Fuji Electric (FE) is in the process of expanding its manufacturing and research and development (R&D) activities in the country as the Japan-based major in power and power electronics continues its growth strategy for India 2.0 despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.
The planned expansion in Pune and Chennai provides for a cumulative recruitment of around 200 employees in phases, both for manufacturing and for research and development. Investment details were not disclosed.
“Our growth plans for India 2.0 remain broadly the same as we did in November 2019 for Fuji Electric in India. While the pandemic and lockdown have definitely resulted in a short-term delay in our planned activities, we view the current situation as temporary and India remains an attractive target market for Fuji Electric. Therefore, we are continuing all of our investment plans to expand our manufacturing, R&D and product offerings in India, ”Sriram Ramakrishnan, Managing Director of Fuji Electric India, told BusinessLine.
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Fuji Electric in India operates in a wide range of industry segments. The customer segments rebounded at various levels and the healthcare and manufacturing sectors rebounded strongly during the quarter. However, the company expects a full recovery in the second quarter of next year.
To support volume growth, increasing localization and new product launches, the company is expanding its production facilities in Chennai and Pune by 50,000 m² and 75,000 m², respectively. This expansion is being carried out to increase the production capacity of three product categories. Frequency converter (VFD), UPS and solar inverter.
The company will introduce UPS localized data center products manufactured in its Pune unit. These products are currently being manufactured abroad. The company will also launch megawatt-scale solar inverters that come from the same factory. “This will be the first Fuji electrical product developed in India for India. This solar inverter is also exported to regions like the Middle East, ”said Ramakrishnan.
The expansion of production in Chennai includes the ramp-up of the existing plant in Perungudi and the introduction of a new unit which is currently being completed.
In Chennai, ramp-up is planned to manufacture localized VFD products as the company is keen to grow this business with a cost-effective competitive advantage. To support this, a new research and development team has been set up in Chennai for customizations and other requirements. After the Pune Center, which currently employs around 50 people, this is the company’s second research and development facility.
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“We aim to hit the 1,500 crore target by FY 23-24, assuming there will be no further setback due to the pandemic and the Indian market will normalize again by next year (FY 22),” said Ramakrishnan.
In mid-2019, 11-year-old Fuji Electric India acquired Consul Neowatt, a strong player in the Indian UPS product segment with more than four lakh installations in India and abroad. Consul also ran four factories and a research and development center backed by a broad service network and a huge service staff. Fuji said Consul’s low cost manufacturing capabilities will help establish itself as a strong player in the Indian power electronics market.