Constant Heat in Business
Nikhil Sawhney, MD and vice chairman of Triveni Turbines, India's largest industrial steam turbine maker, emphasizes the relentless heat they face in their industry. Despite the scorching Delhi-NCR summer, he remains composed, explaining the intricacies of steam turbines and the importance of fluid dynamics.
The Incessant Pursuit of Excellence
Triveni Turbines believes in staying ahead of the competition by setting ambitious benchmarks. They have a history of pushing the envelope, demerging from their parent entity in 2010 and forming a joint venture with GE Oil & Gas to dominate the global market for steam turbines.
The Challenge of Brand Perception
In the early 2000s, Indian steam turbine manufacturers faced a challenge: poor brand perception on the global stage. Triveni decided to invest in research, development, and engineering, backing themselves to overcome this hurdle.
Leveraging India's Engineering Talent
Triveni recognized the value of India's cost-effective engineering talent. They didn't just rely on labor cost arbitrage but focused on adding value through engineering expertise, making them highly cost-competitive.
Building Tech Alliances Worldwide
Simultaneously, Triveni started forging tech alliances globally. In 2002-03, they identified design houses in the US with experience in defense and aerospace, leading to the development of a new family of blades.
In FY12, Triveni Turbines witnessed significant growth, with revenues reaching `632 crore. Their partnership with GE gained momentum, and exports were poised to increase from a mere 5% in 2010. Triveni became India's leading player in sub-30 MW markets, even amidst a 40% contraction in the domestic market.
Over the next decade, Triveni continued to prosper, achieving 817.9 crore in revenue by FY20. International sales reached 392.2 crore, with 87 turbines manufactured, an order book of 793.5 crore, and a PAT of 121.8 crore. The company expanded globally, from Southeast Asia to the UK and Turkey.
Triveni's growth trajectory faced unforeseen challenges, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic. The bitter end of their decade-old joint venture with GE added to the difficulties, coinciding with a global decline in the steam turbine market from 115 MW to 74 MW between 2012 and 2022.
Transformation Through Aftermarket
Triveni Turbines adapted to the changing landscape through its aftermarket segment, which includes parts sales, services, and refurbishments for third-party turbine users. By Q4 FY23, aftermarket sales accounted for 40% of revenue, and exports mirrored this trend, rising from 25.8% to 51.8%. Turbine production also surged, reaching 190 units in FY23.
Triveni expanded its global footprint with installations in 75-plus countries and turbine sales in 80-plus nations. Their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) now total 338, showcasing their technological prowess.
Industry experts believe that Triveni Turbines is well-positioned for future growth, with a strong presence in domestic and global markets. Their inquiry pipeline, robust Indian market share (around 50%), and aftermarket focus make them a formidable player. Exports, particularly in the renewable energy sector, are expected to contribute over 50% of total revenue in the medium to long term.