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How a start-up is going global

June 30, 2006 14:33 IST

In 1989, when B R Krishna Kumar left his highly paid job of an engineering specialist at Garrett Turbine Engine Company in US (now Honeywell) to start Turbotech Precision Engineering, he knew that he was going to shoulder a particularly high level of risk.

Today, the firm is a symbol of the new generation of successful SMEs, which rely on their technological prowess and not reservation to survive and prosper.

Krishna Kumar, managing director, an MS from Cornell University started the company as a consultancy in the field of turbo machineries.

Then several years down the line in 1996, he decided to develop and market his own line of turbo machineries. It was then a Rs 40 lakh company which had initiated a project worth Rs 4 crore (Rs billion).

Today, the firm has a work force of 102 and an annual turnover of Rs 10 crore (Rs billion) and is set to expand its production capacity as the demand for its energy conservation turbines and low cost gas turbines at home and aboard is booming.

It is going to commission a new production unit at Peenya Industrial Area in the city with an investment of Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million), apart from increasing the

capacity of the existing plant at Neelamangala on the outskirts of the city.

With the new investments, the company is seeking to increase the capacity of energy conservation steam turbines to 5 mw. The company presently has capacity to manufacture energy efficient steam and gas turbines up to 2.5 mw capacity.

"Once operational, we will be able to produce at least 10-20 steam and gas turbines of various capacities every month," said Krishna Kumar.

The big break for the company came last year when it secured funding from International Finance Corporation, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank. Besides this, a private equity deal has invested around Rs 2.7 crore (Rs 27 million) in the company from its Environment Opportunity Fund, which promotes energy-saving technologies.

In the current fiscal, the company is planning to raise its head count to at least 160 and aiming to enter many African and South American countries.

"We have already entered Sri Lanka and recently booked two orders from UAE, where we are present with a strategic partner." Going ahead, the company is expecting orders from Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.


Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in New Delhi
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