Interview: Mr.Manav Kapur, Executive Director, Steelbird International

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Honoured Member
Sep 7, 2014
Delhi-NCR/ Mumbai
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Mr. Manav Kapur, Executive Director, Steelbird International.

About Steelbird International:

Founded by Late Shri Tilak Raj Kapur in 1964, Steelbird International is a family owned, yet professionally managed group that is growing at a rate of 22.7 percent annually (CAGR) in the Auto Component manufacturing sector of India. From Aftermarket to OEM segment, Steelbird is the most sought-after brand in the country whose credibility is even enticing the foreign businesses in the international market. The organization is growing both vertically and horizontally; the establishment of a smart & eco-friendly plant in Pant Nagar with per day capacity of 40, 000 new-generation filters. The new plant at Pant Nagar is scheduled to start from January 2018, and 80 percent of the plant capacity has already been sold-out.

For more than 50 years, Steelbird International is immensely contributing to the success of its many OEM clients, and, its position in the Aftermarket is truly enviable. Steelbird International has been driven with a penchant for achieving excellence in its domain of work for more than five decades. Diversifying from filters to rubber, Steelbird’s saga of success continues unabated. Today, it offers the widest range of auto filters in the Indian market and Mr.Manav Kapur strives to double the profits every year for the next five years.

Headquartered in New Delhi, the company has its manufacturing facilities in Pantnagar,Uttarakhand, which is spread over 1, 00,000 Sq. Ft. The strength of over 5000 satisfied clients isserved by more than 900 dedicated employees as well as the strong pan India network of dealers.

About Mr. Manav Kapur, Executive Director, Steelbird International

Mr. Manav Kapur is the Executive Director of Steelbird Group. Firmly built on an unshakable code of ethics, Steelbird today is India’s premier brand in the automotive industry with 55 years of experience, proven expertise and a tradition of excellence, as well as an enviable portfolio of OEM customers and exports to over 15 countries worldwide. Manav is known to be a man on a mission, having risen through the ranks to his current capacity in a remarkably short span of time, on the strength of his stellar achievements. He is today justifiably entrusted with the task of managing and controlling overall business operations of Steelbird across the diverse range of business operations, credited with building an organization which is family-owned, yet professionally managed. Awarded the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 for his outstanding achievements, Manav Kapur brings a new perspective to the business.

The Automotive India had the honor of interacting with the man himself, Mr. Manav Kapur and he took out time from his busy schedule to give his valuable insights on the questions put forward by us. Here's the interaction:

India is among the most competitive and rapidly growing automotive market, So, What at present are your plans w.r.t sustainability and establishing Steelbird as the most preferred brand?

We have been a part of this automotive industry for more than five decades and we strive everyday to maintain that legacy. We have been able to establish our brand in India because our focus has always been on quality, creation of innovative need based products and dedicated customer service. Today we are a brand, which is looked upon for quality and trusted by the masses. India is home ground to us and we are blessed to have such a big market to build and operate in. We have maintained that trust amongst the customers, as Steelbird International is synonymous with good quality. We already have a good distribution network, brand presence and our relationships with the customers remain steady which we will continue to maintain and nurture for future times too.

What’s your core strategy about the future expansion of footprints across India and what’s the growth percentage you are eyeing at annually? Also, have you altered your operations with regards to manufacturing & sales targets keeping in mind the uncertainties posed by the Covid-19. With Regards to the Capex, has Steelbird also marked a figure for this Financial Year in India?

We are dwelling and up building our core competence in the existing auto components parts. And then we are looking at extending our brand to the newer product categories, which are aligned to our strategy. Currently, we are focusing on product line expansion and tapping the new markets with existing product offerings. However, we are alsoplanning to expand into different line of products, which we can disclose at a later stage. For growth, We have already planned our next five-year plan and looking forward to achieving double-digit growth in the next two to three years for sure.

Steelbird has a diverse product range so as we know product localization helps a brand significantly, hence, please tell us how manufacturing in India would prove to be beneficial for Steelbird International in terms of gaining a substantial market share.

Since we are in the industry for the last five decades, we have a huge amount of experience in manufacturing. Yes, localization of supply chains, smart manufacturing process definitely helps in building efficiency in the overall manufacturing process. Since we are an auto parts manufacturing company in India, we include research in almost every auto part we manufacture. Which also means that if we have local suppliers providing quality raw materials, our lead time is reduced, costs are lower, production capacities can be increased etc. and we can have bigger focus on marketing our offerings.

Every market provides the brand(s) opportunities to grow so what are your views in this regards for the Indian Market? Do you think the Government’s rulings for the shift from BS-4 to BS-6 Fuel has had a positive impact on the Automotive Ancillary setups as well?

India has traditionally been laggard in terms of enforcing and implementing emission norms for the manufacturing sector. But the auto industry has improved the quality standards and overall the industry is now at par with meeting the expectations by maintaining classic standards and we get recognition in the international market when it comes to technology and quality.

With the Pandemic not over yet and the economy taking small but significant steps to attain pre-covid status, how soon and how much of a robust growth do you see in Indian Automotive Sector in this Financial Year?

Besides considering the ongoing Covid scenario and the multiple sentiments floating around, I am hopeful and optimistic about the Indian Automotive sector. We are expecting that the growth will continue to happen this financial year as well because the demand is there and people are looking forward to more and more personal mobility infuture.This reason is going to induce the demand in the Indian auto sector.

With the rise in fuel prices and subsequent expansion of EV infrastructure in India, What’s your insight on the future of Internal Combustion Engines and do you feel 2 Wheeler EVs shall become the buyer’s preference in next 3-5 Years?

Electric vehicles will be preferred in the next two to five years because the cost of ownership might be lower but the cost of acquisition is considerably higher for the Electric Vehicles. No matter what kind of technological advancements happens, I don’t think that the combustion engine is going to vanish from the scenario and it will be there in the market for a long time. The market share will fluctuate between Electric vehicles and Combustion Engines and the market will see a blend of both of these. We don’t know how the market will evolve in the future so the ratio will depend on what technology will take prominence in the future.


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