Valeo Facings Reach New Markets
Auto Components India|July 2021
Valeo Friction Materials India hit the bull’s eye with its export strategy. Ashish Bhatia looks at the all round efforts undertaken to reach new markets despite a raging pandemic.
Ashish Bhatia

The outbreak of the pandemic aggravated the situation and impacted global trade equations. Indian auto component manufacturers, however, in the first half of the fiscal 2020-21, for the first time, witnessed a trade surplus. In effect, the positive trade balance meant that exports outweighed imports. Auto component exports, however, declined by 23.6 per cent to Rs.39,003 crore (USD 5.2 billion) in H12020-21 from Rs.51,028 crore (USD 7.4 billion) in H12019-20. Amidst the trend, Valeo Friction Materials India (VFMI) proved to be an exception as it hit the bull’s eye. In line with its export strategy, the company’s total export sales accounted for seven per cent of its total annual business in the year 2019.

Valeo’s counter-strategy to steer past the slump in the domestic market had the company, in 2020, enter new territories such as South America, the Balkans, SAARC nations and the ASEAN countries. Establishing its business in new territories, VFMI was able to achieve a significant milestone of 145 per cent growth in exports. It accounted for 19 per cent of the overall annual business. The company attributes the success to key initiatives like strategic pricing of the products, effective negotiation, submitting the samples to prospective customers, and rapid testing and validation. The company credits the growth to the proactive and effective planning of deliveries to circumvent the logistic and supply chain challenges, efforts to reach out and reestablishing connections with the existing network that enabled the company to leverage new business opportunities. The company especially focussed on identifying new customers in new geographies besides allocating resources for participation in the overseas automobile and components exhibitions to create an awareness around its products and next-generation technologies.

Focussed on reducing carbon emissions

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