How is India placed in the global cutting tools market? How are you developing the business strategy for a promising outlook in the coming years?
Currently, India’s contribution to global output is negligible. India stands 10th in consumption and 13th in the production of cutting tools. One of our strategic developments is about making the most of India’s conducive business climate. We are putting a major thrust on Make in India activities, thereby reducing our dependability on imports.
As a part of our strategic development, we have set up a facility at Aurangabad to manufacture the special tools to integrate with the market and extend speedy service. We have also launched a world-class technology centre in Pune to provide total technical support to customers in the Indian subcontinent. All these and many other efforts are intended to improve customer engagement and integrate the market.
Looking back at your journey with MMC Hardmetal India, what do you think are the major milestones that you would like to share with us?
Some major milestones for me include setting up the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Aurangabad, Maharashtra to integrate with the market and provide speedy service.
In addition, setting up the Mitsubishi Materials Technology & Education Centre (MTEC) at Pune is massive. It is a hi-tech facility providing total technological support to customers in the Indian subcontinent. Early this year, we acquired business rights for products manufactured by Moldino Tool Engineering. This company is known for the best quality tooling solutions for die & mould industry. With this acquisition, MMCI now has a wide product canvas and resourceful services on offer. Lastly, we are proud to expand our sales operations beyond our shores to cover the overseas markets viz gulf region, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
Optimising cutting conditions is critical to reducing time for customers. How is your R&D working towards this?
Due to advanced digitalisation in the manufacturing area, all machines are interfaced with the main server. This helps to have better flexibility in manufacturing and results in dynamic machining practices.
To optimise the cutting conditions, it is necessary to accurately understand or identify customers’ needs and future technological trends. Our R&D division closely connects with the customer support team, sales team, and distributors to understand the pulse of the market. We organise customer engagement programmes and interactive sessions to share our technological developments.
While providing new proposals that precisely meet the customer’s critical needs, we pursue the interactive session called Materials Premium, which is intended to have a threadbare analysis of the machining process, component metallurgy, tool geometry, finish tolerance of the components, machine speed-feed, and so on.
Similarly, the work holding of the component and the yield due to machining thrust are taken into consideration because nowadays we see more and more components made from aluminium alloys. These are vulnerable to work holding.
With India looking to corner a role for itself as a global manufacturing hub, how is the cutting tool industry seizing the opportunity?
The cutting tools industry in India has a marginal standing on the global scale. But considering India’s favourable business environment and encouraging the growth of the Indian economy, it has the potential to achieve phenomenal growth. The government of India has recognised this potential and has launched many initiatives and programmes to give a fillip to the cutting tool sector. Many key players are partnering with the government to seize the initiative. This is helping us to reduce import dependence.
The cutting tool sector is also pushing for support to encourage the machine tool industry because it is considered to be the mother of the manufacturing world.
How do you assess the disruptive power of new technologies at an early stage and build a sustainable plan to respond to the technological disruptions?
Any technology or innovation that significantly influences the consumers’ habits and lifestyles, as well as industrial and business operations, can be termed as a disruptive technology. It sends old technology and business practices into oblivion. Certain examples of disruptive technology in our day-to-day lives are e-commerce, mobile banking, digital wallet apps, online shopping, GPS, and so on. They supersede the older processes, products, or habits because of their superior technological attributes compared to the older technology.
When it comes to building a sustainable plan to respond to technological disruptions, we need to recognise the potential of disruptive technology. Companies or businesses that fail to account for the effects of this technology are likely to find losing their ground to the competitors. Therefore, it is necessary to integrate our systems and operations with this kind of technological innovation and advance with the changing times. In other words, we can synergise with it and evolve our model by integrating our best practices with it, but without compromising our business values, safety, ecology, environment, and quality of our products and services.
What are the key areas you are focusing on in the coming years for effective business development?
Considering the likely business landscape for the cutting tool industry in the coming years and the challenges and opportunities that may unfold, we look forward to enriching and energising our resources. We focus on making our team versatile, motivated, and agile to grab opportunities as much as possible. Similarly, we are keeping ourselves updated in terms of our technical knowledge, emerging engineering trends, new-age technology, advanced software, and specialisation in metal cutting, etc.
At present, we are mainly catering to the automotive sector, like many others. However, considering the high growth prospects of other sectors like die & mould, oil & gas, aerospace, renewal energy, defence, railways, medical, etc, we are intensely expanding our business horizons to cater to these sectors