Steelbird Hi-Tech India, one of the leading helmet manufacturers in India, is to expand manufacturing capacity at its Baddi facility in Himachal Pradesh. The new investment of Rs 150 crore will help increase capacity to 44,500 helmets per day. This, the company says, will help meet the growing market demand for ISI-branded helmets and also add to the company's growth pegged at a CAGR of around 22 percent.
Commenting on the expansion, Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Helmets, said: “We are investing in the plant considering 300,000 people die on Indian roads, as per World Health Organisation reports. According to us though, over a million people die in road accidents because in many states and districts, there is no traffic police and many accidents go unreported."
Steelbird has bought 15,600 square metres of new land adjoining its existing plants. Following completion of the expansion project, the plant will have a total of 600,000 square feet built up area and is expected to be ready by August 2019. The expansion will see the company increase its average helmet production capacity to 44,500 units a day and is expected to add around 2,500 new jobs in the region.
“A helmet is not a simple or easy product to manufacture. It needs huge investments and is both a technology and labour-oriented product. Also, with non-ISI helmets soon to be banned in India, around 200,000 ISI helmets will need to be manufactured annually once this ban takes place, and we are gearing up for the same,” added Kapur.
According to Kapur, while there is a provision under the Motor Vehicles Act for all two-wheeler manufacturers to provide a helmet at the time of purchase of a new two-wheeler, state governments have started enforcing the law in a phased manner.
“At present, helmet usage is mandatory across, India but the law is enforced only in Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur. Soon the government will make helmet usage mandatory and enforce the law across the country. This will lead to huge demand and total demand of ISI helmets in India will be 100 million units annually. The expansion of the plant will help us tap this new opportunity. We will not only improve our helmet offerings but also reinforce our commitment to bring more advanced and innovative products which are at par with international standards,” added Kapur.
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