“The new plant for GEEKAY has started operations in Sri City and is a state-of-the-art plant with world-class infrastructure and technology.”
GK Winding Wires Ltd. is the leading manufacturer of copper & aluminum enamelled winding wires in India, marketed under its brand GEEKAY. Established in 1975, the company has four manufacturing units with three in North India and one in South India, giving it a unique advantage of being able to serve customers for any scale of their needs across the country. Wire & Cable India recently interviewed Mr. Sameer Agarwal, Managing Director, G.K. Winding Wires Ltd. wherein he talks about the new plant in Andhra Pradesh, its infrastructure, machinery, product portfolio and the current market scenario for winding wires.
Wire & Cable India: Could you please offer a glimpse into the business journey of G.K. Winding Wires Ltd. along with its crucial milestones?
Sameer Agarwal: GK Winding Wires (GEEKAY) was started as a small-scale industry manufacturing enameled wires in North India by Mr. Sudhir Agarwal in 1975. Ever since the start, GEEKAY has been a pioneer in all respects – from making their own machinery to being the first company to get the latest technology in India from MAG in 1997.
GEEKAY started in Okhla Industrial Area and consolidated manufacturing in Greater Noida in 1990. It went on to pioneer the import of state-of-the-art technology in 1997 from Austria and did import substitution for many customers.
I joined in 2006 after completing my education from DCE and XLRI, Jamshedpur. In 2007, GEEKAY started its second manufacturing plant by the name of Swastik Wire Product in Himachal Pradesh, along with Mr. R.D. Jain. In 2018, GEEKAY started its third plant in Greater Noida, dedicated to aluminium enameled wires as there was a clear gap in the market for a quality manufacturer.
COVID delayed the project by one year, and now in 2021, GEEKAY has started its plant in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh with the intent of becoming a preferred supplier to electrical industries in South India which lacks an organised good quality manufacturer who can grow, provide service and expand in line with the customer needs.
WCI: GK Winding Wires Ltd. has recently announced the opening of its 4th Plant at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. Please shed some light on the infrastructure, types of machinery, manufacturing capabilities, and latest technology at your new facility. Do you have any similar expansion in the pipeline?
SA: The new plant for GEEKAY has started operations in Sri City and is a state-of-the-art plant with world-class infrastructure and technology. The plant is just 20 km from Chennai and overnight road transportation distance from Coimbatore, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. The infrastructure is suitable for supporting up to 3000 MT per month of capacity for enameled copper wires, although we will start with a capacity of 400 MT and keep adding machines as per market conditions.
The products that are planned for this plant include round wires of copper and strips for EV and HEV in the automotive industry. We will also be making wires for the general motor industry, home appliances like washing machines, mixer-grinder, air conditioning, refrigerator industry, etc and pump and fan industry.
This plant of GEEKAY group will be the focus of investment and expansion as we would like this plant to reach its worthwhile capacity of 3000 MT as soon as possible. In addition, due to proximity to seaport, we also see this plant as a means to expand our exports.
“This plant of GEEKAY group will be the focus of investment and expansion as we would like this plant to reach its worthwhile capacity of 3000 MT as soon as possible.”
WCI: What do you think are the added advantages of having manufacturing units in multiple locations?
SA: We are dealing in a high-value commodity – copper and controlling inventories of this item is very critical. In addition, in today’s dynamic environment, proximity to the customer is necessary to maintain a healthy supply chain, as shortest possible reactions to dynamic business requirements – be it changes in schedules or requirements of a new product by the customer.
WCI: Please share your opinion on the current market scenario for winding wires. Also, give us examples of how your products are solving market needs?
SA: The per capita consumption of copper in India is 1/10th of developed countries due to low per capita income and weak power infrastructure. This copper consumption is in the form of appliances, automotive, and utilities that we use in our daily lives.
With the growing focus of the Government of India on more inclusive development, we can already see things changing for betterment. In our journey of becoming a developed country, there will be a tenfold increase in copper consumption and hence sky is the limit for any manufacturer. Also as time goes on, the quality requirements of the product also keep rising, as customer expectations in terms of the life of the product also keep getting higher.
Enameled copper wire, being the heart of any electrical product, is the most critical component in ensuring life and good performance of the product during its life cycle.
WCI: G.K. Winding Wires Ltd. is known for its international standards and high level of quality. What factors help you strike a balance between quality and price?
SA: All products of GEEKAY are UL-approved and meet the highest global standards. We have been felicitated by many of our customers for our technical expertise and cost improvement initiatives.
We, at GEEKAY, believe that although the cost is very important, quality is the only way to reduce costs. We don’t compromise with respect to material quality and have been able to build credibility based on reliability and trust. Enameled wire manufacturers, at times, try to show short term gains to the customer by using recycled copper as input. But the customers must realise that this not only reduces the life and reliability of their product but can also end up producing a non-ROHS compliant product which can lead to long-term problems and loss of credibility internationally.
“We, at GEEKAY, believe that although the cost is very important, quality is the only way to reduce costs.”
WCI: What is the future roadmap and growth strategy of the company?
SA: India is yet to see the economies of scale that are there in China and in order to do that, the market size has to grow. The per capita income of China is more than USD 10000 while in India it is nearly USD 2000, and India has to get there sooner than later. This increase in per capita income will turn India’s huge population into one of the biggest consumer markets and the world will want a share of this market. This in turn will open new opportunities for everyone including the enameled wire industry.
In addition with the advent of EV and HEV, the consumption of wire per vehicle will become almost ten times as the engine will be replaced by a motor. GEEKAY wants to be a leader in this growth story and has the resources with respect to team, knowledge, and infrastructure to capitalise on these opportunities.