Siemens founded its India unit in 1922, but it was only after the country achieved independence from British rule that it started expanding. Encouraged by the industry-friendly policies of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Siemens set up its first manufacturing operation in Mumbai in 1955. It started with a group of two dozen workers operating in a tiny workshop under the Mahalaxmi bridge. A year later, it began its first full-fledged factory at nearby Worli, making switchboards by using imported components and a few basic machines such as a drilling machine and a power saw. Over the next few years it started making health-care equipment and railway signaling gear, too.
In 1966, Siemens set up a factory at Kalwa in Thane to make motors. Bhaskar Mandal, Executive Vice President in charge of the industry division at Siemens South Asia, says that until the early years of this century the place was so deserted no employee would stay on after six in the evening. “You would see snakes crawling in the campus and the roads were empty,” he says. “No more than 10 cars would be seen parked in the campus. Today, people struggle to find parking.”
The last fiscal year has been tough. In the year through September 2012, the India unit posted a 59 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 343 crore. Revenue grew 7.5 per cent to Rs 12,920 crore. The company is focusing on gaining market share, controlling costs, and protecting the bottom line. It recently closed its wind turbine factory even before starting operations, a decision that did not go down well with some people in the company. Armin Bruck, Managing Director and CEOÂ is unapologetic. “I am not paid to be the most popular guy. I am paid to run a sustainable and profitable company,” he says.
For around 90 years now, Siemens has been associated with the growth of emerging India. Be it modernizing India’s infrastructure, enabling greener power generation or empowering hospitals with cutting-edge healthcare systems, Siemens in India is playing a major role in creating a sustainable future for the country.
Siemens has brought world class technologies and infrastructure to emerging markets like India. Through its products and solutions, Siemens in India has touched the lives of several million Indian citizens.
Our 18,000 brand ambassadors across Siemens in India will tell you about the thriving global culture of the company. (Source: Business Today)