Innovation is Bosch’s strength

A year after Mr. P.K. Panish took over as Bosch Power Tools’ Regional Sales Director and Business Head for India and SAARC, WoodNews caught up with him on the market scenario.

Bosch Power Tools (BPT) in India, which embarked on its journey in 1993, has grown to become the market leader in the power tools segment with 30% market share. There have been many competitors (Indian and European) since then. How do you plan to retain and grow this share?

The market is highly competitive with a number of organised and unorganised players. The ‘make-in-India’ initiative by the government has fostered the manufacturing sector, which had attracted many companies to open their offices and start operations in India.

The expansion of distribution channels and online sales, demand from professionals, increasing inexpensive imports from China has driven the power tools market in India. The review period also witnessed new campaigns, product launches and launch of new distribution channels.

For instance the premium retail store concept, Bosch System Specialist, has created a niche in the market with its positioning as a total solutions provider for power tools while providing customers with a delightful shopping experience. 

Cordless tools with lithium-ion battery are some of the many innovations from its portfolio.

BPT experienced strong growth in 2016. We sold over a million power tools. Our success is based on consistently focusing on the user. We know what their needs are, and we can offer the users suitable solutions.

For the coming years also BPT is well-positioned. We see opportunities for growth in emerging markets and online in particular – for example with online sales and with our increasingly connected products.

BPT is opening 100 new authorised service centres in the year. Could you tell us more about your growth story?

Bosch already has more than 300 authorised service centres in the country. We are in the process of making after sales service very painless to our customers in terms of repair and warrantee. Our focus is to repair the tool at the fastest possible time at an affordable price with good availability of spares.

We have partners who run mobile vans to cater to on-ground service or on-site service, particularly to industrial users. The next big thing is after sales service.

What is the current Indian market size for woodworking tools in terms of revenue? Where does BPT stand revenue-wise?

Technavio’s analysts forecast the global woodworking machines market to grow at a CAGR of 2.93% during the period 2017-2021.

How and what is BPTs involvement in the ‘Skill India’ and ‘Make in India’ programmes?

We have recently announced the roll-out of 5 millionth power tool from the plant located in Oragadam, Chennai. This new unit, in which started producing power tools for artisans and tradesmen in the price range of Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 10,000, is part of the ‘Make in India’ programme announced by the government to boost manufacturing.

The facility, which is located close to Chennai, started in mid-2015. It produces more than 60 specific power tools. Our main objective of setting up the plant was to focus on the Indian market, with product design for India. The factory caters to India and also exports the products to the SAARC region. 

What differentiates you from your competition?

Innovative strength is an important basis for the success of Bosch Power Tools. In 2016, Bosch has introduced a brand new saw blade technology for do-it-yourselfers in the form of ‘nano-blades’. It is based on a saw blade with a revolving micro-chain. It consists of chain links which are only 4 mm in size.

The revolving chain means that the pendulum movement, which is typical of jigsaws and saber saws, featuring high vibrations and saw blade running, is no longer required. Bosch is taking sawing to the next level.

Also, our cordless range of tools which works on Lithium-ion technology is also an innovation in itself.

You currently export power tools to SAARC countries? Do you see any export potential for woodworking tools in other regions?

We export our products to the SAARC region and, yes, we see a lot of potential for woodworking machine tools in other regions as well.

How successful is the Power Tools Learning Campus in India?

The Power Tools Learning Campus makes a concentrated accumulation of knowledge and learning media surrounding the topics ‘Technology’ and ‘Application of power tools’ available to users. The campus enables Bosch to popularise the use of power tools among carpenters, plumbers, electricians and students undergoing technical courses. It also enables enterprises such as construction companies to train their workforce.

What are your plans and strategy for the Indian market in the coming years?

We will continue to focus on channel expansion and driving closer to the users. Our aim is to understand the needs of the end users and make sure we reach them with the right solutions and products. Bosch will continue its innovation strategy by developing both completely new products as well as helpful improvements in the established power tools range.

You have introduced tools in the ‘do-it-yourself’ segment. How has the market response been?

We introduced DIY tools which have been specially designed to help self-usage to execute jobs at home, ranging from drilling, screwing and fixing to cleaning. Bosch is the world leader in the power tools segment and a pioneer in DIY across different countries. We have received a phenomenal response from our customers.




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