For ABB, India is on the way to becoming an export hub | business | Hindustan Times
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For ABB, India is on the way to becoming an export hub

India is shaping up as an export hub for power equipment and automation global major ABB, which is foraying into Africa, besides being a promising supply base for traditional strongholds such as Europe and West Asia. Manu P Toms and Sachin Dave reports.

business Updated: Jan 22, 2012 22:39 IST
Manu P Toms and Sachin Dave

India is shaping up as an export hub for power equipment and automation global major ABB, which is foraying into Africa, besides being a promising supply base for traditional strongholds such as Europe and West Asia.

"ABB's global plan is to make India an export hub," Bazmi R. Husain, managing director, ABB India told Hindustan Times. "Everybody talks about Africa as next growth destination. We have people stationed in Africa (from our) employees in India."

The $35-billion ABB's 1,000 man R&D centre in Bangalore (its largest), its 14 manufacturing locations in the country and a strong investment pipeline at Rs 500 crore a year, power its domestic as well as export growth.

"Our overall export is a little less than 15% of our total revenue. We see that growing," he said. The company added a new production line for miniature circuit breakers, a key component in electricity supply, with the capacity to make 25 million units a year, mostly for exports.

"Some of the equipment we make only in two countries - Germany and India," he said.

In December, ABB bagged a Rs 4,000-crore order from Power Grid Corporation to deliver an ultra-high voltage direct transmission system, the 1,700-km link that will supply hydelpower from the north-east to the Agra region.

Husain said this link, to be commissioned by 2014-15, is "the biggest of its kind" in the world. "Our overall game plan in India is to save 215 MW energy every year by reducing transmission loss," he said.

ABB India's July-September quarter net profit was Rs 22 crore and revenue Rs 1,726 crore. "In 2008-09 we went into a bit of rough time," said Husain. "We exited loss making rural electrification business and indigenised product development. Traditionally our margins are 8-10% and we will be back to that."