Educating the customer about quality
Since its inception in 1984, Satellite Plastic Industries has lived up to the customer expectations. Kindly tell us how has been the journey so far?
Satellite Plastic Industries was established primarily as an Agency Business selling European Technology to Indian Customers. We started in a modest way selling machines for PVC Pipe Industry and gradually increased the range of our machine to ancillaries and equipment related to Extrusion. Since 1984, we have sold more than 500 Machines to leading customers in India which include Reliance Industries Ltd., Supreme Industries Ltd., Jain Irrigation, just to name a few.
In 2003, we started our first Joint Venture Manufacturing Unit with Gamma Meccanica, Italy to produce Extrusion Recycling Lines in India. Thereafter, we have added two more Joint Ventures including the most recent with Borghi Spa., Italy to produce Brush Tufting Machines. Our Manufacturing Unit is located at Vasai but will be relocated at a new state of art production facility at Kalyan by the end of the year.
Since the inception, we never compromised on the quality of the machine supplied by us and to support the same we provided excellent after sales service with a dedicated team of engineers.
Why did you extend your business to extrusion as well?
Since we have been specialising in Extrusion related machines, our advent into brush making machine seems to be a sort of diversion from our present business. This is partially true because brush machinery is somewhat different to extrusion. We studied the market and realised that the customers are the same as brush producers also require recycling machines, and so on. Moreover, the demand for brushes has grown four folds in the last two to three years. Several international brands are investing money in the housekeeping and cleaning business. Hygiene has become very important in our daily life. People are now aware of the importance of hygiene and clean environment. This has resulted in a spurt in demand for products related to the household, hygiene and cleaning Industry.
What are the new machines launched? How are you spreading awareness about the products?
At the moment we have only launched the Basic Brush Tufting Machine with two versions – 3 Axis and 4 Axis to make a wide range of industrial and household brushes. We have already participated at the Clean India Pulire 2012 Exhibition in Mumbai and the Plastindia 2012 exhibition in New Delhi this year. Besides, our Italian Principals have displayed a wide range of machines at the recently concluded Interbrush 2012 at Frieburg in Germany. We now look forward to our participation at Clean India 2012 in Bangalore later this year. Besides the above we offer live demo to potential customers on our Pilot Plant at our factory in Vasai.
Do you have an in house R&D set up?
Research and Development is an ongoing process at Borghi, Italy. After the recent Interbrush 2012, our customers had the opportunity to visit Borghi in Italy and get a first hand feel of the manufacturing facilities, where they could witness the development work being done and the rigorous test undertaken on new models developed from time to time. At Borghi, people are trained to ensure good quality of each machine keeping economical production in mind. A customer would therefore benefit in several ways through savings in raw material, higher production and above all savings in power consumption.
What are the plans in terms of expansion and enhancing production capacity?
Within our group we have two processing units for manufacturing finished products primarily for exports. In the last four years, we have established three Joint Ventures with three Italian companies whom we already represented in the past as agents. With the success of these ventures, we have been receiving several offers from other Principals to start joint manufacturing facilities in India. We prefer to give justice to our present Joint Ventures and our overseas partners rather than jumping into several activities without stabilizing the present activities. At the moment, we want to consolidate our position with the existing product line and new ventures would be considered after a couple of years.
With the evolving cleaning sector and changing customer preferences, what are the challenges you face?
The biggest challenge is to educate the Indian consumer in choosing the product of good quality at economical prices. Several producers of Clean and Hygiene products offer cheap and lousy products either made on Chinese machines or with outdated technology. Since there is a parallel market which exists in India where customer prefers cheap products, it becomes a challenge to educate the customer. In this effort, the industry as a whole should discipline themselves and offer good quality at reasonable prices thereby giving very little option to the customer to buy cheap quality products.