JCBL Group Plans To Invest More In Train Biz In railways, JCBL Group forged partnerships with OEMs such as Alstom, Bombardier, General Electric and key coach factories within Indian Railways
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In 2023 JCBL laid the groundwork for several substantial initiatives including the production of components for Vande Bharat Trains, execution of the Mumbai Metro project and delivery of the Tren Maya for Mexico. In terms of diversification, it introduced motorhomes in various parts of the country and in 2024, it plans to build on these achievements to further strengthen its position in the market.
"Substantial investments are underway across various sectors to capitalize on the robust demand in our train business. We are establishing a brand-new plant dedicated to fiberglass and sheet metal production. Within the defense sector, the establishment of another new plant is in progress, complementing recent capacity expansions in Chennai. These expansions cater to both defense and application business needs," said Rishi Aggarwal, MD, JCBL Group.
Furthermore, acknowledging the growing potential of the Ayurveda sector in India, strategic investments were made last year. "The market has responded positively to our brand, and this year plans are in place to expand our presence not only in India but also internationally. This expansion includes diversifying our product offerings with an increase in stock keeping units (SKUs)," he said.
OEMs & defense
The collaborative efforts with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) span across a spectrum of sectors, including commercial vehicles, application building and railways. As much as 80 per cent of the buses it produces are for OEMs such as Ashok Leyland, Volvo-Eicher combining school buses, staff applications and city buses.
In railways, it has forged partnerships with OEMs such as Alstom, Bombardier, General Electric, and key coach factories within Indian Railways, namely ICF, RCF and MCF. Beyond railways, its services extend to various industries, where it supplies cutting-edge measurement and control equipment to companies.
Additionally, the company extends defense solutions, where it engages with OEMs. "When identifying technological gaps, we establish international partnerships to develop products in India with their support. A notable example is the RCWL (remote control weapon system), a product currently in development through collaboration with our partners in Slovakia," Aggarwal said.
Leveraging its experience in application building and core engineering competence, the company develops paradrop systems and undertakes projects, including the refurbishment of armored recovery vehicles. The company has secured a substantial order from BEML to manufacture a 50-ton trailer for the defense forces. "Following a year of dedicated effort, these trailers have commenced production, and we anticipate delivering the entire order next year, with expectations of subsequent orders. This aligns with our commitment to contributing to the Make in India initiative," he added. Various defense projects, including Paradrop systems, underwent successful testing with the defense forces in 2023.
EVs & Supply chain disruptions
JCBL is still at a very nascent stage in its electric vehicle strategy. Currently, it is collaborating with OEMs to contribute to the development of electric buses. "Simultaneously, we are in the process of developing a comprehensive standalone strategy for our involvement in the electric vehicle market. At present, we focus on participating in white-label manufacturing of electric buses for both international and domestic partners. Our extensive range of services includes assembly, manufacturing, homologation and after-sales support across India for our partners," said the MD.
Certain key factors ensure minimal impact on JCBL Group even during significant supply chain disruptions. "One of our core strengths lies in our reliance on locally available sources, a strategy that not only safeguards our business but also plays a crucial role in empowering the local community." However, it faced hurdles in specific areas, such as the procurement of crucial materials: Obtaining resins and chemicals essential for manufacturing train components, sourcing bulletproof steel and glass. "We heavily rely on our international partners for these essential materials. Fortunately, with the unwavering support from our international collaborators, we navigated through these challenges, delivering quality solutions despite the demanding circumstances," he explained.
JCBL Group clocked a revenue of $206.02 million in FY24. Rishi Aggarwal joined his family's business in 1996, when they were only making bodies for Swaraj Mazda vehicles. Subsequently, he contributed effectively to the family's entrepreneurial endeavors with his innovative ideas.