“The key is the introduction of ICT. It is important to optimize the accuracy of monthly demand forecasts and how to hold each product in stock.”
Kobelco Welding India Pvt. Ltd. works on marketing welding consumables made by Japanese steel manufacturer Kobe Steel, Ltd. Founded in 1905, Kobe Steel, Ltd. is one of the leading steelmakers as well as a major supplier of aluminium and copper products. The welding business, one of the business units managed by Kobe Steel, Ltd., offers total welding solutions that combine welding materials, robotic welding systems, welding technology and more. Wire & Cable India recently interviewed Mr. Shunji Oki, Managing Director, Kobelco Welding India Pvt. Ltd. wherein he dives into the product range of the company and reveals the plans of expanding the market reach. The company has set up three warehouses and was able to achieve more than double the amount ever since it was established.
Wire & Cable India: A decade ago, Kobelco Welding India Pvt. Ltd. was established in Gurgaon, Haryana; could you please reflect upon the business journey along with some of the significant accomplishments the company has attained in the decade of its business?
Shunji Oki: Kobelco Welding India was strongly established to serve various industries in India including marine, oil & gas, building and construction, among others. In addition, with our strong sales team, we always keep up with the moving market trend. In 2014, we expanded our entire business by setting up three warehouses where we were able to achieve more than double the amount ever since it was established.
WCI: Kindly elaborate on the range of welding consumables offered by the company. Also, highlight the key features of the product range.
SO: In Kobelco, we provide a wide range of welding consumables that cater to various industries; primarily items are high-grade flux cored wire for CS, high tensile strength, and low-temperature steel and stainless steel.
“In 2014, we expanded our entire business by setting up three warehouses where we were able to achieve more than double the amount ever since it was established.”
WCI: As a supplier of a range of welding wires, what do you think are the growth drivers of the welding wire market segment? What is the current worth of the Indian welding wire market, and the projected growth of the segment?
SO: India is a highly competitive market with price concerns, having said that it is difficult to increase the quantity of welding materials alone for successful growth. The combination of welding robots, welding equipment, and unique welding power sources is equally vital for better growth.
WCI: How is Kobelco Welding India envisaging building its presence in the Indian market to carve its position as the key supplier of welding consumables in the country?
SO: We target the supply of high value-added products to our customers that focus on quality and performance. At present, we are not keen on expanding our business in general-purpose products.
WCI: Could you please touch upon the market presence of the Company? Also, please outline your plans with respect to expanding your reach to newer markets!
SO: Generally expanding our company is important, but we, at Kobelco aim towards increasing our value & brand by supplying high-end products and providing technical services. In addition, India is geographically situated in the center of the world. The country’s strategic location makes it a connecting point to travel anywhere. We hope to expand our export business to markets like the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa with India’s geographical location.
WCI: As the supply chain is dependent on a number of factors such as variable consumer demands, regulations, and more routes to market; what are the means through which you improve the internal processes to provide excellent service seamlessly?
SO: Pertaining to this question, seamless information sharing becomes important between managers, staff, warehouses, and distributors.
“In Kobelco, we provide a wide range of welding consumables that cater to various Industries; primarily items are high-grade Flux cored wire for CS, High tensile strength, and low-temperature steel and Stainless steel.”
Currently, we use information-sharing applications internally. However, nearing the future, I’m considering establishing a highly effective system where our agents can communicate with us.
WCI: What are your strategies which help you to achieve supply chain optimization and be agile in the ever-evolving and dynamic welding wire market?
SO: The key is the introduction of ICT. It is important to optimize the accuracy of monthly demand forecasts and how to hold each product in stock. This is a common issue for sales offices around the world and will be promoted in cooperation with the head office.
WCI: Has there been any recent development at Kobelco Welding India that you wish to highlight? Going forward, what are the plans of the company to achieve further growth in the market?
SO: In India, many manufacturers are struggling to secure highly-skilled welders. As a result, the need for automatic welding is expected to increase dramatically. In particular, Kobelco is good at combining welding robots and wires for medium thickness plates. We intend to propose some solution to the industry.
WCI: What is the vision and mission of the company?
SO: We provide technologies, products, and services that win the trust and confidence of the customers and the society we serve. We value each employee and support his/her growth on an individual basis while creating a cooperative and harmonious working environment. Through continuous and innovative changes, we create new values for the society of which we are a member.
Kobelco is a global company that handles not only welding materials but also iron and steel, machinery, construction machinery, and power generation.
The Group as a whole places the highest priority not only on pursuing profits but also on living in harmony with society and the environment. The development of new products is also particularly focused on being environmentally conscious.