Woodfield Systems eyes more acquisitions to fuel growth

  • Articles
  • Mar 30,24
Kartik Gala, CEO, Woodfield Systems International, in this conversation with Rakesh Rao, provides an overview of the bulk gas and fluid transfer market and also shares company’s plans to tap new business opportunities
Woodfield Systems eyes more acquisitions to fuel growth

Woodfield Systems International (WSI) is a premier design, manufacturing, sales & service organisation providing customised bulk fluid handling and safety access solutions for loading and unloading product in the oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical, cryogenic and aviation sector. Kartik Gala, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, WSI, shapes strategic direction and drives the company’s business development initiatives. He has spearheaded the WSI’s expansion into new markets, and his leadership and commitment to excellence have been instrumental in elevating the brand’s visibility and presence globally. Gala, in conversation with Rakesh Rao, provides an overview of the bulk gas and fluid transfer market and also shares company’s plans to tap new business opportunities.

How has been the journey of Woodfield Systems International (WSI) since its inception?
Woodfield Systems International (WSI), founded in 2000 as a joint venture with Woodfield Systems Limited, is a leader in the design and manufacture of customised bulk gas and fluid management solutions. We manufacture fluid handling equipment for the oil & gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, and aviation sectors. Our products include truck loading equipment, metering skids, safety access platforms, and floating suction units. WSI has manufacturing facilities in Maharashtra, an assembly facility in Seville (Spain), and operations in the USA, Mexico, and UAE. We export our products to over 46 countries worldwide.

Recently, WSI completed the acquisition of Woodfield Systems UK. How will this development help in boosting manufacturing and innovation capability of WSI?
WSI recently completed the acquisition of Woodfield Systems UK, a British engineering and manufacturing business with a legacy spanning a century. This acquisition enables us to leverage Woodfield Systems UK's technical mastery and extensive industry expertise, while expanding WSI's product portfolio beyond land-based fluid handling equipment. Notably, WSI will now be the sole manufacturer of 100 per cent indigenous Marine Loading Arms (MLAs) for the shipping industry in India. We endeavor to not only serve the domestic market but also become a global exporter of this solution. Overall, the unified engineering & manufacturing capabilities of WSI and Woodfield Systems UK will enable us to deliver paradigm-changing innovations in the years ahead.

How was 2022-23 for WSI? What are your expectations for FY2023-24 and beyond?
In the fiscal year 2022-23, Woodfield Systems International (WSI) witnessed significant progress and achievements. The company experienced robust growth and expansion during this period. Across various metrics, including revenue, market presence, and operational efficiency, FY 22-23 marked a milestone year for WSI.

Looking ahead to FY 2023-24 and beyond, WSI remains poised for continued success and sustainable growth. Building upon the momentum gained in the previous fiscal year, the company is confident in its ability to sustain a remarkable trajectory. With ambitious yet attainable goals, WSI aims to achieve a remarkable 40 per cent year-over-year growth rate.

Several strategic initiatives and investments have been planned to facilitate this growth trajectory. These include expanding market reach, enhancing product innovation, investing in research and development, and optimising operational processes. Additionally, WSI is committed to fostering strong partnerships and collaborations to capitalise on emerging opportunities and market trends.

Furthermore, WSI is focused on maintaining its reputation for delivering high-quality products and services while ensuring customer satisfaction remains a top priority. By prioritising customer-centricity and continuously adapting to evolving market dynamics, WSI aims to solidify its position as a leading player in its industry.

Beyond FY 2023-24, WSI remains committed to long-term sustainability and value creation. The company will continue to pursue growth opportunities while upholding its core values of integrity, innovation, and excellence. Through strategic planning, prudent management, and a dedicated workforce, WSI is confident in its ability to achieve sustained success and deliver value to its stakeholders for years to come.

How has the bulk gas and fluid transfer market changed over the last 5 years? What was the contribution of factors like changes in environmental regulations, supply chain disruption, etc in this change?
The past five years have witnessed a growing emphasis on safety standards around the world, including in India. This focus coincides with a projected rise in global energy demand, highlighting the critical role of efficient port infrastructure in facilitating energy trade. As a result, countries, including India, are prioritising infrastructure development to ensure a secure and reliable energy supply chain. Recent geopolitical events and disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic have further emphasised the need for self-sufficiency and preparedness in the sector.

How has WSI tapped these changes?
The acquisition of Woodfield Systems UK, and the commitment to further invest in this business, highlights how we as a company have adapted to the burgeoning demand within this sector for the timely supply of our product range. Additionally, we are investing in new technologies for our existing products, as well as developing novel products within the same domain.

India is aggressively promoting green hydrogen. What kinds of business opportunities it will present to WSI?
The increased push towards green hydrogen use certainly expands the market for our solutions. WSI is well-positioned to provide the necessary equipment for the transportation and measurement of liquid hydrogen, serving both port and truck terminal applications. Our unwavering commitment to the safety of people and environment at all times certainly bolsters WSI’s appeal among prospective customers.

How has contribution of exports/overseas business increased over the years? What are your plans to further grow your overseas business?
WSI boasts a significant global presence through our direct operations and extensive network of distributors. The recent acquisition of Woodfield Systems UK, coupled with ongoing new developments, positions WSI for a substantial increase in exports worldwide, solidifying our commitment to ‘Make in India.’ The company's strategic plan also includes further acquisitions in North America and the EU to fuel future growth.

What steps are been taken to increase manufacturing capabilities by using the latest technologies and new materials?
WSI is expanding its manufacturing footprint with the establishment of a fourth facility, boasting nearly quadruple the capacity of our existing operations. This strategic move underscores the company's commitment to efficiency and precision. WSI continues to leverage cutting-edge technologies such as robotic welding and advanced turn mill centers to expedite production while maintaining adherence to the highest quality standards.

Many companies consider availability of skilled manpower in manufacturing to be a big challenge for scaling up. What steps are you taking to solve this issue?
At WSI, we benefit from a high degree of automation, utilising robotics and CNC machines throughout the manufacturing process. This focus on technological innovation minimises our reliance on highly skilled labour while scaling up operations – with the added advantages of maximising efficiency and production output.

What are your growth plans for the future?
WSI anticipates significant growth, with projected year-over-year sales increases of 40 per cent. To support this ambitious expansion, we plan to invest $ 100 million in the business over the next decade, while also considering further acquisitions in North America and the EU. Furthermore, in alignment with the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, we endeavour to cement India’s standing as a global manufacturing and engineering powerhouse.

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