Steelbird Hi-Tech India is planning to invest ₹250 crore to set up a helmet manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu. The new facility is aimed at augmenting the pan-India capacity of the New Delhi-based helmet maker and cater to its growing business in the southern market.
“The brand is scouting for land near Hosur to set up the ninth manufacturing facility in India and our first one in South India,” Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Helmets, told businessline.
Started as an auto accessory business in 1964, Steelbird later ventured into helmet manufacturing. It has since expanded into manufacture of rubber components, electronics, and engineering products. Steelbird is also into toy products manufacturing such as baby walkers, baby carriers and helmets. However, the helmet business contributes over 80 per cent of the group’s revenue.
Steelbird currently has four manufacturing plants each in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Kapur said the Hosur plant can produce 20,000 helmets per day once it is scaled up to full capacity. He added that the company expects a total capex outlay of ₹250 crore for the Hosur plant and will invest ₹100 crore in phase 1.
In the South, Steelbird supplies helmets to major OEMs such as Ola, Yamaha, Royal Enfield and TVS. Kapur said since helmets are a volumetric product, it requires huge space for manufacture, storage and also incurs huge freight cost for sending them to the south. “It takes 7-10 days for delivery but with the new plant, we deliver to OEMs (in the South) in 24 hours.”
Earlier this month, the company announced that it will invest ₹105 crore to enhance production capacity at existing plants with an aim to roll out one crore helmets in the current fiscal.
Pegging the organised helmet industry size at ₹2,000 crore, Kapur said the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2 per cent, aided by the growing popularity and sale of two-wheelers, and enforcement of helmet mandate by various State governments.