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Christopher Raj, Managing Director, Bruderer India

Image: Bruderer

Drives & Controls “SME sector keen to upgrade technology”

Apr 9, 2018

Christopher Raj, Managing Director, Bruderer India, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, discusses the strategies they have implemented so as to cater to their Indian customers and shares his optimism at the rising Indian entrepreneurial sector. Excerpts…

How has been the overall performance of your company in India?

For Bruderer India, the overall performance has been very good. With reference to 2015, the customer base was very worried about transitioning towards higher technology. Keeping these concerns in mind, we formed our products and strategies, which helped us grow significantly, especially in terms of transactions. We not only catered to multi-nationals but also targeted the bottom of the pyramid and found that Indian entrepreneurs and the SME sector were very keen in upgrading their technologies. By catering to this customer segment, we noticed a significant increase in our customer base. We have also had a tremendous growth globally and our factory orders are booked until early next year.

Keeping in mind the developments in the Indian manufacturing sector lately, in terms of advanced technology adoption, volatile market conditions and changing customer requirements, what would be your outlook on the industry performance this year?

The manufacturing industry in India has seen a good growth path this year. There is a sense of excitement amongst manufacturers and they are gathering good numbers, in terms of sales. Even at this year’s IMTEX exhibition, we received several enquiries from potential clients.

What were the new products and technologies that you launched during IMTEX this year? What are the upcoming trends that you foresee in your business sector?

We have an excellent mechanically-engineered machine, which represents Swiss technology. Being a 75-year-old company, headquartered in Switzerland, we have the expertise that has perfected the mechanical engineering aspect of our machines and products. However, the issue that we have, especially in the Indian market, is that the controller has many additional features, which are very useful but which also make it unaffordable for our customers. Thus, to overcome this challenge, we launched a new product in India where we made our own electrical controller, making it very reasonably priced. Furthermore, we also refurbish machines and these new machines have a long shelllife. When Bruderer sells machines, there are existing customers who also like to tradeoff. We take these machines and refurbish them, for which we buy everything from our Switzerland factory, and then retrofit it with a locally-made controller. This is the product that we have launched at the exhibition this year. This product is very affordable as it is one-fourth of the cost of the original machine while maintaining the same accuracy.

What are some of the upcoming trends that you foresee in your business sector?

Typically, the Bruderer presses were used in the manufacture of connectors. The highspeed of the presses were especially useful in manufacturing huge volumes. The press that we showcased at IMTEX this year can run at 2500 strokes per minute, which can help produce 1500 parts per minute. However, in India, the average speed is still only 150 parts per minute. The drawn comparison shows that we offer a much larger scale.

The upcoming market for us is into other multiple, diverse sectors.

Given the rapid pace of digitalisation, how is your company moving towards Industry 4.0 technologies?

In India, we are at a nascent stage when it comes to Industry 4.0 technologies. However, our Switzerland factory is making Industry 4.0-compliant machines.

IMTEX provides a good platform for networking with customers and vendors. How do you strategise post IMTEX 2018 to get the maximum out of the exhibition?

We take a marketing approach and follow-up with our existing and potential customers, whom we had met at the exhibition and try to cash in on the solid enquiries that we had received from several enterprises at this platform.

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