Meet India’s Battery King


Mr. Galla Ramachandra Naidu, Executive Chairman, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd
Mr. Galla Ramachandra Naidu, Executive Chairman, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd

Amara Raja Group basedin Hyderabad seeks to dominate battery business in Indian Ocean Rim…reports Sharon Thambala for Asian Lite, Best newspaper for British Asians

 Becoming the No.1 battery player across the Indian Ocean Rim countries is the future goal of Amara Raja Group, its chairman Ramachandra Naidu Galla said.

“Our target is Indian Ocean Rim, it is our ultimate target. We want to be the dominant player in the Indian Ocean Rim, supplying batteries for all the countries across the Indian Ocean,” he said.

“We focused on Singapore, today, we are number one there. You open the hood of any taxi, every taxi has got an Amaron battery, if you go to public transport, every bus has got an Amaron battery,” said Galla.

“We entered Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Indonesia is the larger market, the customer has reacted very beautifully, we are very happy.”

Galla noted that previously, cost competition and tax barriers were hurdles to India’s second largest battery manufacturer entering many markets in Southeast Asia. “The taxes are too high to take the batteries there. ”

But now the way was clear as the Indian government has procured tax concessions and a new agreement which enabled the firm to compete in those markets, he said.

“We are strategically evaluating, we cannot jump in suddenly. And once we go into a market, we have to serve the customer, supply them on time, can’t say we don’t have the batteries, and any issues with the service should be addressed. Therefore, we have to gradually grow the market size, we cannot do it suddenly,” Galla added.

“Indian Ocean region is a natural territory, historically for Indian business and commercially also, competitive advantage is in play,” he said about his reason for choosing the area over other geographies to dominate.

Amara Raja Group also has plans for Africa and the Middle East. The chairman said the company is focusing on Dubai, Kuwait and all other Gulf countries except Saudi Arabia.

“We are focusing on Dubai, it is very good. Except Saudi Arabia, in all other countries we are progressively moving forward,” Galla said.

For Africa, the emphasis is on UPS and large VRL batteries, and automotive batteries are not very high on the agenda for now.

“We are looking at Kenya and five other countries and our agents are there. We have taken initiatives,” Galla said.

he said there were no plans right now about manufacturing abroad. “At present, we don’t have manufacturing plans abroad but we are not ruling (them) out.”

“The volumes are not enough to set up a plant in Southeast Asia.”

Galla also contended that setting up manufacturing plants in Middle East and Africa is not easy as it demands mobilizing Indian human capital and other resources.

“Why can’t we make it and take it, rather than go there and make it. The situation is not entirely different with Southeast Asia.”

Amara Raja is present in Southeast Asia in partnership with Johnson Controls and has big plans for the region.