Minda is a tier-1 auto component
supplier which manufactures two-wheeler switches and handle bar assemblies,
electronics and sensors, four-wheeler switches and heater control panels, cigar
lighters, automotive lamps, automotive horns, alternate fuel systems and
CNG-LPG kits, automotive batteries, blow moulding components, seat belts, alloy
wheels, wheel covers, air filtration systems, die casting components, SRC,
cylinders, steering wheels, airbags, fuel caps, body sealing, car infotainment
systems, air brakes, clutch actuation systems and automatic gear shifters for
Are you expecting any uptake in
orders from the OEMs in the foreseeable future?
SW: This is a question
which nobody could answer today. Everyone (carmakers) is counting on the upcoming
festive season. And let’s see how things shape up. We are also enhancing our
presence in the CV segment where we have focussed less as of now.
As the rupee depreciates against the
dollar, are you working on enhanced localisation in your product lines?
SJ: Yes, the rupee depreciation has definitely led
to a hike in prices of our products as well as of the vehicle makers’. But
there is an opportunity in this. And as you pointed out in the question,
localisation is the answer to that even though we don’t import much. That is a continuous process. With the rupee
depreciation, the whole process has been pre-poned. As more localisation
exercises will be carried out, we stand to benefit as a domestic supplier. At
the same time, we are looking forward to enhance our exports as well.
SW: Barring some electronic components like
diodes or capacitors, most of our other products like switches are developed
in-house. We are investing very heavily on tool rooms for the last 15 years. We have done the entire validation for all
our product lines. Those are the heavy investments which are paying us off
today. So all these process are helping
us during the Rupee devaluation.
Have you scaled back your expansion
SJ: We have been reviewing our short-term, medium-term
and long-term plans. Even though there are short-term headwinds, the
investments that we have already committed are going on as per our original
75-100 crore will be invested by us.
Are you looking at more inorganic
SJ: As you are aware, UNO Minda has acquired
Clarton Horn S.A.U., Spain from PMAn Domestic AG, an entity affiliated to
Quantum Kapital on April 15, 2013.The estimated cost of the acquisition is Euro
7.5 million approx. An acquisition of such kind is made keeping certain long
term objectives of the organisation in mind. Accordingly, the target companies
are identified. So we just don’t intend to increase the turnover or add new
geographies. The ultimate objective of the acquisition is to bag new clients and
source next-generation technology or to achieve design capabilities. By meeting
these objectives, you can fill in the gaps wherever necessary. So if there is
any such opportunity, we will definitely look at it.
Would you consider coming up with a
dedicated brand name for your aftermarket vertical?
SW: It depends on our
product lines. In future, we can put product specific branding in the
aftermarket. But we have ‘UNO Minda’ as the principal brand. We are focussing on the aftermarket in a
bigger way. However, we are still in the drawing board stage for the leapfrog.
Is there any key initiative that you
have taken in your existing product lines?
SW: Yes, we are working
on weight-reduction of our product lines. Light weighting our portfolio is well
appreciated by our clients. We are working in a collaborative manner with the
OEMs to reduce the weight of the car which will ultimately enhance the fuel
efficiency of their vehicles. We have also started working on airbags for the
CV industry. By the end of next year, we have a plan to put up the project.
That should really boost our presence in the CV segments.
How difficult will it be for you to
crack the upcoming car infotainment biz?
SW: Fujitsu, our JV
partner, is a renowned brand worldwide. This would help enhance our product
range and quality. Fujitsu in fact is the largest supplier to Toyota worldwide.
Then is the pricing, we have put up a manufacturing unit in the country which
will ensure that our products are priced competitively. In fact, we are the first
company to locally produce car infotainment systems.
Will you be supplying your products
to the Datsun brand?
SW: As far as the
Datsun brand is concerned, many of our existing products have gone into it.
They are switches, horns, headlamps, tail lamps and other parts. We have been
nominated as their key supplier in their future line-up too. We have also
invested sizeable sums in Indonesia and Vietnam for building a plant, etc. So
that plant be supplying to the made-in-Indonesia Datsun products too.
What is the turnover that you are
eyeing for the UNO-Minda Group?
SJ: We are looking to
clock a turnover of 10,000 crore in the next 4-5 years. More than that, we
would like to be considered as a benchmarked company in the domestic auto
component industry. So the quality of operations would be in tune with global
standards. And at least 25pc of the Group turnover should come from the
international business that comprises both exports and overseas operations. The
aftermarket vertical will constitute about 15pc (at 1,500 crore) of the
aforesaid amount by 2017-18.
And lastly, any plans to go for an
SJ: No, there are no
such thoughts for an IPO in the immediate future.