“We are working on development of seven CFCs (Common Facilities Center) and Excellence Center in all seven regions of Maharashtra…”
Umesh Martandrao Dashrathi,
Senior Vice President of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce,
Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA)
Hold a vast experience of more than 28 years into Automotive industry, Auto component industry, Home furnishing industry, Service sector; how has been the journey so far?
In real sense, the journey started with small engineering projects before auto component. It was with a single welding transformer. As a beginner in 1989, we fabricated few towers for 11KV Electricity Sub-station. So, this journey is a transition from lowest end of fabrication, arc welding with electrodes, to most sophisticated state-of-the art fully automated robotic welding systems. We can relate the excursion directly with the development of fabrication technology in India. If we see the progression of fabrication technology in this country, it is barely more than this. Undoubtedly, it is a matter of pride to be a part of progress in the country. It is a wonderful feeling to contribute, may be in a very small way what we can.
As you being the Managing Director of Rucha Engineering, Can you brief us more on the company? What kind of products and engineering solutions does the company offer?
DNA of this company is system oriented, efficient & cost-effective mass manufacturing supported by innovative mindset and full-fledged R&D. We claim to be equipped with anything and everything required for any passenger vehicle related to Press-Fab Category.
Our Digital Transformation Team is bent upon making the organisation IoT laden and Industry 4.0 compliant.
Various certifications like TS16949, VDA6.3, TPM Excellence indicate our manufacturing excellence capabilities.
ISO27001 certification ensures cybersecurity.
With ISO14001, we are committed for environment protection.
To ensure health and safety of our colleagues across all plants, we practice OHSAS ISO45001.
Our ERP needs are catered by world’s best software, SAP HANA.
We offer fully finished ready-to-use complex and precision aggregates like ABC assembly (Accelerator Brake Clutch), Exhaust Systems, Frame Assembly, Engine Cradle Assly, BIW Components, Fuel Tank Assemblies, Loading Trays and many more. Focusing on Passenger Transport vehicles, we work in 2W, 3W and 4W space.
We also offer R&D services, ultra-modern design facilities, Proto-shop and well-equipped tool room.
You are also an iconic figure in the Marathwada (Aurangabad)Business community and holds various positions in the Society and also an active member of various Industrial Associations. Can you brief us on the Business market scenario of Marathwada?
Marathwada is no more an underdeveloped region, especially in case of industries. Rucha Group is operating in various parts of the country, in one or other capacity. Based on our experience, we can vouch that Marathwada is one of the places with best possible work culture. Highly trained high performance work force is available at a very reasonable price. Very co-operative Local Govt Administration coupled with matured union activities leads to real “Ease of Doing Business”.
This place is laden with many industry verticals which are doing their best on national level.
Steel industry mostly placed in Jalna is known for their quantity and quality. Steel rates on national level are always impacted by Steel Industry in this part of the country.
With hundreds of Pharma units, Marathwada has 6 Pharma Industries with FDA certification. By any standard, this is the highest number for a single region.
This place is known for Auto Components. Name any global automotive player and it is fitted with a component from Aurangabad. Auto Component industry here is considered as the most cost-effective industry on global level.
Around 25% of India’s Capital Goods export comes from Aurangabad-Jalna belt. The figure speaks about the extra-ordinary skill set available.
Jalna is considered as the capital for Agri-Seed Industry. On national level, most of the research in seeds is concentrated in this region. That is the reason why Global companies like Monsanto are attracted to this region.
Apart from business place, being a historically important spot, tourism industry is at its best.
World heritage places like Ellora and Ajanta are global attraction.
Three out of twelve jyotirlings and two out of three & half shaktipeethas attracts devotees for pilgrim tourism.
World’s second largest crater at Lonar makes you space nostalgic.
Replica of Tajmahal, “Bibi-ka-Maqbara” is a representation of reverse engineering in ancient times.
Overall, business scenario in Marathwada is very lucrative for industries, tall executives and even blue collared employees.
You are recently elected as Senior Vice President of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA). Congratulations Sir. What major projects is MACCIA currently focusing upon? Any ongoing or upcoming activities for the engineering and fabrication industries of Maharashtra?
MACCIA has a focus on Industrial Development and Women Empowerment across State of Maharashtra. We are working on development of seven CFCs (Common Facilities Center) and Excellence Center in all seven regions of the state, viz. Mumbai, New Mumbai, North Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan and Vidarbha. Additionally, one Woman Cluster in each region is on agenda. To promote entrepreneurship and start-ups, it is planned to have a set-up in every district with the help of Government of Maharashtra. This set-up will necessarily have training section on fabrication technology.
What is the demand and supply scenario in India? What according to you is the current market size? How much can be expected in the coming years?
Being more than 18% population of the world, India is a highly concentrated marketplace, hence naturally very attractive for all business houses. As last two years were worst ever, the whole of Europe and United States or showing recessionary trends. Still India is standing tall and indicating improvement in economic scenario. Today automotive sector and real estate sector, which are the most important indicators of economy, are showing positive growth. Response to electric vehicle is phenomenal. There are sizeable enquiries for real estate. IT sector is on boom once again. We are sitting on robust policies, stable political scenario and a 5th largest economy which is aspiring to jump from 3 trillion$ to 5 trillion$. Without entering in statistics of market size, it will be very safe to state that in next 2 years every market will potentially double it’s size, if not more.
What is your say on the current welding segment of India, especially in Maharashtra? Any plans or efforts taken by MACCIA for the upliftment of welding industry?
Maharashtra plays a significant role in industrial development of India. On the scale of time, Maharashtra always played a lead role on national level. Naturally the welding segment of India is highly impacted by state of Maharashtra. Maharashtra hosts almost every reputed automotive industry, heavy engineering industry, capital goods industry, and many more. Welding technology is a part and parcel of all these industries. Hence, welding technology is highly matured in state of Maharashtra. All advanced welding technologies are available in abundance. Skilled manpower with right attitude and good work culture is one of the specialties in Maharashtra.
With the help of Indian Institute of Welding, MACCIA is planning to open higher education programs in welding across State of Maharashtra. First center is already planned for Aurangabad and may start in couple of months.
Holding a key role into a leading engineering company called – Rucha Engineering, what according to you are the major welding challenges that the engineering and manufacturing industry faces, and what can be the ways to overcome?
Manufacturing industry related to welding need to keep a close watch on newly developed technologies specifically like 3-D printing or additive manufacturing. Reduction in welding joints, hence improvement in aesthetics will be one of attractive point for the buyer. Additionally, the process of manufacturing will be more hygienic compared to welding process.
To overcome this, equipment manufacturers will have to concentrate on improved hygienic process like cold metal transfer CMT, having less heat input less smoke and better quality. Lot of work can be done to improve the aesthetics of welding bead, specifically in filler type welding. Advanced welding technology equipment like laser welding, electron beam welding and other should necessarily be highly cost-effective to counter new technologies like 3-D printing / additive manufacturing.
Historically, the strength of welding technology is cost effectiveness and ease of operation. Unless the 2USPs are protected, future of welding technology may face lot of turbulence.
Can you brief us on Rucha Engineering’s role in welding? Can you list and describe on some of the mega projects with welding activities involvement?
Rucha Engineers P Ltd played a pioneering role for welding industry in Maharashtra. Starting from one single phase welding transformer, it is now manufacturing and working with completely automated robotic lines. Engineers is now using almost all advanced manufacturing technologies except electron beam welding. Starting from arcwelding, upgrading to MIG, TIG, resistance welding Rucha is now migrated to laser welding and friction welding also.
In this journey, there are many mega projects on the way. We are manufacturing fully finished goods carrier loading tray assemblies, complicated 3W frame assembly, highly precise and complex motorcycle frame assemblies, aesthetically sensitive two-wheeler petrol tank assemblies etc etc. The complexity and high welding quality requirement of such mega projects are helpful in keeping us highly rated in today’s VUCA world.
Rucha, recently got its independent R&D Centre recognized by Govt. of India, Ministry of Science & Technology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. Please elaborate.
As a country we lag in research and development. Developed world is 50 years ahead of us simply because they have a huge spend on research and development. As a small effort to counter this we decided to spend a fixed percentage of our EBITDA on R&D. as a result of persistent efforts, we are able to develop many high-end products like Auto Guided Vehicle, Vision Welding, Cross Bar Mechanism, Home Cleaning Robot etc. We also successfully developed technically complex production processes like hot stamping and find blanking. We are proud to mention that, with the help of our R&D dept., we succeeded to master intricate and difficult welding process like welding extra hard steels.
Availability of skilled manpower is one of the major challenge in India. How do you manage to cope up with the same, as the company has a huge team of well qualified manpower?
Skilled manpower is always a challenge. Thankfully, the new technologies are helping in skilling of manpower. We use virtual welding equipment manufactured by L&T to train the welders in their respective category before they are deployed on the job. The new operator has to undergo rigorous training for seven days and achieve score of 95% and above before getting actual welding holder in hand. There are also refresher courses organized with a fixed time period. This enhances the skills of the operators. For higher levels like welding engineers and above we are starting some courses in the region. I advise to use this methodology in enhancing overall skills of the stakeholders.
‘Safety at site’ is one of the key factors. What are your efforts towards safety?
Being a responsible corporate citizen, the thrust on safety and health of the stakeholders is of prime importance for us. We enforced ISO45001, the highest safety standard as our way of life. There are number of safety-first poka-yoke and kaizens done based on our experience of 25 years. There is a checklist for every morning check before start of any machine. As a result, we are zero accident factory for last more than 1000 days.
Do you have any plans for tie-up, in the coming time?
We believe in the talent of our people. We have some aggressive plans of few hi-tech products. Being patriot, as a strategy, we decided that we will not have any collaboration / JV / tie-up with foreign partner. Of course, this does not prevent us in tie-up with any Indian partner. As of now, there are no plans of any tie-up.
Your expansion plans?
Organically, you will find us grown to double of our existing size in next two years. Over and above, there are inorganic growth plans too.