Avcon Controls aims to be among top 5 valve manufacturers

  • Interviews
  • Feb 15,23
Fifty-four-year-old Avcon Controls has been producing automated valves for process control. In this interview, Manisha Dabholkar, Joint Managing Director, Avcon Controls, sheds light on changes taking place in industries, use of AI and IoT in manufacturing and Avcon’s strategy to align with the government's goal to make India a $5 trillion economy.
Avcon Controls aims to be among top 5 valve manufacturers

Kindly brief us about your company.
Avcon is a highly motivated team of technical and managerial professionals with strong commitments to excellence in producing various automated valves utilised in diverse fields where automation is vital. Avcon is a 54 years old company founded by Avinash Kawale in 1969. It is specialised in manufacturing automated valves for process control industries like textile, petrochemicals, cement, food, pharmaceuticals, biotech, distilleries, and ethanol.

Avcon is known in all the continents as a manufacturer of quality products such as solenoid valves, pneumatic and electrically operated control valves, balls, butterfly valves with pneumatic and electric actuators, gas control, and regulation products. Avcon’s growth path is nearly 20 per cent higher in terms of revenue or sales in the near future.

What is the USP of your company? How do you contribute to the growth of the Indian manufacturing sector?
Our distinctness comes from the fact that we manufacture and supply almost all types of valves under one roof from our vast range of product line. Since inception, Avcon is supplying automation products to various industries such as petrochemicals, fertilisers, agriculture, textile, food, pharma, and biotech industries. Avcon’s product range includes more than 4000 varieties of valves and the sizes range from six mm to 2100 mm. We offer wide choice of electrical supply voltage or signal pressure range in case of pneumatically operated valves. Sourcing these wide varieties is convenient for our customers since they are available with one single vendor.

To answer the second part of the question, manufacturing sector amounts to 17 per cent of the nation’s GDP and employs 27.3 million workers, thus making a significant contribution to Indian economy. With the implementation of many policies, Indian government hopes that manufacturing sector will contribute to 25 per cent of the economy’s output by 2025. Indian economy has been boosted by the make in India initiative where foreign companies have set up manufacturing plants in India. It has increased export of Indian products as well added more value to the industrial valve market. Industrial valves have applications in industries that contribute to India’s GDP thus, majorly contributing to the Indian growth story.

What is the contribution of exports to your business? How do you intend to expand your exports?
China’s declining competitiveness owing to its substandard product quality, trade disputes and border issues gives India an edge in the international market. Thus, global companies resist investing in China and have chosen to diversify their business elsewhere. Avcon is cashing in on this huge opportunity by exploring business possibilities with these global companies. At present we export to Middle East, Europe, Japan, Malaysia, South African countries and USA. We intend to increase exports by 10 to 15 per cent in the next financial year.

Could you please share with us information about your new innovations or products or solutions that you have launched in 2022?
Avcon serves varied industries though we primarily focus on food and pharma division. We strive to fulfil the growing demand of the food and pharma industries by developing wide range of products and showcase them at exhibitions in India and world over through Valve World Exhibitions. We analyse the demand in various industries and keep an eye on their requirements to manufacture and offer the best fit amongst our vast range of products by using software to make alterations to achieve the desired results. The final products undergo rigorous in house testing as well as various reputed test laboratories post which it is launched in the market only after being endorsed by the required permissions and certifications.

How important is branding for your products? What are your marketing plans for 2023?
Avcon leads in providing wide range of products under different brands to customers from Europe as an OEM. We have signed agreements to share products with other manufacturers not dealing in those products. They in turn share those products with Avcon that we don’t manufacture thus, leading to a win-win situation. Avcon invests almost one crore annually in advertising Avcon’s products in various publications to enhance its brand presence.

According to you, what is the mantra for success in the marketplace?
Our success mantra has been to provide a wider product range under one roof and match international quality standards. Since its inception, Avcon supplies automated products to varied industries like petrochemicals, fertilisers, agriculture, textile, food and pharma and biotech industries. Also, gauging the customer requirement is vital to manufacture and supply a befitting product of premium quality there by instilling confidence and trust among our customers. For us building that trust is vital for our growth and aids in establishing our brand presence.

What are emerging trends in your industry?
Today, customers demand safety certifications for almost all products even in general valve categories, which wasn’t a necessity in the past 56 years. The integration of AI and IoT in manufacturing processes has pushed the manufacturing industry towards automation improving the quality of work and process, leading to lucrative opportunities for the growth of industrial valve manufacturing.

Sustainability is gaining traction in the industry. How is your company gearing up for sustainability?
According to Milton Friedman the primary aim of a corporation is to create profits and build value for shareholders. This philosophy has evolved and today we also focus on partnering with suppliers, supporting communities and protecting the environment as mentioned at the business roundtable. So sustainability is an integral part of business growth. At Avcon we believe innovation is the best answer to sustainability. So, we keep introducing latest engineering techniques by utilising software applicable to our industry to best serve our customers.

It is said that to improve competitiveness, it is important to adopt modern manufacturing technologies (like automation, robots/cobots, digital tools, AI, Industry 4.0, 3D printing, etc). What is your take on this?
In the present competitive market, most companies have started offering light weight products with effective pricing by employing the best manufacturing technology available around the world. Some of the best examples being CNC, VMC, or even the utilisation of industrial robotics in the machining facility adopted for the mass production process. The development process now incorporates 3D printing, which provides instant results without the need to invest in dyes and tools for timely submission of quotations and offers. Robotics has transformed the manufacturing industry in a major way by facilitating, quickening and enhancing the manufacturing process.

SMEs are the backbone of India's manufacturing sector. What are your suggestions to the Government to make SMEs stronger?
We urge the government of India to provide a common platform or a single window where all permissions will be provided to start new businesses and certifications should be allotted immediately to start a new setup to produce state-of-the-art engineering goods. This will boost the growth of SMEs and contribute in making India a $5 trillion economy.

The government is aiming to make India a $5 trillion economy. What is your vision for the Indian manufacturing sector for 2025?
Innovation as well as manufacturing capacity to cope up with the ever-growing demand of various industries to supply an apt product at competitive pricing with best quality in shortest possible period is our motto. Avcon has set the target of achieving export to minimum 10 per cent in this financial year and 15 per cent in next financial year 2023-2024.

What are your long term vision/goals for your company?
Presently, Avcon is among the top 10 valve manufacturers in India. Now we strive to be among the top 5 manufacturers in India in the next 5 years. Our vision is to increase the share of export business. Avcon is open to associating with agents to sell Avcon products to expand its presence in other countries and achieve our export target of 15 per cent.

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