Karcher announces India subsidiary
By establishing its fully-owned subsidiary in India in April this year, Alfred Karcher GmbH& Co. KG has been stepping up expansion of its countrywide dealer and service network to have better customer relationship throughout the country. Unveiling the company’s India plans in New Delhi recently, Hermut Jenner, Chief Executive Officer, Karcher Group said that India with its fast infrastructure development and increasing & diverse cleaning needs, very different from other countries, held tremendous potential for Karcher.
The company is poised to provide innovative machines to the cleaning needs of various sectors – hotels, hospitals, office buildings, public places, railway stations, ports, roads etc. “The Indian market is still strong in the B2B sector which is over 95% of the total cleaning market. While consolidating our presence in this area, we also plan to get into the B2C sector gradually.” Jenner said that the strategy would be to focus on establishing the Karcher brand by investing in efficient distribution, quick after sales service and above all in making the customers happy. Jenner believes that though the Indian market is not very big, it is a growing market offering wide opportunities.
With the establishment of Karcher India, Manmachine India, with its 127 employees, has joined the Karcher group. Anil Sethi and Stephen Ede are the Managing Directors. “Each country has its own culture and systems and we believe that Indian staff is best suited to run the Indian subsidiary,” said Jenner.
Karcher has collaborated for more than 10 years with Manmachine India which has built up a sales and service network with trading partners and branches. At the press meet to announce the formal launch of Karcher India, Anil Sethi who established Manmachine in 1987, said that this association will help achieve great heights both in terms of business and relationships.
Karcher provides innovative solutions like pressure washers, vacuums and steam cleaners, dry ice blasting machines, sweepers, scrubber driers, car washes, cleaning agents and domestic water dispensers & pumps. “We have now launched two innovative lines of products – “eco!ogic” for B2C sector and “eco!efficiency” for B2B sector. These eco product lines provide special environmental features. For example, the “eco!ogic” pressure washers are made of 60% recycled material, are more than 90% recycable and do not contain any PVC and phthalates. Furthermore, they can be runned in a special eco mode that saves energy and water. “Eco!efficiency” means low consumption of energy and high cleaning efficiency. For example, Karcher has developed the 750 watts vacuum T 12/1 eco!efficiency (normally a professional vacuum is 1400+ watts). The energy consumption is 40% less while the cleaning efficiency is 98% compared to conventional vacs. In addition, the device is very quiet to run – it has only 56dB(A).”
Said Anil Sethi, “Though Karcher is catering to 12 different sectors worldwide, in India we will be limiting ourselves to the five sectors and we want to do that well. We are into institutional sector, servicing hotels, hospitals, office buildings, etc., and going into manufacturing industry which is our second biggest target group. We are into automotive and car garages. Our services have been standardised with many companies – Tata Motors, Mahindra, Mercedez, Nissan… We are also with the government sector. As with the Railways, we have been quite successful in the South. Karcher ride-on scrubbers and sweepers are deployed for the cleaning of platforms. We are taking building service contractors separately which we see as the largest target group. With nine branches across the country, the company wants to stabilise these five sectors and then add more step by step.”
Karcher machines are also being deployed in a number of public places so that the public is made aware of the advantages of mechanised cleaning. Training programmes are conducted in schools and in hotel management institutes.
Based in Winnenden, near Stuttgart, Germany, Karcher currently has 70 subsidiaries and more than 8,000 employees in 50 countries. In 2010, the group posted sales of Euro 1.5 billion, and sold 7.3 million machines, the highest in its 75 years in business. “Karcher provides 2700 different products and every country in the world has at least one of our products,” added Jenner.
“Innovation is our main focus and 650 technicians are engaged in developing new solutions. Karcher places high value for quality. We inspect every product and give equal importance to spare parts too.”
With increased thrust on developing customer proximity and high service standards, Karcher India hopes to be the number one cleaning company in the country.