview with Mr. Venkataramana Gorti, Managing Director & Country Head, HOMAG India Pvt Ltd.

Mr. Venkataramana Gorti, kindly tell us about the HOMAG activities in India

HOMAG, India a subsidiary of HOMAG, Group is present in India since 2002. It started as a Sales and Service support organization and then another legal entity of HOMAG started its manufacturing in 2011. Both these legal entities of HOMAG, India got merged in 2018 and I have been fortunate to lead the new organization from mid of 2019. I can say with pride that currently HOMAG India has close to 3500 installed base of machines spread across India with a very strong and competent team working closely with all our customers. We have our manufacturing facility where we not only cater to the domestic market needs but also export machines.

At HOMAG India we also have teams supporting Software testing, Global Sourcing activities, APAC Software Hotline support. 
HOMAG iX - a complete Business solution suite to improve the quality, productivity, real-time monitoring, Cost-management as well as Tapio-our IoT-based subscription solutions to connect the entire Eco-system are key enablers for our customers to improve their profitability and accelerate their growth.

HOMAG India is also working on increasing our footprint in SAARC countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka where the panel processing business is on the rise. 
To enable our growth plans we have invested in a completely new “State of the Art, Build to Suit” facility which will be ready by the end of this year 2021, also we are Building our competencies, bringing in already proven technologies from Germany to India. HOMAG India would also start becoming the epicenter of APAC and Global support for LCS (life cycle support), Testing and development of Softwares, Global sourcing, Engineering in the coming years. 

How do you foresee the business improvement/scenario for HOMAG in 2022? What are your expansion plans at HOMAG?

HOMAG India has had pretty good years despite the Pandemic. Last year (2020) we had the highest ever Order booking in our history despite losing almost 6 months due to Pandemic and this year (2021) also we would be ending with a growth of 30% on the year 2021.

We could achieve this growth with a very focused approach to address the customer needs, build on our tried and tested approach on customer problem-solving abilities and most importantly the technical expertise our teams carry which separates us from the rest of the competition. In the past 2 years, we had a record new customer acquisition while serving the existing customers new requirements which we believe will continue to be our growth enabler. We expect 2022 to be even better than 2021 as we have a very healthy Order backlog.

How was HOMAG engaged in production activities taking precautions for the safety of the people in the currently prevailing circumstances due to Covid-19?

At HOMAG, employee safety is paramount and we as an organization have worked relentlessly to ensure that all our employees and their families are taken care of. We as an organization have enforced and followed all the Protocols periodically communicated by the authorities, opened up the Work-from-home options to our employees, and put other enablers in place. We have arranged for All our employees and their families as well as service providers Free vaccinations and any other supports, as and when required.

What are the challenges the Mechanical Engineering Industry is facing today? How could this be overcome?

Challenges, in general, faced by typical mechanical engineering industries (I am covering more of MSME’s) are to name a few Inadequate banking finances, limited capital, challenged w.r.t. accessibility to technology, low production capacities, outdated marketing tools, constraints on modernization, and expansions, the challenge of retaining skilled labor force and in some cases availability

Many of these can be overcome through some of the measures like Policy initiatives to be Fast-tracked, Enhancement of Rural MSME credits, Shift from the traditional working of awarding business to L1 (lowest in price) to Overall Quality, Technological advancement and Global reach, Creating more World-class testing facilities for ease of Tests and approvals, Enhancing Emergency Credit line guaranteed schemes, Institute more DFI’s, Create Multiple SIDBI’s, Production linked incentives, Facilitate Exports (Overseas ) market access. Above all the Mindset shift towards Newer Technologies, Global quality standards, Scalability, and Sustainability would be the key.

What new technology trends are shaping the growth of the Furniture Manufacturing Industry or Wood Working Machinery in India?

One of the major shifts which can be experienced in the recent past is that many of the players in the industry have started exploring exports as an option (which was not so much in the past). This primary shift has started enabling newer technologies like automation, Business enablers like IoT, AR, and VR are being explored as game-changers, also the willingness to plan for a longer horizon and have the business plans aligned for a roadmap or 3-5 years growth, etc. The customers are investing more in Industrial machines capable of higher Productivities, Higher levels of automation, and Business integrations, also there is a clear focus on Marketing, faster TAT (turn-around time), customer acquisitions, global quality, and Cost-competitiveness.

Skill Development or orientation is an important requirement in current developments in emerging trends like Industrie 4.0, how is HOMAG India addressing it on a continuous basis both to employees and customers?

HOMAG India has always been focused on the skill-development and enhancement for the industry. We always go the extra mile to train our customer teams both on-site and through the various training, we conduct in-house to enhance the skills levels. We are also working closely with FFSC for skill development across the country. Our team members undergo rigorous training in both classroom and on-hand training continuously which has been the strength of HOMAG India for the past few decades and which is well-appreciated in the industry.

What would you like to suggest to German companies who are looking to enter the Indian market?

I would just say that if you are not in India as yet, you are missing a great business opportunity for your organization's growth and profitability. India is the only country across the world which has the highest number of Young talent, the competencies and skill-levels across the industries are the best in the world, it’s a country which has most of the literate population speaking English, also in the past 10 years the Government is fully committed to ensure the “ease of business” and to make India the global hub of all the global organizations.

Indo-German Newsletter Karnataka Region

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