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Dr. Fritsch: German Technology With Indian Touch

The German expertise was brought to India by establishing a manufacturing plant here in Bangalore in 2004. The intention was to assemble machines locally for Indian market after gathering information of specific requirements of Indian stone industry.

Dr FritschDr. Fritsch, Germany is the one of the leading maker of machinery for the manufacture of diamond tools. Founded in 1953, the company attained a new high under the stewardship of Mr. Karl Weber who took over the management in 1968. Dr. Fritsch’s Indian arm- Dr. Fritsch Machines & Powders Pvt. Ltd.-was established in 2004 in Bangalore to tap the big and growing Indian market and provide it with productive German technology and metal powder. Dr. Fritsch India offers customers a full range of machinery for the diamond tool production along with competent service. In close cooperation with the local customers and the know-how transfer from Dr. Fritsch, Germany, machines for the Indian market have been developed.

Dr. Fritsch’s portfolio includes all machinery needed for the manufacturing of state of the art diamond tools: machines for weighing, mixing, pressing and sintering up to welding and grinding. The company also offers advice regarding the project planning; it installs and commissions machines on request.

Stone and Tile in India magazine, recently, had a brief chat with Mr. Friedrich Bickel, Director, Dr. Fritsch Machines & Powders Pvt. Ltd. to know about the company’s experience with the Indian market and its future targets.

Stone and Tile in India: Tell us about Dr. Fritsch, India and its solutions to stone industry.

Friedrich Bickel: Dr. Fritsch, Germany has a long history for making cutting edge machines for diamond tool industry. The German expertise was brought to India by establishing a manufacturing plant here in Bangalore in 2004. The intention was to assemble machines locally for Indian market after gathering information of specific requirements of Indian stone industry.

STI: How has been the journey since 2004 with regards to the Indian market?

FB: In the beginning, we made just a single machine, Sinter Press, which was quite successful. Afterwards, we made it a point to develop one machine per year. We established a complete production line for diamond tools in India which was not meant only to cater to Indian market, but was developed to export machines to Germany to be sold worldwide.

Soon after Dr. Fritsch India was founded, we also started to make our metal powders and related services there which are made available ex our Bangalore office. Developing tailor-made sintering metal powders for diamond tool makers and also ensuring access to all needed raw materials, even if only needed in small quantities, is an important business section Dr. Fritsch Germany offers to customers since decades. The advantage to customer is obvious. We are not only a machine maker, but can also assist in finding the right process parameter to make good tools. Customers in India have the choice to either import direct from Germany, or make use of service from Dr. Fritsch India maintaining powders stocks in Bangalore and Jaipur.

STI: How has been the response from the Indian stone industry to Dr. Fritsch’s technology offerings?

FB: We have felt the ups and downs in the Indian stone industry over the years of our activity here. Last year was quite tough as many quarries have been closed, especially in South India. Accordingly, there has been a drop in our sales. But, in the year 2015, we are witnessing increased optimism in the market which is good for our company. We hope this optimism would convert in good business for Dr. Fritsch and we are looking forward to it.

STI: What challenges in doing business did you find in the Indian market?

FB: There are challenges all the time in the Indian market and we don’t find it an easy market. It’s an extremely price driven market and we face quite hard times in educating and convincing people about the utility of good technology and how it is going to cut cost substantially in longer run. Everybody is asking for cheaper and economical machines and technology. As a technology provider, we have to bridge the gap between the high quality we are aiming at and the low price people are asking for.

We have been able to devise some of the machines which are economical yet technologically sound. We are trying to introduce economical machines wherever the labor cost is huge, and these machines are even exported to Germany. The main challenge, however, remains in the high end machines where we have to import almost 70 percent of the items value wise.

Dr Fritsch1STI: Dr. Fritsch’s strategy in coming 2-3 years?

FB: Our strategy for the Indian market is simple-we will keep going on and developing new machines. We will be designing and developing machines and tools which may have the feasibility to be exported back to Germany and be sold in other markets as well. The development of at least one machine per year would be the goal.

STI: Any recent product development you wish to share?

FB: We are displaying our latest development in Sinter Machine; it’s an economical model. We are also in the process of developing a wire grinding machine for the wire industry.

STI: Does Dr. Fritsch have any R&D facility in India?

FB: Our main machine design facility is in Germany. But, we have a local design office here in Bangalore for designing and developing machines for the Indian market. The team is experienced and technically productive in terms of developing machines after duly interacting with customers to know their requirements and specifications. This is very essential for Dr. Fritsch to know the customer’s want in terms of quality. Dr. Fritsch wants to make machines that perform exactly the way customers want it to. Moreover, the key factor which separates us from others is our local service team.

STI: Any message to the Indian stone industry from Dr. Fritsch?

FB: The message is that we are here to serve the industry in all possible manners of technology. We have established our brand in Bangalore and sales office in Jaipur. Let’s know us your demands in form of machines and technology and we will find a way to make it. Same applies for our metal powder business – wherever we can support our Indian customers to improve their tools or find solutions for new products, we are ready to assist.

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