Tier-one CV industry supplier, Jamna Auto Industries Ltd. has been practising self-reliance through 100 per cent localisation.

Story by Deepti Thore
There are not many commercial vehicles that Jamna Auto Industries (JAI) Ltd. does not supply their leaf spring suspension systems to. Referred to as India’s largest, and among the world’s third-largest, manufacturer of tapered leaf springs and parabolic springs for automobiles, for their end-to-end after-market distribution and manufacturing processes, the company has been focusing on high value-accretive products like the BSVI compliant spring series. Practicing self-reliance through 100 per cent localisation even before the prime minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, JAI has been procuring the raw material entirely locally for its products. Mentioned Bhupesh Mehta, President, and Head — Aftermarket, JAI Ltd., that initiatives like ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ have the potential to boost the economy. He averred that there was a need for the CV market to revive quickly, and for a highly positive mid- and long-term growth trajectory.
Of the opinion that the Covid-19 situation has led to companies introspecting as well as going back to the drawing board to redraw the cost rationalisation strategy as well as pursue digitisation, Mehta averred, “Initiatives like ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ will help the CV industry to grow and sustain.” “In the long-term,” he added, “it would help reduce reliance on other countries for parts.” Said to have engaged Ramco Systems to upgrade its ERP system, especially that of its Yamunanagar plant, which would pave the way to a company-wide digital transformation with four more plants of the company being brought up to speed, JAI is following a well-chalked out strategy to expand its product portfolio. Working towards further digitisation of its ways of working with the hope that efficiency upgrade will follow, the company is keen to standardise as well as gain a unified view of operations. Remarked Mehta, “We want to achieve our goal of a paperless and efficient office.” “We want to provide innovative solutions for ease of doing business,”he added further.

 

New age products
Catering to CV majors like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, VE Commercial Vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra, Force Motors, Isuzu Motors, SML Isuzu, Toyota and UD Trucks, JAI has introduced new products under the BSVI line-up like lift-axle, stabiliser bar, pneumatic suspension, trailer suspension. The company has also introduced allied products like ‘U’ bolts and ‘Z’ springs. Confident of achieving good growth through the good market acceptance of BSVI products, the company is closely observing the change in the pace of some of the CV segments. Manufacturing multi-leaf springs from three-kilograms to 200 kg for CV and speciality vehicles, JAI is keen to help CV makers present impressive BSVI offerings that are cleaner, more efficient, better performing, reliable and have a lower TCO.
Using 51CrV4 material procured locally for the manufacture of springs, JAI is carrying out considerable investments in the area of design and development. It has designed and developed springs that are strong and capable of withstanding the field severity associated with springs deployed in heavy-duty CVs. It has also designed and developed springs that are used in speciality vehicles and account for a good deal of customisation. The hybrid, conventional and parabolic leaf springs developed by JAI have found good success. Their lightweight yet sturdy construction has been well appreciated. These leaf springs have contributed to the CV maker’s ability to address the dynamic needs of the market, and to meet the regulations that have been coming one after the other. With the conditions of roads at many places highly deplorable despite the big talk about modernising infrastructure (the Mumbai-Goa national highway or the national highway stretch between Pune and Satara with a heavy toll tax for example; the horribly unsafe national highway stretch between Mira Road and Gujarat border with heavy toll tax for example), it is the CV suspensions that take the most beating.
Operating nine state-of-the-art plants strategically located at Yamunanagar, Malanpur, Jamshedpur, Pune, Chennai, Pilliapakkam, Hosur, Pantnagar and Lucknow, Indore and Adityapur, JAI is investing in quality. It is ensuring that its products are of the highest quality standards; are highly reliable, and free of any defect. Investing in mistake-proofing through Poka-Yoke, the company is hoping that the recent measures announced by the Government will help the economy recover. “The government has announced different measures to help the MSME sector in the country, which would benefit the Indian automakers in multiple ways,” said Mehta. He mentioned that factors like skill development, interest rate reforms, scrappage policy, infrastructure development, business-friendly government policies and lower GST rates will benefit the CV industry. The other factor that will help the economy, according to Mehta, is the rural economy uptick. He remarked, “Currently, in the rural areas of India, it is mainly agriculture that accounts for 17 per cent of the GDP and employs over 50 per cent of the population. The rise in rural demand will drive growth in the LCV segment.”

Digitisation
Of the opinion that the agriculture sector appears to have been relatively less impacted by the lockdown, sustaining the demand for tractors thus, Mehta expressed that it is the rural economy that will play a pivotal role in the growth of Indian economy and the auto industry. Rural India has two-third the country’s population. The 70 per cent rural workforce generates 46 per cent of the national income. With many transport companies adopting a hub-and-spoke model that enables long-haul CVs to re-distribute their load to LCVs, helping them to reach villages faster, fleets are significantly changing their ways of working. Closely following such and other trends emerging, JAI is investing in digitisation to ensure better efficiency and ease of doing business. Through ERP upgradation, it is looking at standardisation and unified view of operations. It is looking at offering better stock visibility, and to achieve better end-to-end material planning. Looking at efficient scheduling of operations, the company is also working towards seamless flow of data that would enable it to track sales analysis and vehicles across the supply chain through geo maps, dealer portals and interactive dashboards, and management and MIS reports available at the click of a button.

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