Power play

Power play

Mahindra Powerol, maker of diesel generating sets, aims to understand and serve its customers better to become a complete solutions provider in the off-grid power applications space

POORNIMA KAVLEKAR

MR. P PALANIAPPAN, SR. VP & BUSINESS HEAD, MAHINDRA POWEROL BUSINESS

“A critical success factor in the genset industry is after-sales service and at Mahindra Powerol, we have a focused customer care team and we follow the policy of ‘customer comes first’,” says P. Palaniappan, senior VP and business head. In fact, the company has won the Frost and Sullivan ‘Voice of Customer’ award in 2010 for being the first choice genset brand in the telecom sector and the ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ genset brand. Mahindra Powerol is a part of the farm equipment division of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), the tractor and utility vehicle major in India. M&M entered the field of power generation in 2001 – 02 under the brand name Mahindra Powerol and this business has grown exponentially to become a Rs. 1,000 crore business by 2009 – 10. Today, engines from Mahindra Powerol are powering diesel generating sets from 2.5kVA to 500 kVA and it clocks a revenue growth of around 12 per cent to 15 per cent every year.

“Recently, we manufactured close to 30,000 sets. During the peak season, in the year 2008 – 09, we manufactured over 50,000 units.”

The customer’s king

In the decade of its being, Mahindra Powerol has sold nearly 2.5 lakh diesel generator (DG) sets.  The company conducts a customer satisfaction study from time to time to gauge customer expectations and chalks out plans to cater to the needs that emerge. It has a service network called MAGIEC (Mahindra Authorised Genset & Industrial Engines Centre). It currently has over 190 service dealers and over 170 sales dealers. “We are the only genset players with over 190 service dealers with a capability to serve anywhere from Leh, Ladakh to Andaman & Nicobar,” adds Palaniappan.

The company, which aims to provide fuel efficient and rugged engines, has its manufacturing facility in Chakan, Maharashtra and New Delhi with a total manufacturing capacity of over 50,000 gensets per annum. “Recently, we manufactured close to 30,000 sets. During the peak season, in the year 2008 – 09, we manufactured over 50,000 units,” says Palaniappan. It sells around 25,000 to 30,000 gensets in a year and is among the top three players in the gensets industry. The gensets sector has a market size of 1.12 lakh numbers (in volumes) and revenue of around Rs.7,000 crore. “And out of this, in volume terms, we are the number two and revenue-wise, enjoy a number three position,” shares Palaniappan.

Right positioning

Mahindra Powerol has positioned its product as a consumer durable unlike its peers in the industry. “We are the first company in the power generator sector to showcase and make the products available through exclusive showrooms across all the major cities and towns of India,” says Palaniappan. So far, it has over 70 branded showrooms in India. The company has also adopted an unconventional look for its products. It has introduced a dual tone colour scheme and has moved away from the conventional white colour. Mahindra Powerol has also developed Mahindra Powerol Plaza (MPP), which is a one-stop-shop for all power needs. MPP is designed to work on ‘hub & spoke’ concept. The hub is the MPP and the spokes are the service dealers (MAGIECs) attached to the MPP. MPP will be providing four basic support functions to the authorised service dealers namely, spares warehousing, a state-of-the-art repair facility for engine, a training facility and a DG sales outlet.

Mahindra Powerol’s client list includes many big players in the telecom industry like Indus Towers, Airtel, Idea, Tata Tele, Vodafone, Nokia, BSNL and MTNL. “Mahindra Powerol is a market leader in the telecom cell site segment for the last four years,” says Palaniappan.  Apart from the telecom sector, its gensets also serve customers from sectors such as hospitals, hotels, banks, PSUs and manufacturing units.

New launches

The company has launched its inverters and home UPS in February 2010. These products are now available in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Bihar, and the capacity ranges from 250VA to 5kVA. Presently, there are four-series available in the market – Eco, Eco-plus, Hi-Speed and Intelli. The Intelli series is the most advanced series with features like real-time battery backup display. “This is a first timer in the field of home-UPS in India,” adds Palaniappan.  It also comprises an intelligent charging algorithm, a holiday mode to save power and also a wiring check feature.

SnapShot

MAHINDRA POWEROL
Founder: A part of farm equipment division of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the tractor and utility vehicle major in India
Year: 2002
City: Mumbai
Turnover growth: 12 per cent – 15 per cent growth annually

Recently, it has also launched biodiesel gensets. “It is now in testing stage. In case of any requirement by our telecom customers, we will consider using it for commercial purposes,” says Palaniappan. It has introduced DGs with Mahindra Navistar engines up to a range of 200kVA with CRDi technology.

Future plans

With its focus on its retail business, the company is concentrating on mass markets. And to cater to this market, the company wants to expand its DG product range in the next few years. It has started undertaking turnkey projects for DG sets from 500kVA to 3000kVA. “We take complete responsibility of supply, installation and commissioning of DG Sets,” says Palaniappan. The projects are mostly for industries such as infrastructure, real estate and heavy industries.

Apart from the domestic market, the company is also focused on building its brand globally. It currently has a presence in Latin America, Asia and Africa. And to achieve this, other than mainline advertising, Mahindra Powerol participates in exhibitions in India and the overseas market, where it gets acquainted with its potential target audience that comprises mostly institutional buyers, apart from the telecom sector.

Even as India’s economy is on track and industries such as real estate and infrastructure are seeing a growth surge, the nation is plagued by acute power shortages and uncertain power availability, and Mahindra Powerol is well poised to take advantage of the resultant demand for DG sets.


WHAT NEXT?

  • Expand its DG product range
  • Undertakes turnkey projects
  • Focused on building its brand globally