Vacuum technologies major Hind High Vacuum Co Pvt Ltd (HHV) plans to expand with a third plant around Bangalore focusing on the defence and aerospace business, according to Mr Nagarjun Sakhamuri, Managing Director.
The low-profile, family-owned company that was started in 1965 has been supplying equipment for satellite and aircraft projects of ISRO, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, DRDO and the Department of Atomic Energy for many years, Mr Sakhamuri, who runs the company with his founder-Chairman father and brother, told Business Line.
As a pioneer vacuum technology provider in the country, HHV, he said, wanted to move to the next level and increase its global presence. Its aim was to more than double its turnover to Rs 500 crore by 2014 (from nearly Rs 200 crore this fiscal year). Its revenues come from specialised domestic projects; exports, contract manufacture and consultation.
The way defence and space segments are growing in infrastructure, we too would like to do that. We are looking at (buying) 30-40 acres of property around 60 km from Bangalore where we would like to build some large facilities. (This would) mainly cater to the requirements of space and defence.
OPEN TO OPTIONS
The third plant may require an investment of Rs 200-300 crore and HHV was open to taking in a foreign equity partner for it or an investor in its existing plant. Three overseas companies were interested, he said.
The vacuum facility has received funding from venture capital fund Aureos while SIDBI's venture arm has financed HHV's Rs 70-crore solar unit at Dobbespet, 60 km from Bangalore.
With vacuum technology, we are in a niche market. Today, there is not less than Rs 300-400-crore potential in this country; of that, at least Rs 150-200 crore worth of it is typically imported, he said.
Currently, HHV is building a special cabin environment
for ISRO's Thiruvananthapuram unit and this will be used in early tests for
human flights. A novel robotic welding system for HAL's Sukhoi-30 fighters is
almost ready. A system it earlier supplied to the IAF now allows the Air Force
to do routine stress tests on engines and components of Mirage fighters within
the country instead of sending them to France. A special mirror coating unit has
been put up in Ladakh's Hanle near the country's high-altitude telescope, so
that its heavy mirror need not be brought down for a fresh coat. HHV vacuum
processes also support the coating that goes into making the Tejas (LCA)
fighter invisible on enemy radars; besides the coating of night vision devices;
and the paint that makes missiles and turbine blades of fighter aircraft
anti-corrosive, Mr Sakhamuri.