Anand Group allies with FAR and Mazaro for mutual benefit. The two collaborations are expected to be leveraged for innovative and lightweight solutions.
Story by: Deven Lad

Anand Group is not new to alliances having established the first business venture (erstwhile Gabriel India) in alliance with Maremont Corporation for the manufacture of shock absorbers at a facility in Mulund, Mumbai. With over five decades of continued exposure to several such alliances with global companies. According to Sunil Kaul, Group President, Innovation and Technology and Excellence in Manufacturing at Anand Group, the company over the last six decades has formed alliances with leading global automotive companies. Out of the 17 Group companies, 12 companies are joint venture entities including seven technical collaborations in the area of light-weighting and enhancing the efficiency of transmissions or powertrains. In yet another testimony of its collaborative approach, earlier this year the company inked two new partnerships. With a focus on innovative solutions to reduce emissions, the group has allied with the UK based FAR known for its lightweight structural composite materials. The alliance will see the two entities jointly work to lightweight vehicles significantly and help Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to attain higher levels of fuel efficiency as they strive to offer the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in turn to their customers.

In collaboration with Mazaro of Belgium, Anand Group aims to enhance the efficiency of transmissions and thus the powertrain itself. The company is of the belief that the latter’s technology has the potential to reduce the energy consumption of Internal Combustion Engines and EVs by up to 18 per cent. Averred Anjali Singh, Executive Chairperson of Anand Group, “Our aim is to bring cutting edge technology to cater to the Indian OEMs. The collaboration with FAR will evolve to create innovative light-weighting solutions for the Indian OEMs. The association with Mazaro will help to create efficient transmission systems for the Indian automotive industry.”

Committed to strategic investments in India, according to Kaul, the Group is closely watching all the developments. “The Indian Government is enforcing driving standards through Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency/Economy (CAFE) regulations, with an ambitious goal of reducing emissions to 95 gm of CO2/km in the coming years.” “The FAME II scheme enables adoption for Full Battery Electric Vehicles. While the EVs may not have any tailpipe emissions, they have about 20 per cent higher carbon footprint in manufacturing as compared to ICE propelled vehicles,” opined Kaul. Of the opinion that price could be a crucial deciding factor for the go-to-market strategy, explained Kaul that customer satisfaction continues to remain the biggest challenge for companies. “Prices could be higher for carbon composites which are expensive. We should go beyond a product and look at a system,” he stated. For instance, the composites are said to eliminate the need to weld. Capable of being joint with the use of chemicals, the latter is said to offer the strength of a welded joint. This further eliminates the need to paint owing to the high anti-corrosion capabilities and in turn, reduces the overall processes. It also brings along the benefit of reduced tool cost and tooling investments besides facilitating a low TCO.

FAR alliance

FAR-UK is known for its expertise in composites, R&D material development, finite element analysis and testing for correlation, simulation and bench testing, automotive design, product and process innovation besides operational excellence. Backed by a team with rich experience of working with automotive companies in the UK and Europe, the Anand Group is confident of the new partnership laying the foundation of light-weighting in vehicles by almost 50 per cent. The company claims to be in a position to offer OEMs lightweight composites as a result of the alliance, matching the strength of high strength alloy steel while weighing similar to aluminium. Forecasting a revenue generation of an estimated Rs.600 crores by 2025, Anand will explore and create first to the world applications in the Indian automotive sector through the use of carbon fibre judiciously and efficiently. The partnership is expected to positively impact last-mile connectivity, intracity transportation of goods across segments of two, three and four-wheelers for different duty cycles.

Mazaro alliance

Belgium-based Mazaro is credited with the patented invention of an entirely new transmission technology for a broad range of vehicles, auxiliaries and industrial applications. With an objective to study and optimise the whole driveline for typical driving cycles of vehicles or industrial applications, Filip De Mazière, has designed transmissions and clutches for over 25 years for major OEMs of high-end sports cars, passenger cars, off-highway vehicles and material handling equipment. In collaboration Mazaro, Anand Group aims to enhance the efficiencies of transmissions and inturn the powertrain. Of the belief that Mazaro’s technology has the potential to reduce consumption of energy in ICE and EVs by up to 18 per cent, Anand expects to generate an estimated revenue of Rs.350 crores by 2025. The alliance like with FAR is expected to positively impact four-wheelers used for last-mile connectivity, intracity transportation of goods, passenger vehicles across segments and off-highway applications like forklifts and generating sets. Through the two alliances, Anand Group will strive to make BSVI and Electric Vehicles economically viable.

While increasing efficiencies and cutting down on emissions, the company vows to look at every aspect of the vehicle. Citing a comparison with the existing components and the group joint ventures in the ’90s at a time when the economy opened up, according to Kaul, the company is well aware of the market’s demand for innovative products. “Innovative products take time because you have to search for them. You need a certain amount of conviction and need to be confident before the development is taken forward owing to the high-risks involved in terms of investments and a failure,” he said. “It’s like a startup where we are scouting for another three to four such products for which we expect to ink three more alliances by the year-end,” he concluded. ACI


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