Targets US$ 1 million from battery exports in 2016/17
Associated Battery Manufacturers (Ceylon) Limited,(ABM) the manufacturers of premier Lead acid automotive batteries in Sri Lanka, won the Gold award in the medium scale-manufacturing category at the National Quality Award (NQA) from the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) at the National Quality Awards 2016.
The event was held at the Hilton Colombo, on January 27, 2017. President Maithripala Sirisena graced the event as the chief guest.
The National Quality Award is presented annually to recognize Sri Lankan Organizations that excel in quality management and quality achievement. The criteria of selection are based on the standards used for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards in the USA. Applicants were evaluated by audit teams for seven criteria leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce, operational focus and results.
ABM is a subsidiary of Exide Industries Limited, India. The Company manufactures the widest range of Lead Acid Batteries from 25Ah to 200Ah capacity under the brand names Exide and Lucas. Since its inception in 1960, ABM has been able to stay in the local market as the market leader in spite of the tremendous competition that it faced from imported batteries. This is due to the fact that it produces high quality tropicalized batteries which suit climatic conditions and rugged roads.
The Company under the able leadership and guidance of Director/CEO M. Ramachandran has grown steadily and modernized its manufacturing processes and constant innovations have helped the company to produce a high quality battery.
Commenting on excellent achievement ABM CEO, Director M Ramachandran said the response to ABM Exide batteries in foreign countries too has been excellent and the company was targeting US$ 1mn revenue in 2016/17 on battery exports to foreign markets,
By 2020 the CEO said they target Rs five billion turnover with a 65% local market share and that was part of the expansion plan which had asked for more exports and new products added to the company’s portfolio. The company has also projected a PBT of Rs 500 million in the same period.
The new office complex building with an investment of Rs 30 million is now commissioned and the two wheeler battery manufacturing plant with an investment of Rs 50 million is scheduled to commence manufacturing in March 2017, the CEO said. Exide has captured close to 60% of the local market in Sri Lanka exhausting 80% of its plant capacity and further expansions were on the cards.
An aggressive export campaign has been also launched by ABM after setting up its International Marketing Division and a good response has been received from a host of counties, Ramachandran said.
“We are trying to be unique and have a technical edge on other batteries. We analyze the batteries available in countries that we export and do the product at par of those batteries or products with better advantage in that market in terms of technology or price. This technical expertise will also be passed onto the local customer,” he said.
Ramachandran said they were now to enter the Myanmar market and had already started with Singapore and through the company CBSEA enter Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. Myanmar is a huge potential market and they were confident of penetrating that market. Dubai is another potential market and ABM has already sent the first consignment there, the CEO said.
Officials from the Maldives, Singapore, Myanmar, Dubai and Seychelles had earlier visited the ABM factory premises in Ratmalana and were very impressed with the product, the changes and the quality systems of the plant, he said. Orders started to flow in subsequent to these visits, he opined.
Furthermore, a Rs 76 million assembly line has been ordered from the UK as a part of expansion drive in addition to the investment in the office complex last year.
Marine battery project which commenced last year too was gaining momentum with consignments already dispatched to Maldives and Singapore. The International Marketing Division was formed in April 2016 and up to January 2017 had exported batteries to the value of US$ 650,000 and the projected target for 2016/17 is US$ 1 million. Plans have been also made to produce electric three-wheeler, solar application and industrial batteries soon, Ramachandran added. (MFJ)