Calcutta, July 17: The country's No. 1 lead acid battery maker Exide Industries is betting big on the home inverter segment following the slowdown in demand from the automotive sector. The company plans to invest about Rs 10-15 crore in its recently acquired inverter unit at Roorkee in Uttarakhand.
Exide diversified into the home UPS segment this year by acquiring the Roorkee unit in January from Uttar Pradesh-based Kevin Power Solutions for Rs 17 crore.
A top company official today told The Telegraph, "We are planning to invest about Rs 10-15 crore in the 500,000-tonnes-per-annum Roorkee plant. The plant is already running and this investment will mostly be in machinery."
This is part of the company's Rs 270-crore capital expenditure planned for this fiscal.
T.V. Ramanathan, managing director and CEO of Exide, said the decision to diversify into the inverter business was for synergistic benefits and strategic reasons, particularly following the slowdown in demand from the automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) segment.
"Aggregate supply in the market is more than the aggregate demand, except in inverter batteries," Ramanathan said on the sidelines of the company's sixty-fifth annual general meeting here today.
"We are looking to sell as much as possible. We already have the brand and the products are well accepted," he said.
Inverters are being marketed under the company's existing brands ' Exide, SF and CEIL. Ramanathan said the company was also open to further acquisition to consolidate business in this segment.