Covering an area of more than three million square kilometers and incorporating 29 federal states, in which more than 1.3 billion people from various ethnic groups and religions live, India is the world’s second most populous country. How has Brabender Technologie managed to gain a successful foothold in a country of this size within a decade?
Brabender Technologie is benefiting from a momentous shift in Indian society towards modern lifestyles and an overall increase in consumption. That is expressed by increased per capita consumption of plastics, which is even set to double in the next five years, and therefore drive plastics industry production volumes higher.
Growth rates in the Indian plastics industry are the world’s highest at 16 percent per annum. According to an Indian plastics industry report, consumption of plastics is set to amount to 20 million tonnes per annum by the year 2020. Great prospects for our Indian subsidiary based in the city of Kolkata, headed up by Anup Biswas, who states: “Brabender Technologie still has so many as yet unexploited opportunities in India, in particular as far as plastics are concerned.”
Before Brabender Technologie opened its own office in one of India’s most important industrial centers, well-known Western global players sold Brabender Technologie machinery to India. Antonio Seising, former Head of Asia Pacific Sales, recalls: “Our engineers had to travel out from Germany for commissioning and maintenance purposes. We therefore soon realized that local service support is a must-have. For this reason, we opened our own office staffed by one salesman and one engineer in December 2007.” Anup Biswas and another local employee provided superb customer care and support. Just three years later another member of staff was employed and the office was granted a power of attorney. “From then on our customers were able to purchase spare parts and pay for services in the Indian currency, the rupee.”
Where the company is today in India shows that this strategic decision was the correct thing to do in the face of increasing competition. Today two employees take care of sales, while three employees handle customer service and three people handle marketing and accounting. Anup Biswas recalls: “We have already achieved a fair amount in the last ten years, of which we can be proud. And we still have ambitious plans.”
The key to success lies in the passion we bring to offering customers the appropriate technology and in the dedication we demonstrate in tackling problems as soon as they arise, says the charismatic General Manager. “Since I have been working here, Brabender Technologie has provided India with more than the usual level of support. That’s what characterizes Brabender Technologie – we all feel like we are part of a family. These resultant bonds and this culture of cooperation and sharing is a unique experience for us in India.”
This service concept that customers in India have come to appreciate about Brabender Technologie will be at the heart of everything the company does in India in future. “Our aspiration is the same today as it will be tomorrow – we want to make a name for ourselves as a problem-solver”, Anup Biswas emphasizes. All service engineers always take sufficient time to discuss customers’ specific problems in detail and to map out solutions that make sense.
Manufacturers operating in the plastics industry are Brabender Technologie’s bread-and-butter customers in India. The company does not want to lose sight of this core business, especially as excellent relationships have been established with industrial partners in India during this period. Seising sums up: “We have maintained a close working relationship with an Indian extruder manufacturer for several years. India is now a great business location for our global players. Even the largest compounder in China has set up a factory in India and is expanding here.”
“In the meantime we have also managed to get a foothold in other industrial sectors like specialty chemicals or the food industry. And developments in the pharmaceutical industry are positive”, Anup Biswas adds. The head of Brabender’s Indian operation believes one issue above all else plays a major role. “We need to incorporate an innovations way of thinking into everything we do in the workplace. We must commit ourselves to change and believe in it. Then we will always be one step ahead of the competition.”