KBX Forays Into New Business

Pune, July 27 | Updated: Jul 28 2004, 05:48am hrs
Brakes, being a critical safety component, are the last things OEMs would outsource and Indian automobile companies have started doing that, says Satish Sekhri, MD, Kalyani Brakes Ltd. In three years, almost all of them will be doing following, adds Mr Sekhri.

Kalyani Brakes (KBX) has just moved up this value chain. From being just a component supplier, the company has now ventured into product development and system integration. Kalyani has executed two such projects for four-wheeler OEMs in the country. Mr Sekhri expects a jump in this activity and expanding its design, testing and validation capabilities.

However, this demand will be restricted to domestic companies and it will take some time for Indian companies to break into the international market. But component exports is expected to grow. KBX will be doubling exports every year, says Mr Sekhri. In addition to the US and Europe, KBX is hoping to start exports to Japan. The company has bagged two trial orders from Robert Bosch Japan. Last year, the companys exportes were at Rs 17.6 crore.

Another change in the market for the brakes manufacturer was increasing speed of vehicles and reduced braking effort for the driver. Kalyani Brakes has introduced a tandem vacuum booster which calls for reduced effort. These brakes have gone into the Mahindra Scorpio and will now be available to other customers too, says Mr Sekhri.

The company would be investing Rs 31 crore this year in upgradation. This includes the countrys first automatic robotic pouring system for enhancing its gravity die casting capabilities for aluminium brakes at its Jalgaon foundry.

The company has posted a 32 per cent growth in Q1 of 2004-05 with a sales of Rs 87 crore and a PAT of Rs 5.9 crore. Last year, KBX topline grew by 36 per cent to Rs 338 crore while profits went up 62 per cent to Rs 26 crore

KBX Retrofit Kits
For motorcycle enthusiasts who have bikes without disc brakes, Kalyani brakes is introducing retrofit kits to upgrade their machines. These newly designed disc brakes will be compatible with all the existing models. As of now only premium bikes come with disc brakes, which offer more safety and better styling. KBX plans to introduce these kits in the retail market through its own distribution network across the country and it will be priced at about Rs 4,500. KBX was the first company in India to introduce hydraulic disc brakes for Indian motorcycles.