Studds eyes 25 pc jump in sales this fiscal; hires 700 for new plant

Mumbai, Aug 25 (PTI) Studds, the leading manufacturer of two-wheeler helmets, aims at least 25 percent growth in revenue to Rs 500 crore this year on the back of the rising demand for personal transport created by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a senior company official.

Significantly, at a time when many companies have been on a retrenchment mode — the latest figures peg the job losses at about 1.8 crores since the lockdown began — Studds has hired 700 people to man its new plant commissioned earlier this month, the official said.

He added that its total employee strength now stands at to 2,500, and the new plant will add over 1,000 more on reaching full capacity, which is currently at 25 percent.

The company sells popular motorcycle helmets under the brand names of Studds, Shifter and the Thunder series, and the SMK brand of premium helmets which are priced in the range of Rs 12,000-16,000.

The Faridabad-based Studds Accessories manufactures the popular Studds and the premium SMK labeled helmets and has installed capacity to manufacture 14 million units annually at its four plants, which is almost 15 percent of the global output, Studds Accessories Managing Director Sidhartha Bhushan Khurana told PTI.

“Since May, there has been an increase in our sales as more and more people are opting for personal commute given the pandemic,” Khurana said.

He added that the company closed fiscal 2019-20 with a topline (revenue) of Rs 400 crore and going by the rising sales, this year is expected to be closed with a net sales of Rs 500 crore.

The company controls a little over 30 percent of the 2-2.50 crore units per annum domestic helmets market, of which 70 percent are organized, Khurana who has been at the helm since 1999, said, adding that the overall market is valued at around Rs 2,000 crore.

Being the largest two-wheeler market, India is also the largest helmets market globally followed by China and Indonesia, he said.

His optimism also stems from the regulatory side as he expects the new compulsory ISI marks giving him an advantage.

Whether he will increase the prices when the new norm sets in soon, he said there is no plan for such a move.

Earlier this month, the company commissioned Asia”s largest motorcycle helmet plant in Faridabad with a capacity to make 7.5 million units per annum at an investment of Rs 200 crore. The new facility also produces bicycle helmets for the domestic market.

The new plants will have a production capacity of 7.5 million units of motorcycle helmets and 1.5 million bicycle helmets per annum and will create over 1,500 jobs. Before the latest hiring, it was employing 1,800.

“With the commencement of these new plants, we have doubled our capacity to 14 million helmets per annum,” Khurana said adding that with these new units, they have four factories — all located in Faridabad.

The flagship Studds brand is exported to over 40 countries, and the new plant is aimed at ramping up exports. Exports contribute around 15 percent of its total sales. PTI BEN HRS

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