We are optimistic about India’s growth story, says Hemant Lakhotiya, CEO of JK Files & Engineering

Hemant Lakhotiya, CEO, JK Files & Engineering Limited talked to ET Edge Insights to discuss the technological developments of the tools and hardware industry and the importance of a modern market structure following the pandemic. Interview Excerpts

How is the tools and hardware business changing because of the new technology?
Tools & hardware as a business is a very traditional & legacy business, globally. The segment in which we operate is situated particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. However, our competitors operate with limited digital touch points.

Covid 19 paved the way for product innovation & changing customer perception, where the customers are expecting technology enabled & multi usage products over traditional products. They are preferring to order the products through E-commerce platforms, over traditional way of shopping.

In JK Files, the Digital transformation is a part of our core strategy. We are also planning to establish ‘Technology’ driven end to end customer experience. At JK, we have already started evaluating and implementing emerging technologies to strengthen our capabilities and modernizing our systems & processes. This will enable us to be a future ready organization.

·How do you foresee the growth of India’s Auto Components and Engineering Products industry?
JK Files & Engineering has had a steady run, over the last seven decades which also witnessed its rise as the undisputed leader, commanding over 65% market share in domestic markets and an expansive presence across the international markets.

Engineering Industry witnessed a V-shape recovery after Covid 19, whereas the business industry achieved an unprecedented growth for the subsequent year. However, with heightened uncertainty due to recessionary sentiments, rising interest rate & high inflation, the current global dynamics hints at subdued growth in near to medium term, in the international market.

Though the robust domestic market has enabled a significant recovery post pandemic, the inflationary pressure & rising input cost may pose a short-term concern. However, we are optimistic about India’s growth story and expecting the domestic demand to remain consistent.

Has COVID-19 transformed the landscape of manufacturing? How does the industry anticipate expansion?

Covid 19 started off posing a big threat to all the businesses globally. The supply chain was completely disrupted during this period. Moreover, the customers were evaluating the suppliers based on their consistent quality & availability. These supply chain issues along with global perception about China, was getting hit due to the pandemic, and during that period most of the customers chose JK as a preferred partner for being reliable enough.

Hemant Lakhotiya
CEO, JK Files & Engineering Limited

China’s +1 strategy has helped our business grow to newer heights. Post pandemic, we have adopted ‘Digitalisation’ as a core strategy for improving process efficiencies and customer experience. We have strengthened our digital footprint, thereby amplifying our reach to the potential customers.

The current demand levels in a global market are yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, whereas the global uncertainties which pushes customers being conservative, especially in Europe, US, Asia, Africa & Latin America, will delay recovery. However, we are considering modernisation of our plant, alongside new product opportunities. This makes us optimistic about the consistent domestic demand.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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