COMPONENTS Construction Equipment

Southco Innovating touch points to elevate automotive and construction experience

In a conversation with Rajesh Rajgor, Veeresh Manrai, the General Manager of Business Development at Southco India Pvt. Ltd., highlighted the company’s commitment to revolutionizing touch points in the automotive and construction industries. Manrai expressed optimism about sustaining growth, navigating challenges, and contributing to various industries through innovative solutions. The conversation touched on Southco’s role in global expansion, increased exports, and vital contributions to automotive, construction, and railway sectors, emphasizing the company’s dedication to talent retention and localization.

At EXCON 2023, Veeresh Manrai, General Manager of Business Development at Southco India Pvt. Ltd., emphasized the company’s commitment to advancing touch points in both automotive and construction industries. He expressed gratitude, stating, “Southco has always been known as the quality player in the touch points essential in the automotive industry.” At the event, the company showcased electronic access solutions, aiming to elevate touch points. Manrai explained, “We are displaying technologies not very normal in the construction industry, urging OEMs and operators to look at the progression and improve touch points.”

Discussing Southco’s offerings for construction equipment, Manrai highlighted the importance of the cabin area, stating, “If you look at any construction equipment, one of the products is the cabin, which is where the operator sits inside.” Southco provides solutions for entry doors, sliding windows, top hatches, and door catchers, offering engineering access hardware. “The customer can access their end product using our products,” Manrai added.

Incorporating IoT into their electronic latch solutions, Southco enables remote access control, ensuring specific operators have access. Manrai explained, “When an equipment is working in mining or a quarry, you want to ensure that the access is only given to a specific operator.” The company has close to 40 engineers and 300 manufacturing personnel in India, reinforcing its R&D and manufacturing capabilities for the “Make in India” initiative.

Southco serves various industries, including automotive, construction, and railways. Manrai noted, “The automotive industry is over the roof at this point in time, with waiting times for vehicles.” Southco is actively involved in supplying products for Vande Bharat trains in the railway industry. Acknowledging the challenges in talent retention, Manrai stated, “It’s difficult to retain talent because of the opportunities in the market.

Regarding domestic and overseas demand, Southco has seen increased exports to the US and Europe, particularly in the automotive and truck industries. Manrai highlighted their goal, stating, “We want to maintain 30% growth next year.” The company focuses on localization and talent retention, aligning with the “Make in India” concept. Manrai concluded, “As you grow, you need to also grow your talent.”
In terms of revenue, Southco’s business primarily comes from the OE market, with around 10-15% from aftermarket through distributors. Looking ahead, Southco aims to sustain growth, navigate challenges, and continue contributing to various industries through its innovative touch point solutions. Manrai affirmed, “Our touch points exist in the construction industry, railways, automotive industry, and places where people interact with machines, even places such as ATMs.”