Italian farm gear co Erreppi Srl scouts for partner, M&M on list

Written by Shweta Bhanot | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 30 2011, 07:44am hrs
In a bid to increase its exports, Italian farm equipment maker Erreppi Srl is scouting for a partner to jointly develop its products in India.

We are open to partnership or technology transfer, said Elena Proietti, marketing manager at the family-owned Erreppi in an interview with FE.

Mahindra & Mahindra has expressed interest for a technology transfer. Erreppi is looking at sourcing components, including differential axle, gear box and steering systems. The company plans to meet other tractor makers, Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) and Sonalika Group, for possible ventures in India.

According to Proietti, a technology joint venture will overcome importation difficulties of the company, which exports 550 units out of the 1,000 units they make in a year.

M&M is interested in the PTO (power takeoff equipment) driven axle trailers technology, Proietti said. The company, now, supplies to key power cultivator and tiller brands like BCS group which includes BCS, Ferrari, Pasquali and Mosa Carraro, Valpadana, Eurosystems Spa and Grillo Spa, among others. PTO is an equipment that is attached to a motor vehicle, powered by a motor, that, in turn, powers the locomotion of the vehicle. It is largely used on mini-tractors and helps movement on hilly areas, even in the rains.

Since we are small, we would like the partner to take a shareholding in our company, said Proietti. The aim is to have an assembly operation in partnership in India, and make the country an export hub for its products. As of now, the company exports to non-European markets like Indonesia, Central America and Africa.

Pravin Shah, CEO, international operations, automotive and farm equipment sectors, M&M, said, We have a significant presence in the Italian region through our subsidiary and some acquisitions. He, however, did not comment on any proposed plans for partnerships or acquisitions.

Last year, M&M had tied-up with Italy-based farm equipment maker Maschio-Gaspardo for the exclusive supply of a complete range of rotary tillage equipment to the Mahindra AppliTrac business. Under the agreement, M&M would launch rotavators manufactured by Maschio exclusively under the Mahindra brand name. Other rotary tillage equipment for planting, seeding, crop care and crop residue management would also be supplied to Mahindra AppliTrac business by Maschio.

M&M has been looking at strengthening its agri-mechanisation products and looking at technological and product tie-ups for it, says Abdul Majeed, auto practice leader at PricewaterCoopers, a consulting firm.