Cooper Corporation is looking at various application segments other than power generators. The verticals include marine propulsion, industrial applications, construction equipment and automotive segments. Cooper Corporation´s products are currently well accepted all over India and exported to over 17 countries in the Middle East, Far East, South Asia, Europe and South America. Moving ahead, Cooper plans to capture more international markets with enhanced product portfolio and relevant certifications.
Farrokh Cooper, Chairman & Managing Director, Cooper Corporation Pvt Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, achievements, products, core competencies, supply chain management, verticals/geographies targeted for growth, technical collaboration with Ricardo, energy efficiency measures, challenges and opportunities before industries in India. Edited Excerpts...
Could you tell us in brief about your company, achievements, products and core competencies?
Cooper Corporation Pvt. Ltd is one of India´s leading engine manufacturer based in the historic town of Satara in Maharashtra, India. Ever since its inception that dates back to 1922, Cooper Corporation has played a pivotal role in the economic and social development of Satara. With Cooper Corporation, the historic town of Satara has constantly witnessed a new wave of industrialization without losing its rich cultural heritage.
Cooper Corporation´s ceaseless commitment to quality, service and product innovation has consistently kept pace with the changing market needs worldwide. The company´s rapid strides in the global market bear testimony to this fact.
Cooper Corporation today employs over 3000 people including engineers, quality control personnel, workmen and administrative staff recruited from leading educational and technical institutions, operating from 11 plants in Satara. A rigorous induction strikes a judicious blend of academic expertise and professional exposure. Over the years, the company has consistently invested in the latest state-of-the-art technology across 105 acre of land in Satara with the help of experienced consultants from all over the world.
The company has set-up its own Research and Development (R&D) unit to explore the possibilities of developing new products. Cooper engines power applications for diverse sectors including gensets, marine, defence, construction equipment, automotive and agriculture.
What kind of approach do you follow to manage and enhance your product portfolio?
Our approach has always been very forward looking. Based on our customer feedback and market insight we are able analyze and foresee future industry requirements and invest accordingly. Keeping in view the domestic demand and global market scenario, we design and manufacture products that are at par with international standards. We also follow fast track model for enhancing the product portfolio.
What are the key actions involved in managing your supply chain effectively?
Our strength is expertise in component manufacturing, which we have been doing over the last few decades and supplying products to leading companies globally. We manufacture most of the components at our state-of-the-art facilities in Satara; however we do partner with some of the leading global companies from the design stage itself to procure critical components and sub assemblies. We plan our procurement and manufacturing activities well in advance and follow ´Just in Time´ approach which helps to manage supply chain effectively.
Which are the verticals and geographies targeted by you?
Cooper Corporation is looking at various application segments other than power generators. The verticals include marine propulsion, industrial applications, construction equipment and automotive segments. Cooper Corporations products are currently well accepted all over India and exported to over 17 countries in the Middle East, Far East, South Asia, Europe and South America. Moving ahead, Cooper plans to capture more international markets with enhanced product portfolio and relevant certifications.
What can be the size of the industry involved in the engine segment? What´s your market share in India?
Size of the engine segment industry in India is expected to be 9.25 lakh numbers by volume. Out of this more than 60% market is of commercial vehicles, agriculture equipments and buses. The Gensets business is about 15 percent of the total diesel engine market. Our market share is presently about 5%, and our immediate milestone is to achieve 10 %.
You aim to manufacture engines ranging from 3.5 KVA to 1000 KVA. In what way your technical collaboration with Ricardo help you towards achieving this goal?
Cooper got into a technical collaboration with Ricardo, UK in 2008 for designing its state-of-the-art family of engines in 2, 3, 4 and 6 cylinder configurations. These Engines are designed to meet all future emission norms while delivering the best in class fuel efficiency. This technical collaboration along with the nearly century long experience in India has allowed us to bring market competitive products that comply with regulations and norms in India.
The recent technical collaboration with Ricardo UK, will enable Cooper Corp to expand its range of engines from 3.5 KVA to 1000 KVA and cover almost 75% of the range of products available in the market putting the company in the same league as the biggest players in the industry in a relatively short period of time.
How was the FY2014 in terms of products launched, business generated, and growth achieved in both domestic and international markets?
Just to give an idea as to how Cooper has grown. In 2012-13 we had a turnover of Rs 320 crore which is mainly components and the investment was Rs 300 crore; in 2013-14 it was Rs 390 crore with an investment of Rs 325 crore. In FY14-15 it was Rs 460 crore with an investment of Rs 440 crore then FY 15-16 the projection is Rs 750 crore with an investment of Rs 560 crore; in the next three years we are confident about crossing Rs 2200 crore with an investment around Rs 600 crore. In-terms of products we have recently tied up with Riccardo UK, and we want to cover the whole spectrum of engines from 5HP to 1000 HP.
Also regarding the markets the company is not only looking at catering to the domestic demand but has also expanded its global foot print with orders from countries like Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka etc.
Cooper Corporation has already exported close to 2000+ units of CPCB II compliant gensets so far and has over 600 orders in the pipeline. For gensets the share of revenue of the export is around 22 per cent last year this year it is expected to be around 25 per cent; with major chunk of the export going to markets like South America, Africa and the Middle East.
On the energy efficiency front, what steps have you taken to optimize the use of energy in your production process?
We have undertaken several steps to reduce our energy spend in our engine plants. We use polycarbonate skylights and T5 lighting systems to reduce our lighting bills.We have installed roof ventilators and water conservation systems. We have also installed several green power plants and wind turbines feeding into the grid.
Government of India plans to set up number of manufacturing hubs across India. What are the challenges and opportunities before industries in India?
One of the key challenges is getting skilled work force as our products are built to very close specifications and design tolerances and require skilled labourers to achieve precision and maintain consistent quality. Governmental support in setting up of industry and providing single window clearance for the various authorizations and certifications will be a boon to the industry.
Going forward, what are your immediate and long term plans for expansion in India and abroad?
Despite the overall recessionary trends in the country, Cooper Corporation has witnessed consistent and aggressive growth for the past five years across sectors because of our reputation for technology, after market support and commitment to quality and service.
Going forward we intend to expand all our capacities in the cast iron foundry, aluminum foundry, engine lines etc. and achieve turnover of Rs 3000 crore in the next five years.