Metro Rail News team Interviewed Mr Kumar Subramaniyam during IREE 2023. He is the Managing Director of EMKA-India. This interview explores the latest innovations and technologies ushered by EMKA-India in the Indian mobility sector, emphasising Railways. This interview also unravels the company’s commitment towards sustainability and an environmentally friendly approach to business.
In the dynamic landscape of India’s rail industry, Kumar Subramaniyam stands at the forefront of innovation and transformation. As the Managing Director of EMKA-India, a German-based family-owned company with a rich history, Subramaniyam leads a team dedicated to revolutionising the rail sector. In an exclusive interview, he shares insights into EMKA’s cutting-edge product portfolio, its commitment to global standards, and its role in major rail projects across India. Here are the edited excerpts:
Q1: Kindly share a brief outline of the company’s product portfolio, especially for the rail industry.
EMKA is a renowned German-based, family-owned, middle-sized company with a remarkable history. With over eleven manufacturing units and a 400 plus million euros turnover, EMKA is a leading manufacturer of locking systems, hinges, gaskets, and a wide range of accessories, including the emergency hammer, specifically designed for the railway industry. Our product portfolio is highly acclaimed for its innovative locking systems and matches global standards and requirements.
Q2: In what ways do the products by EMKA match global standards and requirements? How do you ensure product versatility and coverage for a vast category of rail vehicles?
As mentioned, EMKA is a German-based company that has established a close working relationship with global manufacturing OEMs such as Bombardier, Siemens, and Delner, amongst other top companies. Through this partnership, we have developed a strong expertise in creating products that can withstand even the toughest working conditions, including snow and harsh climate conditions, ensuring that our products meet global standards. This expertise has been extended to our Indian counterparts, and we are proud to say that the same high-quality product that we offer in Europe is now being made available to the Indian Railway industry. Our products are designed to cater to a vast range of categories for all types of vehicles, including Metros and faster trains, making them truly of global standard.
Q3: What are the company’s new and innovative products for the railroad industry?
Certainly, for the railway industry, our company generates a turnover of approximately 20-30%, and this segment is rapidly growing in India. Our company consistently endeavours to innovate and introduce new products. Our technology centre in Germany launches new products every couple of weeks. For instance, we have developed an anti-vibration quarter turn for the railway market. This means that moulds can now be produced in India.
Additionally, we have introduced special gaskets that can withstand high temperatures in a fire accident. These are some of the innovative solutions we keep bringing to the market. Our company is renowned for innovation, and we strive to innovate to continuously introduce new products to the market.
Q4: What are the various ongoing projects and significant orders on the books for India’s metro and rail industry?
I am pleased to provide an overview of the projects in which we are currently engaged. Our organisation is involved in various projects within India and projects operated from India for the global market. Specifically, we are proud to contribute to several metro projects, including the Bhopal project, Delhi Metro expansion project, Pune Metro, and the Bangalore Metro expansion project. We are also involved in high-speed train operations, such as the new Vande Bharat project, working collaboratively with ICF team members and the Alstom team in Bangalore. Our team at EMKA India is actively engaged in a range of upcoming projects both within and beyond India. We are committed to delivering quality results and contributing to our organisation’s continued growth and success.
Q.5 With the Indian Railway undergoing a massive transformation in infrastructure, passenger experience, and rolling stock, how will EMKA be part of this journey?
We are pleased to inform you that we have established a robust online technology network in close collaboration with our technology and testing centres in Upatal, Germany. This partnership enables us to transfer the latest technological advancements from Europe to the Indian market in real time. As a result, we can keep pace with the rapid development of technology in Europe and bring it to India. We aim to catch up with high-speed new projects and ensure we provide our clients with the best possible service. As an Indian representative of an overseas company, we take pride in maintaining a formal and professional approach to our work.
Q.6 As an Indian representing an overseas company in India, what has been your journey so far with EMKA? What challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them?
There appears to be a certain degree of apprehension in the German mindset regarding the progress made in India. However, upon witnessing firsthand the pace of development in India, they are beginning to realise that it is indeed happening. Having spent 25 years in Germany, I deeply understand the German perspective. Additionally, I know how things operate because I was born and raised in India. That being said, India is currently experiencing a dynamic growth phase, with numerous projects tangibly coming to fruition. While no significant obstacles have been encountered thus far, our team at EMKA has been restructured and is now operating faster. The team is currently faced with the challenge of responding to customer needs and providing technical solutions. This journey with EMKA has spanned nearly two years for me, during which time we have worked to establish new team dynamics in India’s growth phase. Our growth potential is reflected in our growth rate, which has reached nearly 80% compared to the previous year. The team in Germany, as well as the parent company, now recognises the importance of the Indian market and provides support and encouragement to invest more in the Indian factory and subcontinent. Our sales team is present throughout India, allowing customers to reach out to us easily from any location, such as Ahmedabad or northern India.
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