Danfoss India’s president Ravichandran Purushothaman takes us through the company’s progress in India, its contribution towards making in India and outlook for the future
Danfoss India, a company focussed on climate and energy efficient engineering solutions, is a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Denmark-based, Danfoss Group. The company meets the growing need for infrastructure, food supply, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions with its technologies finding applications in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. Specifically, Danfoss is a manufacturer of valves and fluid handling components for various HVAC and industrial applications.“We engineer energy efficient and climate friendly technologies that enable the world to do more with less,” explains Ravichandran Purushothaman, president, Danfoss India and vice-chairman, CII Tamil Nadu.
Since the time it started its operations in India primarily as a sales company selling global products in India, it has witnessed steady growth and has scaled up to become an 800 people strong organisation with a turnover of around US $120 million. Established in 1998, Danfoss is headquartered in Chennai with a nation-wide sales and support network comprising of 10 offices, a manufacturing unit, R&D centre, and a strong network of channel partners. The company is also active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities.
Growing in India
Launching its Rs. 500 crore manufacturing, R&D and administrative facility in Chennai (Oragadam) was, perhaps, the biggest milestone for Danfoss since starting up operations in the country. This unit caters to the needs of the Indian market and also exports to other countries. In line with its vision on energy efficiency and its own climate strategy, the plant also includes a solar power plant which generates 1MW of electricity, sufficient to power 10 per cent of electricity requirements of the campus. No wonder its manufacturing facility recently received a LEED Platinum rating certifying it as a green and sustainable set up.
The company also has a R&D team which develops products for India and global markets and has a complete supply chain to meet its requirements. It has also created a strong ecosystem of suppliers, as a result, India has now become a sourcing point and its target is to increase sourcing five times over the next three years. “While the general trend is to import from China, across sectors, we are exporting to China,” states a proud Purushothaman.
The company’s technologies have enhanced profit earning capacity of farmers in the field of dairy, agriculture and horticulture by means of efficient heating and cooling techniques. “Improving the socio-economic status of farmers in our country, gaining trust and earning confidence of our customers is perhaps the milestone that we cherish,” states the leader.
Making in India
“At Danfoss, we kick-started our own “Make in India” initiative two years ago,” says Purushothaman. There were two key aspects that triggered this initiative – the tremendous potential for growth and thrust given by the government for the manufacturing sector.
Danfoss has a three-pronged approach to making in india: first is to make in india for the indian market, second is to make in india for the rest of the world, and third is to make components in india for application in global innovations.
Danfoss has a three-pronged approach to make in India: First is to make in India for the Indian market, second is to make in India for the rest of the world, and third is to make components in India for application in global innovations. It thrives to make India the manufacturing hub for energy efficient solutions. In India, Danfoss is constantly engaged in improving skilling across the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors due to a huge skill gap present in the market. Aiming to improve the skilling scenario in the country, Danfoss has set up refrigeration, air-conditioning and advanced drives laboratories across various colleges in India including YMCA Faridabad, VIT College and College of Engineering, Pune to give hands on approach to future talent.
Having built a strong ecosystem of suppliers, the company is evaluating more products to be made in India. Its Oragadam facility is not only used for manufacturing products but also doubles up as an innovation centre for its customers where ingenious technologies can be replicated at a global level, if the need arises.
Danfoss India setup a psychrometric lab that helps companies in the refrigeration space test their products for energy efficiency standards and achieve third party certifications.
India is one of the largest producers of milk, but we have not yet tapped the full potential it offers due to lack of cooling and processing infrastructure. OptymaTM Slim Pack condensing unit is equipped with Danfoss components that are optimised to work together in a smart way to obtain high performance and stability. The company also brings to India refrigeration systems and components that are tailor made for the Indian grapes industry.
India, next only to China, is the leading producer of fish – both from marine and inland fishing – in the world. The revenue potential this offers to local fisher communities and businessmen is astounding, if only the right cold storage infrastructure is made available closer to the fishing centres. Danfoss’ technology for the Indian fisheries industry ensures proper cooling and offers upto 35 per cent reduction in power bills.
As far as investments go, it has put in US $100 million in India with many focus areas. For instance, it aims to realise the huge growth potential in India where it can help develop the cold chain so that food loss is limited and save energy in buildings and industry, so demand can be met and sustainable cities created. It also manufactures products that can also cater to the export market. Apart from tapping the local talent pool, Danfoss is actively spreading its reach through a ‘Reach Out’ program which aims at catering to the demand from smaller markets in India.
Where to from here?
Indian manufacturing sector is poised for growth and is all set to become the third-largest economy in the world by 2030. Government thrust towards Make in India has encouraged investments in the food processing and cold chain segments. Getting into specifics, Purushothaman says, “I see a huge opportunity in reverse engineering which basically means customising globally available technology to meet requirements of local customers. This gives the additional value that customers are looking for and addresses specific pain points for them.” “Additionally, measures such as 100 per cent FDI in food processing will be a growth driver for the manufacturing sector, if implemented effectively,” opines he.
This apart, focus on R&D will contribute positively towards energy security and recognising this, Danfoss invests 4.3 per cent of its net sales into innovation globally. “The investment in the R&D and Psychrometric lab in India will support innovation and help our customers in developing equipment for the existing and new energy efficiency standards,” says Purushothaman on a concluding note.