SKF India fights fake bearings menace with raids

by Amit Panday 20 Jun 2017

Shishir Joshipura, MD and Country Head, SKF India, and Tina Astrom, director, SKF Group Brand Protection, handing over a plaque of appreciation to DCP Ganesh from Pune. Fake SKF bearings worth Rs 60 l

SKF India, one of the largest bearings manufacturers in the country, is meeting with success on its campaign against fake parts. The company conducted raids in Pune in April, which led to the seizure of about 4,500 counterfeit products estimated to be worth around Rs 60 lakh.

The raids were conducted at two different dealerships in Pune with the help of local police authorities. According to company officials, the seized fake bearings were being sold under the SKF brand name and weighed close to four tonnes.

Bearings are safety critical components and can cause serious damage to associated machinery, which can range from passenger vehicles to trains, airplanes and across many industries. Commenting on the menace of counterfeit parts in the market, Shishir Joshipura, managing director and country head, SKF India, said, “At SKF, the fight against the sale of counterfeit products is of utmost priority. Being a customer-centric organisation, SKF will continue to protect our customers’ interest in the best possible way.”

Joshipura estimates that the annual size of bearings market in India is around Rs 9,000 crore. “Of this, roughly 10 percent is unstructured market. Half of that is the counterfeit bearings market,” he added.

Joshipura estimates that SKF India suffers losses worth Rs 150 crore annually due to the availability of fake bearings parts in the local market.

“On the global scale, SKF suffers US$ 250 million (Rs 1,580 crore) worth of losses annually due to the supply of fake spare parts,” estimated Tina Astrom, director, SKF Group Brand Protection, who was present in Pune when the raids were conducted.

“Counterfeit products are often associated with established brands across the globe. Although the sale of counterfeit bearings is a problem in India, Indian law enforcement is professional in their actions against counterfeiters,” she added. According to Astrom, counterfeit spare parts comprise roughly 2.5 percent of world trade currently.

Sathyanarayanan KG, head, brand protection, SKF India, told Autocar Professional that the company had last conducted raids across Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai in January-February 2016, wherein the company had seized fake bearings worth Rs 3 crore.

“We conducted about 22 raids in CY2016. In CY2015, we had conducted about 18 raids. We have recovered fake bearings worth Rs 15 to 20 lakh on an average per raid. So you can estimate the impact of this menace on the industry,” revealed Sathyanarayan.

Adding to that, Astrom disclosed, “SKF conducted close to 148 raids globally. Most of the counterfeit bearings are manufactured in China. The fake bearings produced in India are mostly circulated in India locally.”

Substantiating SKF Group’s brand protection official, a company documents quotes “counterfeit bearings are predominantly manufactured in Asia, mainly China. There are large numbers of suppliers in China who are offering premium brands at relatively low cost. Recently, there is also an increasing trend in counterfeit bearings being routed via Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. The illegal international trade not only poses a risk to consumers and businesses, but potentially also withholds tax and import revenues.”

SKF India has a footprint comprising six manufacturing facilities, more than 300 authorised distributors and an employee base of over 3,300 people.


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