BRANDED CONTENT: Strong growth of EVs in India means new biz opportunities for players
ARaymond India is looking forward to expand its business portfolio in the Indian market and has announced the appointment of Abhit Thulkar as vice president, business development and Amit Borkar as vice president, new mobility to steer the company to meet the business objectives.
The appointment of Abhit Thulkar as Vice President for business development and Amit Borkar as Vice President, New Mobility at Pune-based ARaymond India Pvt. Ltd should not come as a surprise. The Grenoble, France-based family-owned company was established in 1865, and has been planning its future as India's automotive industries recover fast post Covid and confidently move towards growth path despite global economic uncertainties, war in Ukraine and component shortages across various sectors, especially semiconductors. India's decision to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles through various incentives has also shown positive market results and production will be ramped up by established OEMs and start-ups. ARaymond India sees big opportunities to offer OEMs with innovative solutions, for fluid handling and clipping technologies.
You have come to ARaymond from OEM like Tata Motors and Tier 1 component suppliers with quite some experience. For ARaymond what do you bring to the table?
Abhit Thulkar: We would like to add values per car as OEMs are looking for more and more localised products. ARaymond has the right product mixed which can be offer to OEM/Tier 1. We are working on lot of innovative products for India market.
What does new mobility mean for ARaymond in India?
Amit Borkar: We see New Mobility as CASE (Connected – Autonomous – Shared – Electric). That’s why we collaborate with our customers and partners to co-innovate meaningful and environmentally sound assembly solutions that meet market demands. We work closely with our customers to develop performance fastening, assembly and fluid systems for the complete vehicle life cycle.
- Simplify system architecture design for a seamless and space saving integration
- Shorten the overall assembly process for efficient production up-scaling
- Improve assembly ergonomics and safety
- Optimise system performance
- Facilitate serviceability and disassembly
What is your focus area in terms of business development?
Abhit Thulkar: Our core business is of Assembly Solutions, through our technology of Clipping, Connecting and Bonding. Our strategy is to help our customers to meet their challenges on Assembly. Today, in this transforming market, we want to support our customer with light weighting, integration of their parts, making their assembly solutions simple but still meeting their specification. Our long term strategy is to work on sustainability, and we want to diversify into other markets like Renewable Energy and HealthCare.
What are your immediate business goals for the short and medium term?
Amit Borkar: We see many new companies in the EV space now in India. Customers are ambitious, open to new technologies and solutions. Then you also have the well-established OEMs who are also contributing to the area of New Mobility and in big way. Our goal is to work closely with the CASE customers and bring value added solutions. Focus is to build brand positioning of ARaymond in the New Mobility ecosystem in the short term. As a result, we have defined our business plan with this in mind for short and medium term. In the medium term, we are focusing on adding value through upscaling our core business product solutions To support this, we have a strong product portfolio and strategy to help in meeting the business goals.
What new business ‘areas’ are you looking to develop for ARaymond?
Abhit Thulkar: Our focus is to add more value for mobility at design stage with better integration and assembly solutions. Nowadays, vehicles are becoming quiet with EV and Hybrid technologies. Here, we can add value by replacing metal parts with assembly and Bio Injection parts.
Give an overview of the current business in terms of growth and opportunities?
Amit Borkar: At ARaymond we keep growth mindset. India market is full of opportunities. New Mobility is still evolving, and pace of change is very fast. Everyone in the market is testing and checking which technology to invest and when. So many things are happening in the market, but I see it as opportunity, and this will ultimately lead to positive change for the country.
Which are the areas of the business you think ARaymond can do well? Explain the rationale behind it.
Amit Borkar: We are in business of Clipping, Connecting and Bonding. I believe all will do well. These are the kind of solutions that are required in many applications. Disruptions in the vehicle technology is happening, bringing new ideas and opportunities.
How is your R&D involved?
Abhit Thulkar: ARaymond is having 2,000 live Patent, and this is because of our strong R&D support. We will continue to upscale our business through R&D and solutions for our customers.
What investments will be required to achieve the business objectives as stated?
Amit Borkar: We are in phase of capacity addition, through machines and plants.
Are there plans for Capex in R&D?
Abhit Thulkar: Automotive market is undergoing big transition. There are lot of opportunities and many new players, at the same time there is development going around ICE vehicle, where again BS VII emission norms are being discussed. This new technology adaptation by our customers required lot of investment. We have to make our bet smartly, considering our long-term future.
Some global Tier 1 component makers are beginning to transform their business model from supplier to OEM in some business areas. Is that happening at ARaymond? If yes, please explain further. If not, are their future plans in this respect?
Amit Borkar: We don't have such plans. We are assembly solution providers and remain to do so. But we are upscaling within our core products. Sustainability for the future is a hot topic these days for businesses in the automotive ecosystem.
What is the ARaymond position on this and what are your plans (ongoing or future) in this respect?
Abhit Thulkar: ARaymond has sustainable solutions, we are working on various market to achieved our customer sustainability target, ARaymond is working on various projects like light weighting our own solutions/Products, adopt Bio degradable material into our solutions. Most of our plants have roof top solar installations and our plants are built as per LEED Gold specifications. ARaymond network is committed to sustainability ensuring better world for our next generation, ARaymond is committed for Carbon Neutrality.
Technical partnerships and collaborations are the order of the day as new systems and technology applications are moving at a very fast pace. What is ARaymond’s India position on this?
Amit Borkar: Collaboration is our Value. Technology is and will be the key factor. We are network of companies and are independent in the markets we operate. We have strong collaborative approach across the network. Currently, we see Europe and China teams ahead on bringing new solutions, which are collaboratively upscaled in other regions. We collaborate with local customers to create partnership and provide assembly solutions. We have strong talent pool to meet the requirements. We Design and make it in India for India.
What are the challenges you foresee in the coming financial year?
Abhit Thulkar: Market is more competitive as inputs costs are increasing with technology advancement. We could see challenges as cost competitiveness and cutting edge technology which should meet customer demand (like electrical terminals, fuse boxes, EV batteries etc.)
- Supply demand imbalance to continue as production lines face continued supply disruption.
- OEM's unable to ramp-up due to semiconductor shortage.
- Re-introduction of discounts in some models. Rate hike to continue expected because of New Regulation of 6 Airbag.
What New Mobility projects are you working on right now? Share the details.
Amit Borkar: We are working on upscaling using our core knowledge of clipping and connecting. We have innovative solutions for the battery packs where we are working with few customers on M2M connector for battery cell modules. It is toolless connection, joint validation and importantly serviceable.
Localisation of automotive components, especially in EVs is an area that the government of India is keen to see more participation. Do you have plans in this respect?
Amit Borkar: Absolutely, localisation is extremely critical and important. We thank the Govt of India as it promotes localisation. At ARaymond India, we are committed to support locally to our customers and we have taken steps for local R&D and engineering, capacity expansion, hiring talent and many more.
Bringing down costs is also a major consideration by buyers now. How do you address this aspect?
Amit Borkar: TCO – Total Cost of Ownership. We have TCO approach and engage with the customers to address the pain areas and provide the right assembly solutions. Key benefits of TCO approach is reduce in number of parts, quick upscaling, Quality improvements, serviceability and many more.
Overall, what is your view of the markets, changing market trends etc? How do you address the needs of the dynamic New Mobility business?
Amit Borkar: Its real VUCA world. The markets are changing and rapidly, more demanding on time and quality. As we see EV is evolving, so is Hybrids and so is Hydrogen. The Batteries itself are going through huge technological changes. This gives us the challenge and here we seek to engage with the customers early to provide right assembly solutions meeting the current needs.
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