Nichrome India Limited, after successfully making a mark in the domestic packaging machines sector for liquids and solids, has now set its sights on the overseas market. On the anvil are a collaboration with a German company, a spare parts activity centre in Dubai, and a focussed attempt to make its mark in the Latin American market.
Nichrome India, set up in 1948, has been serving the food, pharma and dairy industries with indigenously developed packaging machines. It introduced the first indigenous vertical form-fill seal machine in 1977 to pack milk in pouches. Later on, other machines to pack free flowing products, viscous products and liquids were developed. It has currently developed an aseptic pouch packaging machine. (Read, Nichrome launches aseptic pouch packaging machine)
Its core competency lies in packaging machines, both automatic and semi-automatic, including four-line seal machines, high speed multi-track, stick pack, cartoning, and even horizontal packing machines.
The company supplies machines to both Indian and multinational companies like Procter & Gamble, Cadburys, Glaxo, Hindustan Lever, Dabur India, Tata Tea, Bayer, Godrej Pillsbury, Haldiram, NDDB and Nestle India.
In 1997, the company sold majority equity to Tetra Pak, with a view to gain from Tetra Pak's worldwide marketing clout. With the plans not working out, the partnership was dissolved and Nichrome bought back its shares from Tetra Pak.
The tie-up with the German company (whose name the management was unwilling to disclose at this stage) will involve a unique give-and-take arrangement. While Nichrome will source technology for high-speed baggers and servo driven auger fillers from the German company, it will, in turn, offer engineering and after-sales service to the German company. Thus, wherever the German company sells its machines, Nichrome engineers will provide the installation and after sales services.
"Just as in the area of information technology, where we (India) benefit from our abundant availability of skilled manpower, India has a vast pool of engineering skills. In addition, with our experience in developing indigenous machines, we are able to offer quality services with a competitive edge," says Mr. S V Joshi, managing director of Nichrome India.
The company is also in the process of setting up a spare parts center at Dubai, to ensure better logistics while servicing the international market.
It has set up dedicated agent-distributor networks in the SAARC countries -- Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka -- the Middle East countries like UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the African continent. The company has major operations in Ukraine with over 100 installations. Nichrome exports machines to over 30 countries, primarily in the developing world.
"The next big step will be Latin America," says Mr. Joshi." The conditions there are similar to that of India -- a large population, similar milk and food consumption patterns, and the need for cost effective technology". He expects the Latin American market to contribute substantially to the company's revenues in a year's time.
According to Mr. Joshi, the focussed thrust into the international market will account for a quarter of its revenues coming from export earnings this year. Out of a total expected turnover of Rs 24 crore for fiscal 2000-2001, the company expects to earn Rs 6 crore from its overseas activity.
also see : Nichrome launches aseptic pouch packaging machine