Exclusive Interview with Ms. Rajashri Teli, Joint Managing Director, HYT Engineering

HYT engineering company Pvt Ltd was started in 1977 by our Chairman and My father, Mr Bhojraj Teli. HYT, since its inception, has always been involved in innovation and sophisticated technology. 

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Ms. Rajashri Teli, Joint Managing Director, HYT Engineering
Ms. Rajashri Teli, Joint Managing Director, HYT Engineering review Design and R&D Team.
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Metro Rail News Managing Editor Mr Narendra Shah conducted an email interview with Ms. Rajashri Teli, Joint Managing Director (J.M.D.), HYT Engineering. Ms Teli talks about her Journey and significant accomplishment so far. Here is the edited excerpt:

Q.1. Tell us something about your company which you are presently leading as the penultimate authority. What does it mean to you, and how does it feel. Kindly detail the OBS, including your position?

HYT engineering company Pvt Ltd was started in 1977 by our Chairman and My father, Mr Bhojraj Teli. HYT, since its inception, has always been involved in innovation and sophisticated technology. 

HYTs two business verticals, one being manufacturing of special-purpose machine tools for rolling stock maintenance and the second being executing E.P.C. turnkey projects for railways, are both highly demanding and technology-driven verticals. 

Till date, HYT has supplied over 800 machines to the railway sector and has more than 20 ongoing projects in the E.P.C. sector.

HYT proudly holds 99 % of the market share in Indian railways in the supply of C.N.C. surface wheel lathes and C.N.C. underfloor wheel lathes.

I joined the organisation in 2011 and became the whole time director in 2013. In 2021 I was appointed as the joint managing director. 

I am equally proud and ecstatic to be leading this organisation. Proud because HYT’s products and projects are ultimately building the nation and its economy, ecstatic because over the years HYT has built a very strong technical base and tremendous market goodwill. The future possibilities for the company within India and globally are boundless.

HYT’s vision is to build railway projects, supply machine tools worldwide. Be Nation’s No. 1 project execution company and global leader in manufacturing special-purpose machine tools. Our products and projects are smart, economical and eco-friendly.

We aim to do so by developing SMART, Economical and Eco-friendly machines and Projects 

Q.2. You have also worked as Vice President SAFOP S.R.L. Please tell us something about the company. Is it a separate entity, a different firm or organisation or the conglomerate of the company you are presently working as vice – president?

SAFOP S.R.L located in Pordenone, Italy, is a separate corporate entity and a 100% subsidiary of HYT engineering company, India. With a manufacturing facility of 24,000 sq. mt.,  SAFOP has a history of almost 100 years. Like HYT It is also a special purpose machine tool manufacturing company. It has supplied over 1400 wheel maintenance lathes, 32 ft large lathes, balmatic machines to to Energy, Steel, Paper, Oil, Aerospace, Shipyard and Heavy Industries around the world. SAFOP has a strong market base in U.S.A., Europe and Russia.

SAFOP S.r.l became a 100 % subsidiary of HYT in 2019. There are so many learning lessons that I as a vice president have learnt from delegation of authority to process structuring, From complex manufacturing project planning to thorough prototype testing and much more. Together HYT and SAFOP aim to become the powerhouse of innovation, a hub for the exchange of ideas and the world leaders in development and su pply of machine tools.

Q.3. You are leading your family business now. May be it is a bigger responsibility to you. How are you taking this opportunity? Please tell us something about your major accomplishment or key success?

Well, I don’t like to look at it as a family business anymore. I look at the business as a professional who has got this tremendous opportunity to take the company forward to realise its full potential. Our moto at HYT is to make the company independent from its investors and to make it a process and data-driven company.

One of my biggest contributions to the company has been developing the organisation and making the units and departments self-driven rather than owner driven. This has improved the efficiency of the operations taking the company’s top line from Rs. 179.59  Cr. In 2015 to Rs. 505.84 in F.Y. 2020-21 with a very strong bottom line. Today HYT has a total team of 800 people,  5 manufacturing units in Pune, 11 service centres across India and branch offices in Delhi and Chennai. HYT has now been dynamically expanding in the exports division by recent supplies to south Africa, Bangkok and France. HYT has successfully completed the supply and commissioning of C.N.C. Underfloor wheel lathe machine in France for SNCF to maintain its highspeed trains. 

Q.4. Would you like to share anything about your personal life, Your school days, education etc. Is there any dream you are too much pampered with and like to achieve in future?

I have always been patriotic. I always dreamt of joining the army or police force to serve my nation as a child. However, later in my teen years, my father explained the equal importance of building a nation as equal to protecting a nation.

That was when I realised how HYT engineering was helping the Indian economy by manufacturing import substitutes. Previously  India imported wheel maintenance machines at huge prices. HYT indigenously developed these machines and offered them at very reasonable prices, which has ultimately led to saving hundreds of crores of foreign exchange for the country. HYT had adopted the “Make in India” right from 1991 when it manufactured India’s First made in India wheel lathe machine making the nation ‘atmanirbhar’ in wheel maintenance technology. 

Q.5. Any failure or major setbacks in your career or projects supervised or taken. Would you like to speak of anything, If any?

A major challenge that I faced was back in 2013 when I was heading the company operations as a whole-time director at the age of 24. At that time, most of the organisation was comprised by senior staff whose work experience in HYT was more than my age. So their hesitance and doubt were natural. But their apprehensions soon changed when together as a team we led the company to a growth of 65 % over last 6 years. 

A second major setback I faced was in 2017 while developing a prototype machine. Again, a lot of time, money and efforts were already lost, and this prototype had started looking like a failure. It took as multiple “put out the fire” meetings to resolve the defects but ultimately, the final output was a massive success. 

The third and major setback was the pandemic. The uncertainty during 2020 and early 2021 had us wondering if HYT could come out on the other end. Nationwide lockdown followed by a slow economy and volatile market conditions were making our fears come true. 

This was a tough time for us but we as an organisation were tougher due to which HYT not only survived but also grew further. 

Q.6. As Joint MD what major activities you look after to in Hyt Engineering. How does the organisation plan to expand the business, keeping the professional standards and being at par with globally competitive engineering conglomerates?

Presently the key areas that I focus on are operations, financial planning,  Product and business development. I have spoken previously about HYT’s boundless potential to grow. With a strong technological base serving as our advantage, we are in the midst of developing more advanced import substitute machines for the Indian railways, metros and Highspeed trains. Our new C.N.C. Tandem Underfloor Wheel Lathe is one such product. The Automatic axle measuring attachment to our Vertical turning lathes has completely eliminated human intervention ultimately leading to improved accuracy and effective time-saving.

Automation and digitalisation are important but it’s important to understand that the age that we live in is a service age. Service is pivotal. I believe a  golden product has zero value if not coupled with services.

HYT has already been the pioneer in providing value-based services like “MAAS – machine as a service”, “industry 4.0” along with complete comprehensive services for our products.

With HYT’s wide and reliable service network we look froward to adding more service based offerings, fundamentally adding more value to our product and eventually benefiting the customer.

HYT has 20% of its revenue contributed through export sales and all the export machines are all C.E. certified, which makes HYT machines at par with the international standards. We have recently supplied underfloor wheel lathe machine to SNCF France with DEKRA accreditation for its highspeed trains, and we are proud to share that the machines is performing at its best.  

Q.7. Could you explain to our readers about the tandem underfloor wheel lathe technology ?

 CNC Tandem underfloor wheel lathe is an underfloor wheel lathe where two vehicle-mounted wheelsets can be simultaneously reprofiled in situ at the same time without removing the wheelsets of the rail/metros . The structure of the machine comprises of two under floor wheel lathes where one of the machine is fixed and the other is moving to accommodate variable center distance of the bogie .. Tandem underfloor wheel lathe Is the wheel lathe of the future and is specifically designed for the VandeBharat trains, Metros, Highspeed trains and the maintenance depots where high productivity is required with high number of wheelset profiling per day. 

Q.8. What are the latest trends in the railway EPC industry? 

Machine as a Service: Machines as a service is a prevailing business model and a better alternative for privatisation of maintenance process in the railway depots. In the model Machines of high value are leased for long term period inclusive of  the operations, spares , manpower  and guaranteed production is defined in the service contract . MAAS guarantees the output and maintenance. In this model, Railways provide  the input Material and the MAAS service provider guarantees the production. Railways in india  are adopting it predominantly to convert the CAPEX to OPEX.  

Industry 4.0 –  The maintenance depots of Railways and Metros are becoming smart day by day. Industry 4.0 is the enabler of enhanced control mechanisms, remote monitoring, predictive maintenance and superior safety features. The railways and metros have started adopting centralised and remote performance monitoring systems to have less dependency on traditional manual processes. This also reduces the requirement of manpower in maintenance yard and leads to manpower reduction and controlling the cost pertaining to spares and maintenance and also the breakdown time of machines.

Wheel Shop Automation for the Railway industry: The wheel shops of various railways zones should start implementing complete process Automation on its shop floor.   Overhead gantries, Turntables, automatic measuring stations, CNC controlled and traceability solutions are the main enablers for the Successful automation of wheel shop. The resultant benefits of wheel shop automation are reduction in manpower , increase in the productivity of wheel shop.it also has many safety features to avoid accidents on the shop floor.  

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