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Honeywell's lady charmed by India

May 05, 2006 14:42 IST

Adriane M Brown shrugs off the 'second most powerful woman' in the global automotive industry tag with a smile but reluctantly admits that she is the most powerful woman in Honeywell Turbo Technologies, a California-based $4.5 billion company.

The global automotive industry considers her to be second only to Anne Stevens, the Ford executive, who is termed as the most powerful woman in the automotive sector.

"I am not in the numbers game, and personally I don't keep a track. These things keep happening around me and to me, and I am not personally motivated by what number I am," Brown, who heads Honeywell Transportation Systems as its President and CEO, told Business Standard. She is also the president of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

"I met Stevens and we even shared a recognition last year, and I have also driven a racing car, a NASCAR," she adds. Stevens drove a Formula-I to prove that she could be at the helm of a man's world.

Brown is in India for opening of the company's turbo charger factory, which is being set up in Pune. Honeywell has also signed up Tatas as the launch customer (incidentally Tatas is Honeywell's largest single customer).

The company will make 1.4- and 2.2-litre turbo chargers from the plant, in which it had already invested $10 million, that it will confirm to Euro III and Euro IV emission norms. The plant's present capacity is around 125,000 units, which would be doubled, depending on the marker conditions.

"We would like to start with the Indian mindset and target both the domestic and export markets, even as we have signed up three OEM customers," Brown said. It will also increase headcount to 130 employees by the end of the year from the present 60.

The company is also looking at outsourcing $100 million worth of components - mainly aluminium and iron castings and precision components - from India in the next 3 to 4 years.

This year, the company had placed an order for $25 million this year, while in the previous year it was around $10 million.

Honeywell would also look at participating in Tata's small car project, but at this juncture it is too early to comment, she said.

With annual revenues of $4.5 billion, Honeywell Transportation Systems is a subsidiary of the $25 billion global giant Honeywell.

Honeywell Transportation Systems consists of Honeywell Turbo Technologies, the world's largest manufacturer of automotive turbo chargers with revenues of $2.4 billion, and Honeywell Consumer Products Group.

Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai