Indian state-owned manufacturer establishes presence in SA
Johannesburg: Indian State-owned diversified manufacturing company BEML opened its first office in Africa, in Johannesburg, on Thursday. This is to allow the further development of its business in South Africa and Africa – the company is already active in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
“Our vision is to become a market leader diversified company and emerge as an international player,” said BEML international business division assistant GMNagendra Kumar, who is responsible for Africa. He indicated that the company is keen to establish a post-sales service centre in South Africa and could set up a spares warehouse as well.
“We have 19 warehouses in India,” he pointed out. “We [also] have warehouses [abroad] in strategic locations.” The company already has what it calls “global establishments” in Brazil, China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“This is a very important event from our perspective, from a national perspective,” enthused Indian High Commissioner to South AfricaVirendra Gupta at the opening function. “We have a unique relationship [rooted in history] between our two countries, built on this very strong foundation. There is a natural willingness to partner with South Africa. There are business opportunities created for India, there are business opportunities created for South Africa. These create wealth, these create jobs.”
The company, which had a turnover of $800-million in 2009/10, is organised into three main business groups – mining and construction, defence and rail and metro – and four new business divisions (technology, trading, aerospace manufacturing and international business).
The company originally started out as a defence concern, and, despite its diversification, remains under the aegis of the Indian Ministry of Defence. Founded in 1964, it was listed in 1992 and is now 54% State-owned and 46% publicly held. All its businesses are ISO 9001:2008 certified. It has exported to more than 58 countries.