Made in India for the world: This manufacturing company caters to global audience; clocks Rs 110 Cr turnover
In the 1980s, Puneet Bery’s father Santosh Kumar Bery used to manufacture diesel engine crankshafts, with around 20 employees in a single manufacturing unit in Meerut.
At the time, Puneet was observing the shifts in the industry. He realised that crankshafts are going to become redundant and fade out with technology advancements in the sector.
This got Puneet thinking about a global exports opportunity to be leveraged with existing resources and capital. After brainstorming, he decided to focus on manufacturing pipeline flanges, which was particularly in high demand in the Middle East.
Puneet says that in those days, countries in the Middle East had contracts with US companies for maintaining and upgrading their oil refineries. Wanting to tap into this market, Puneet started Noida-based KSP Inc in 1987.
KSP manufactures several products including bird feeders, lawn and garden decor, furniture, fireplace tools and accessories and home storage.
From crankshafts to home storage
KSP was launched as a B2B company that manufactured pipeline flanges for the US companies. The business did well for a few years.
However, in the 1990s, the US put an embargo on stainless steel flanges from India and China, causing a fervour in the industry. Puneet saw this opportunity to evolve the business and look for another business opportunity.
He recalls, “During my travels abroad, I was very fascinated with the leisure spaces. In the US, I saw stores with temporary sheds with a garden and a space for recreational activities.”
This inspired Puneet to launch garden decor products in 1991. While this business vertical was doing well, Puneet saw a dip in sales.
Not wanting to fall behind in the market, he decided to diversify his product line once more and in 2001, KSP Inc launched bird feeders. The company even landed a contract from a US company, and currently, exports bird feeders to more than nine countries.
Puneet says customers are intelligent and know what they want. As a supplier, he needs to be in tandem with the sensibilities of the end-buyer.
With this as the core principle, KSP further diversified its portfolio and launched home decor products in 2004.
Looking back, the founder says that pivoting and diversifying ensured that the company has ample work during all seasons.
Today, KSP manufactures several products including bird feeders, lawn and garden decor, furniture, fireplace tools and accessories and home storage. It exports to several countries, including the US, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Canada, France, and Australia. Some of its clients include Walmart, Lowes, Tesco, Sainsbury, Staples, among others.
The company employs more than 750 people, has three manufacturing units spread across Noida, and clocked a turnover of Rs 110 crore last year.
Building for the world
When it comes to serving customers in the competitive global markets, the stakes are high for any business. How has KSP Inc managed to remain relevant?
Puneet advises entrepreneurs that being cash rich is key. “Without being debt driven, a company can scale based on profits,” he says.
Puneet says that automation is the only way to grow but this requires some initial investments and risk-taking. He says, “Risk taking is not the Indian thing to do,” but believes that entrepreneurs should not be scared of taking risks and trying new things because the rewards are immense.
Likewise, using automation is highly beneficial for any business. According to him, automation is the future. While there is a fear of automation driving away jobs, he says that employee upskilling will help in ensuring that people don’t lose their jobs, and also helps in increasing the loyalty factor.
What worked for KSP is having everything under one roof — production and service verticals. He says that buyers don’t want to go to 10 different people for their needs and prefer going to companies that are a one stop solution.
Another important winning aspect is design and innovation. Puneet says, “Nobody wants to buy the same product that you did 10 years ago. We try adding new elements in our products like using wood, ply carbon, MDF, etc. So, when we present our designs to our clients, we give at least 100 options to them.”
Over the years, KSP has also digitally transformed its business by introducing online platforms for sales that have made “finding customers very easy”.
Puneet adds that technology has helped the company reduce wastage and increase production efficiencies.
Siddhant Bery, Managing Partner, KSP Inc.
Leaning on the domestic market
In the last five years, KSP has seen several changes within the organisation. Puneet’s son Siddhant Bery joined the company after working as an investment banker with Avendus Capital for three years.
Siddhant has further helped the company grow by bringing labour efficiencies and streamlining the business. He introduced ERP and created internal systems to integrate all verticals of the organisation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and supply chain disruptions are bound to affect exports. As a result, KSP plans to go big in the domestic market, and strongly believes in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign, saying that it will help boost domestic manufacturing.
Puneet says he has given his team six months to come up with products to launch in India. KSP Inc will be relaunching a home storage product line (originally launched in 2016), tailored for the Indian market because “storage is a problem in India”.