Providing the right product at right time for right application is the key to drive Gates success
Key strengths of Gates Corporation
With over 14,000 employees across 106 locations in 30 countries and 50 manufacturing facilities worldwide, Gates Corporation is committed to advancing the science of motion performance by developing safe, forward-thinking products, services, systems and solutions. The company has its presence in India for the last 20 years and today employs over1,400 people. With four manufacturing facilities, Gates is offering its solutions through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and also catering to aftermarket requirements. Gates in India offers Fluid Power and Power Transmission products and solutions and is constantly expanding their portfolio and network to service the customers. Commenting on the company’s key strengths, TS Khoo, President East Asia & India, Gates said, “The relationship and partnerships with customers are rock solid, and they produce tremendous returns. Trust and reliability is what we abound. Our Investment in our employees is of importance to us, which we value the most for creating a strong company identity and culture. The mutual respect, belief, loyalty, commitment and trust are few of the traits of the culture prevailing in our organisation.”
Gates interest in India Region
Growth of Gates business in India is really interesting. “We partner with most of the global brands. Gates strength is in teaming up and working closely with OEMs and replacement market. We therefore leverage on brand, network, global R&D to drive growth in India and today we the preferred partner of choice by our customers,” said Rajesh Bhandari, Managing Director Gates, India. “We continue to develop very high quality products and now we are in much more better position to be ready to tap on growth in India region.” Bhandari has been recently appointed as Managing Director for both the Power Transmission and Fluid Power business.
Gates India’s vision of US $150 mn by 2020 and its roadmap
Having a strong global R&D capability for product development has enabled Gates to have dynamic and competent presence in India. With support of India’s functional technical expertise, the company is having a substantial footprint in market today. “Our vision to reach $150 million turnover in India by 2020,” reveals Khoo. Highlighting the company’s roadmap to drive business, he adds, “Working closely with customers and providing the right product available at right time for right application is the key to drive success. One of our major strategies to support our customers is through amalgamation of both businesses. We are focused to leverage on brand, network and R&D to drive our growth in India.”
Explaining the company’s India-specific strategies further, Bhandari said, “With many developments and new projects coming up in India, there is a good scope going forward. To support 100 smart cities project, we are in development stage of mapping our distribution channel to identify opportunities. In automotive space, we are at initial development stage with two top OEMs in two-wheeler segment. In industrial segment, capital equipment is another rapidly growing area along with the excavator space in India which we are looking as an area of focus.”
The Gates philosophy is of having products which shall look and perform the same across the globe. To cater to its customers, the company has two ranges of products. The premium range of products lasts for 2 to 2.5 times higher than the stated specifications and on the other hand, the fit-for-purpose product line meets the required specifications.
All the products in India get developed at the R&D centre in Lalru and are approved by the Customer Solution Centre at Denver. “Our products are highly robust as they are designed considering the extreme conditions of environment. We have products suitable for extreme summers in India while we have a range suitable for cold freeze countries too. We are able to scale up as our customers scale up globally. Total cost of ownership is one of the important key drivers that differentiate us,” said Khoo.
Talking about what helps Gates in maintaining its market leadership, Bhandari said, “Our customers differentiate us for our technology and products which meets their requirement in local market condition. Our internal manufacturing capabilities with the external partnership are key aspects for achieving the competitive advantage. Our continuous innovation with over 2,500 patents has put us in very strong position in existing market. The other thing is capability in terms of meeting product specifications.”
Gates products portfolio in India
Looking ahead, Gates would like to pursue a range of new growth initiatives, ranging from refining the quality and variety of products, streamlining customer service, and focusing on globalisation to cater to customer expansion, while still maintaining regional excellence. In India, the company has been servicing industries like energy, exploration and extraction, infrastructure and agriculture, transportation, automotive and processing and specialty. Moving forward, Gates would focus on stationary equipment, mining and construction equipment markets.
For Gates, a lot of things are in development stage. “On industrial product side few new hoses are coming up. Trials for one of its unique kind, 6,000 PSI hose with 4-wire braid, has been successfully done and is on field testing. We would be formally launching it in coming few months with which customers will get benefitted,” informs Bhandari.
Having the presence in heavy-duty equipment on fluid power side, Gates is working with automotive makers on two-wheelers and four-wheelers in parallel. On the automotive side, BSG (Belt Starter Generator) technology is one and a few more will be introduced soon.
“We are also able to bring the global technology to India in alignment to the products and price as per local market conditions. We do not compromise in quality in order to have the competitive pricing but use our technology to drive cost down,” assures Khoo.
Setting trends in Indian OEM and replacement market
Globally, Gates is servicing major players in industries like automotive, construction equipment, mining, drilling rigs, stationary equipment, and agriculture. Over the years, the company has established itself as an OE-fit. “We work on real time extreme conditions to provide OEMs total hydraulic and power transmission solutions. We are not only a product provider but a solution provider. To increase lifecycle and product performance of OEs we support them with application engineering by routing right product at right application and hence we are progressively leading in the market,” elucidates Khoo.
Gates is well-positioned in industrial replacement market. However, in automotive replacement market it is at early stages. “As a technology oriented company, we in automotive space are focusing our technologies into mapping of vehicles in terms of its life cycle, usage and durability,” updates Bhandari.
Mining industry being one of the crucial segments where meantime between failures is high has been focus area for Gates. It offers proper routing, application engineering expertise and providing solutions to increase uptime by four times. In India, there is a trend of improper usage of products to a great extent. Keeping this in mind, Gates makes products suitable for extreme conditions to serve its customers better. “We always insist on system buying to derive the maximum benefits out of it rather than buying hoses and coupling separately,” said Bhandari.
Khoo adds, “In automotive we are setting benchmark on longevity of replacement of belts required. As technology leader, we are getting into BSG technology to support the OEMs. For high end vehicle, we have specialised QMT belts where we have first mover advantage on technology differentiation.”
GST and its business impact
Gates India optimistically looks forward to GST implementation in India. According to Bhandari, it will help business with numerous benefits and will widen market for organised players like us rather unorganised players who don’t pay taxes. He said, “GST will help in simplifying operations and logistics across all states in India with one tax regime.”
Khoo adds, “With innovation in business models, GST implementation will allow us further to be responsive to our customers’ sales and service through seamless transportation of our solutions across states.”
TS Khoo, President East Asia & India, Gates (Left) with Rajesh Bhandari, Managing Director Gates, India