The Metalworld has published an interview of Parag Bhandare Executive Director AKP Ferrocast (P) Ltd Joint Managing Director AKP Foundries (P) Ltd in its latest issue.
Here are some excerpts –
How is the foundry sector performing in the Belagavi cluster, Can you give an overview?
The foundries were performing well until Feb 2019. As of now, it has been badly hit by the recession and policy decisions of the government in the banking as well as the automotive sector.
As the Automotive industry is seeing a downturn in demand, how much it is going to affect the foundry industry?
Yes. A major impact is on most of the foundries (over 70% of the installed capacity of Indian Foundries) catering to the Auto sector like cars, HCV, etc and also the agriculture segment like tractors are badly hit. Also, the government’s focus on EV in the future ahead is going to impact foundries in a major way. With the government focus on EV by 2025-2030 has also put the major employer which is the auto sector in fix as well as MSME into a limo. Almost 2.5 – 3 crore jobs will be at stake if this happens. Even the developed countries like USA and Germany etc are taking this on a stagewise basis.
What is the estimated size of the foundry sector in Belagavi region, and what support you expect from the Indian government to make this sector more viable?
We are roughly 2% of the total production of the country manufacturing around 0.25 to 0.4 million tons per annum. We are the largest manufacturers of castings in Karnataka and also the largest exporter in the state. We would need the interest levels of the finance to go down to below 7% and also extend duty drawback benefits for the export to around 8%. This will boost exports and also we can be more competitive in the world market.
AKP Ferrocast and Foundries are in the industry since 1978 for over 41 years in business. They are having a production capacity of over 26000 tons/annum catering to HCV, construction equipment CE, valves, engines, compressors, and power. They supply castings in fully finished condition including CNC machining, painting, assemblies etc. Their major customers include JCB, Cummins, CAT, GE, MAN, CNH, TAFE, Emerson, Wartsila and other MNC companies catering locally as well as their locations around the globe. They have a dedicated export division in place, and our export business is around 30% and 70% we sell in the domestic market.