With 58 years of experience in the field of manufacturing different types of components, Manav Kapur, Executive Director, Steelbird International is confident that the internal combustion engine market is continuing to grow, hence, the rise of the EV wave doesn’t give him sleepless nights.
What is the forecast for 2023?
The aftermarket sector has been very stable. Based on the SIAM and the ACMA reports, we have seen a growth of 32% in this FY. We don’t expect that to change this year. With the semiconductor chip shortage getting sorted out to some degree and the situation getting better now, I feel 2023’s growth should be better than last year as also the profitability of the companies.
In terms of growth, what is Steelbird’s target this year?
We are looking at double-digit growth this year. We have also added new partners like Hella and have launched spark plugs and horns with them. Last year, we added lubricants. The strategy is to add more products to our portfolio. We also believe that we can add value to many products by reaching out to the right sources like filling in the last mile for the consumer.
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Apart from the semiconductor chip shortage, covid also disrupted the supply chain. How did that affect you and how’s the situation now?
Thankfully in our case, as we don’t have too much dependence outside India, therefore, this didn’t affect us so much. The majority of the components we use are domestically sourced and a tiny percentage of it is imported. So in general, our supply issues are sorted.
In the last couple of years, the two-wheelers segment has witnessed a slight shift towards electric vehicles. What’s your take on that?
No doubt, electric vehicles will happen, but how much and when remains to be seen? In India, we do get excited with new technology, but if you look at the global market, EV really hasn’t created that kind of buzz that we see here. I also believe that EVs won’t be the only technology. There will be multiple sources of power.
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With the rise in demand for EVs in the last couple of years, how has that affected your business as it relies on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles?
So 30% of our business is based on ICE, but we don’t see the EV penetration happening immediately. It will take some time to convert and I believe that I have a time frame of 10 years as our market size isn’t going to be shrinking. Also, one has to keep in mind that the ICE market is still growing.