The Pune-based engineering firm, RSB Transmissions, which recently set up a manufacturing unit for propeller shafts in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, plans to expand its presence in untapped markets for the product. “Our penetration is both in India and outside. We are working on untapped markets for our products such as propeller shafts,” S K Behera, Vice Chairman & MD, RSB Group, told AutoParts Asia.
The company has recently signed an agreement with the State Government and will be setting up a manufacturing facility to make the latest generation of propeller shaft with an investment of Rs 60 crore.
This plant will cater to its customers such as Isuzu Motors, Ashok Leyland, Daimler and others in South India and overseas. “This location shall also cater to our Construction Equipment manufacturing customers such as Kobalco and Caterpillar. We hope to start trial production in FY 2017-18,” he added.
The company has a technical tie-up with Jidosha Buhin Kogyo (JBK) Japan, to manufacture new generation propeller shafts for SCV/SUV/LCV segments in the domestic and export markets. This is in addition to its ongoing technology tie-up with Eugen Klein GmbH, the German manufacturer of transmission equipment, for the latest light-weight propeller shaft technology for heavy commercial vehicles.
The key feature of both these tie-ups is the development and manufacturing of lightweight propeller shafts which allow an efficient transfer of engine power to the axles. The combination of these features results in increased fuel efficiency, he said.
The Vision Statement of the Automotive Mission Plan 2026 states that Indian automotive industry will be among the top three in the world by 2026. This will unleash huge opportunities for the Indian automotive companies to grow with the government lining up several incentive schemes for manufacturing facilities.
RSB Transmission is gearing up to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. “RSB has certain built-in and tangible core potentials. We have a philosophy of CARE (Customers Are Really Everything). Based on my over four decades in the industry, I am confident that RSB will be a globally-recognised and admired entity. The journey to that stage is very enriching and we are learning every moment as we progress towards that goal,” Behera said.
The company has aligned its business strategy to ‘Make-in-India and Made-in-India’ initiative with a focus on made for the world in India. “To carve a niche area in the auto component sector globally by increasing our manufacturing strength at the locations within India we aim to tap growth in Asia-Pacific,” he said.
RSB operates in two verticals, automotive and CMI (Construction, Mining and Infrastructure) equipment and aggregates. The company has 13 manufacturing facilities spread over seven locations in India and one each in the US, Mexico and Brazil. Its Indian units are in Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Pune (Maharashtra), Dharwad (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), Cuttack (Orissa) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market in the next five years and the Indian auto component segment is already primed to leverage its strength to cater effectively to the Indian and international vehicle makers by qualifying on globally expected parameters.
According to Behera, “While being cost competitive is a key factor, the industry is also acknowledged on design and quality expectations.” The Pune-based company is fully prepared to gain from this growth opportunity. It counts eminent OEMS such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Daimler, Mahindra, John Deere, Fiat, Eaton, Magna, GKN, Renault Nissan, Kamaz, Caterpillar, JCB, Kobelco, Komatsu and others as its clients.
Its product portfolio ranges from propeller shafts, axle beams, 5th wheel couplings, gears and gearbox in the automotive segment. For the construction equipment side of business it makes products such as track frames, main frames, arms and booms.
RSB has a fully-owned subsidiary, I-Design Engineering Solutions Ltd, which is mainly focused on lean designs, structural analysis, and new product developments among other initiatives. The centre is based in Pune with a large technical team and fully equipped in terms of facilities, equipment, test rigs and other supportive infrastructure.
However, due to the confidentiality clause with OEM customers the company did not share specific details
Environment And CSR
Apart from the business goals, RSB aims to be achieving safe, efficient and environment-friendly capabilities at affordable prices for the automotive industry.
The 2013 Deming Prize winner is globally certified for ISO 14001 for Environment Management System and OHSAS (Occupational Health & Safety). All its activities are environment-friendly with due care for safety and health.
Added to this is the in-built PDCA cycle of Deming Process with world-class certified business excellence. All together sums up to cutting edge yet cost- effective solution for the customers.
The focus on corporate social responsibility stems from the promoters core belief that true happiness comes when the good fortune is shared with those who are at a weaker position.
Much before CSR became a buzzword, the group had been aware of its social obligations and had been making provisions for a meaningful impact. Today CSR is an essential fabric of RSB’s business goal which often goes beyond the statutory regulations.
“RSB shall continue to pursue long-term business goals that are good and bring about positive impact on the society. And I am glad that this belief pervades RSB and our members are proactively alert to opportunities where a positive impact is possible,” Behera said.