Godrej to invest over ₹200 cr in capacity expansion

Virendra Pandit Pune | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 26, 2016

Kamal Nandi, Business Head & EVP of Godrej Appliances PAUL NORONHA

Set to source 50% of energy requirement from solar power

India’s green technology pioneer Godrej Appliances, part of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd, will invest ₹200 crore on expanding production capacities, and is set to use solar energy in a big way for 50 per cent of its requirements over the next couple of years.

The company, with manufacturing facilities at Shirwal, 50 km from Pune, and at Mohali (near Chandigarh), will invest ₹100 crore at each of these two plants to set up additional sheds for expanding capacities of production of air-conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens, among others.

“We are now focusing more on manufacturing premium products and WHO-rated medical refrigerators for storage of blood, medicines and vaccines,” Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice-President, Godrej Appliances, told BusinessLine.

Green venture

Godrej was the first Indian company to manufacture refrigerators in 1958. It decided to go green after the Centre found that appliances are the biggest energy guzzlers and green technology was needed to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment.

Addition of each start in such appliances saves 20 per cent energy and cost of the appliance is recovered quickly due to reduced power bills, he said.

The two plants’ combined manufacturing capacities in case of air-conditioners will, after expansion, increase from 3lakh to 6 lakh per annum, while that of refrigerators will go up from 30 lakh to 32 lakh and washing machines from 4 lakh to 10 lakh. The Mohali unit also manufactures compressors, the capacity of which will increase from 23 lakh to 27 lakh annually.

Godrej Appliances currently produces 1 MW of solar energy, which is a quarter of its total requirement of 4 MW. This capacity will be increased to 2 MW in the next two years. “We will be a rare appliances company, to be producing half of our electricity needs from solar energy,” he added.

Company’s drive

As part of its green initiatives soon after the Montreal Protocol (1989), Godrej embarked on an aggressive drive to introduce green technology and, over the last 15 years, converted its 55-acre of barren wasteland hilly premises at Shirwal into a soothing oasis, by using various eco-friendly measures like plantation, water harvesting, zero waste and producer gas.

In manufacturing appliances, Nandi said, Godrej pioneered in making India’s first green refrigerator (2001), first inverter air-conditioner (2005), first 5-Star range of refrigerators (2008), and the world’s first green air-conditioner (2012), among others.

Its “Chhotu Cool”, a portable box-like refrigerator for beverages, has become quite popular, he added. As part of green initiatives, when CII mooted the idea of forming a hybrid cluster involving large companies across industries, Godrej Appliances at Shirwal joined in along with organisations like Crompton Greaves, Cummins India, Forbes Marshall, Thermax, and Demag Cranes etc, under the leadership of Hussain Shariyarr, Senior Vice-President (Operations), Godrej Appliances.

The company is India’s fourth largest player in the overall appliances segments, with a 10 per cent share in the ₹30,000-crore market. Its turnover in FY2016 was nearly ₹3,000 crore, including a 2 per cent share from exports to a few South Asian and African countries.

About 20 per cent of its technical staff is women. “In March 2014, we set up an all-women unit to manufacture air-conditioners,” Shahriyaar said.

Published on May 26, 2016
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