John Crane to invest Rs 10 cr in India annually

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US-based rotating equipment and engineered technologies provider John Crane has committed to invest at least ‎£1 million (Rs 9.34 crore) in the Indian market every year, over the next five years, in a bid to expand plant capacity and manpower.

Talking to DH on Wednesday, John Crane Managing Director (Asia Pacific) Philippe Lambert said, "Our plans largely include increasing our engineering capability, and manpower in India. Today, we have around 350 employees in India, and we will add around 50 employees each year."

The company, which is a subsidiary of the UK's Smiths Group, inaugurated an upgraded gas seal repair and test facility in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

"We're investing in new machine capacity that will be implemented in the second semester of this year. We will also install seven CNC machines and add 14 operators. In India, Bengaluru is the main headquarters, apart from nine locations across the country. Our next expansion will be in Pune, where we will develop the capability to manufacture and serve local OEMs," Lambert said.

Last year, John Crane invested around ‎£500,000 in the Bengaluru facility, and it has an approved investment of ‎£1.5 million towards the said new machines.

John Crane India, which offers a range of products such as seals, mechanical pumps, compressors, and filters, among others, serves a series of sectors like power, automotive, energy, and so on. In India, the niche market in which it operates is estimated at ‎£80 million, with the latter's share at 15%.

"India is a key actor in our global operations. In Bengaluru, we have different activities. Firstly, we serve the local market. Our manufacturing capability enables us to supply components to few markets abroad," he said.

As of now, Europe plays a key role in the company's exports to the APAC region. In the coming months, however, John Crane eyes shifting at least 40% of that export opportunity to India.

At £885 million, the company employs 7,000 people worldwide, across 200 centres. John Crane India's business stands at £15 million, representing 15% of the sales in Asia, and is forecast to grow 10-15% over the coming years.

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