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We are here to stay: Siemens

June 03, 2011 12:10 IST

Peter Loescher, Global CEO of German giant Siemens, in India during Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit this week, talks about the company's plans for India and speculation about the Indian subsidiary's de-listing.

Are you happy with the growth of your Indian business?

India is a major driver for our global growth. And, we expect the country to play a larger role in our global operations in the future.

Looking at our last quarter, you can see that Siemens has increased both revenue and order intake in India. Compared to our second quarter in FY2010, our new orders, for example, climbed nearly 60 per cent to more than €800 million.

This equals almost four times the growth compared to China or the US. And over the last five years, our order intake has grown over 50 per cent. Those are excellent results, but you can be assured: Siemens will not lean back now!

What growth areas are you are looking at?

The mid-market segment has the strongest growth in India and other emerging countries. We want to benefit from this growth.

Therefore, we will further invest in the development and manufacturing of products for this market. India will be a major hub for this.

We have already more than 60 products in the pipeline here, and we are confident that we will increase our business in this segment significantly over the next few years.

Does India rank high as an investment destination, too?

Siemens has been in India for more than 100 years. From the very beginning up to today, we identified India as an important location for investment. This means Siemens looks at a long-term co-operation.

We are here to stay! Just last year, we announced investment of €250 million over three years in India to expand our product portfolio for the mid-market

segment and upgrade our factories in the country.

Siemens has filed an application to set up a non-banking finance company in India. Why do you plan to go into the business?

As announced in March this year, we will set up a financial services arm in India, Siemens Financial Services.

It will focus on developing an asset financing business by offering, for example, loans, leasing and other finance products for our energy, industry, healthcare and city customers.

Are you planning to sell your stake in Bangalore airport to GVK?

We do not comment on speculation.

The parent company, Siemens, has been doing an open offer to raise the stake in the Indian operation. What was the reason?

We have invested around €1 billion and successfully raised our stake to 75 per cent just recently. This enables us to further develop our business in India.

There is also the rumour that you plan to delist Siemens' Indian operations.

We have no plans at the moment to delist our Indian operations.

Which areas do you see potential growth in India?

Let me give you some examples. With an annual growth of six per cent, India will be one of the biggest markets for wind energy by 2020. We will be investing €70 million until 2012 to build a wind turbine factory for the Indian market, in Gujarat.

Clean energy protects the climate and improves the people's quality of life. Already today, environmental pollution is responsible for a fourth of all illnesses worldwide.

Another solution is a hybrid bus that we have developed with our partner, Agrale, for São Paolo's public transportation system.

It reduces energy costs and CO2 emissions by up to 30 per cent and contributes to clean air. That is good for Siemens but also good for the customer, the environment and the people.

Katya B Naidu in Mumbai