Bangalore: Leading Swiss firm StarragHeckert Holding AG is poised to set up a $31-million (Rs.150.4-crore) machine tool manufacturing plant in India and is considering locations in Bangalore, Pune and Chennai, a company official said.
The firm has already set up a wholly-owned Indian subsidiary - StarragHeckert Machine Tools Ltd and will launch operations in two phases. The first phase will see the company invest $6 million (Rs29.7 crore) and then $25 million (Rs124 crore) in the second phase.
When complete, by 2010, both the phases are expected to generate about 300 jobs.
"We will set up an assembly and manufacturing unit followed by a world-class machinery facility subsequently. Initially, we will import kits in SKD (semi-knocked down) and CKD (completely knocked down) conditions and scale up manufacturing as we build volume," chief executive Frank Brinken said.
The company's advanced precision milling machines are famed and widely employed in the energy, aerospace, automotive and transport, and precision machine sectors.
StarragHeckert products have been marketed in India over the last four decades under the brand name 'WMW.'
"Though we have exported about 28,000 machines over the last 40 years across sectors we see a huge potential to tap, as about 70 percent of the machines installed in India are still imported," Brinken said.
Leading original equipment manufacturers such as Ashok Leyland, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bajaj, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Hero Honda, Mahindra, Siemens, Tata, TVS, Winergy and defence organisations are some of the major importers of StarragHeckert tools and machines.
According to Brinken, the market for high precision machine tools in India is estimated to be about $150 million.
Company officials also contended that there would be a 20-30 per cent price reduction in WMW tools and machines when they eventually roll out of a StarragHeckert plant in India.