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Mr. Alain Spohr, Vice President and CEO / MD , Plants India and Alstom Bharat Forge Power Limited (ABFPL - Joint Venture between Alstom and Bharat Forge)

15 Jun 2015

‘India needs reforms in a number of areas and better regulatory framework’

Alain Spohr, with over 32 years of experience in the power industry, is the Vice President Plants India, and CEO / MD of Alstom Bharat Forge Power Limited (ABFPL - Joint Venture between Alstom and Bharat Forge). In his tenure with Alstom, Alain has been involved in Thermal Plant projects, Combined Cycle Plant projects as well as Hydro Power activity. He shares with view with InfralinePlus on a range of issues that India’s power sector is currently facing...

Congratulations for the supercritical turbine and generator manufacturing facility has commenced production. Kindly tell us how did this idea of partnership with Bharat Forge start. How would the two partners complement each other?

Both Alstom and Bharat Forge have been key players in the Indian power and industrial sectors and have successfully delivered a number of projects across the country. While the power business unit of Bharat Forge manufactures critical components for thermal, wind, hydro and nuclear applications, Alstom is a world leader in providing turnkey integrated power plant solutions and has a strong portfolio of products for all fuel types. Thus, Alstom and Bharat Forge decided to form a JV to capitalize on the resultant synergies of such a partnership and develop supercritical and ultra super critical turbines for the power market, which will be more efficient than sub-critical units and will require lower fuel. With this JV, we have been able to combine the technology and manufacturing skills of both the partners to deliver a world-class product for the Indian market.

Which were the other companies on your radar for this joint venture. On which quality did Alstom partner with Bharat Forge

There are no specific companies on the radar for forming a joint venture. That said, we are open to more partnerships with companies in India if we are confident about the synergies and manufacturing high quality products for the Indian and even overseas markets.

Are there any other areas where Alstom can partner with any Indian company. Are you in talks with some of them?

Alstom has been associated with India’s growth for a century and has a long-standing repute for providing highly innovative and sustainable solutions for meeting the country’s energy and transport requirements. The company has full capabilities in engineering, manufacturing, project management and supply of power generation, transmission and transport sector requirements. Alstom has been at the forefront of leading-edge technology at every level, serving these three infrastructure markets essential to economic, social and environmental development of India. Alstom in India has made strategic partnerships with strong local players to bring in frontline technologies, to enhance the quality and efficiency of the power sector.

  • Alstom-BHEL tie-up
  • Infosys R&D Centre
  • NTPC Alstom Power Service Limited (NASL)
  • Alstom and Druk Green
Can you share the USP of these turbines and generators that the JV would manufacture. What kinds of industries are ideally suited to be the consumers?

This JV is for manufacture of super critical and ultra super critical turbines that will be used by both existing and upcoming power projects in the country. ALSTOM Bharat Forge Power Limited provide a broad spectrum of innovative technologies and state-of-the-art integrated solutions that are designed to boost efficient power generation. The major offerings are:

  • Optimized integrating systems
  • Flexibility to address specific customer requirement
  • Modular solution for variety of product range and configurations
  • Complete life cycle management
  • State-of-the-art in house technology for all equipment
  • Maximum overall efficiency
  • Shortest overall project schedule
  • Steam turbine & auxiliaries
How do you see ‘Make in India’ campaign changing the manufacturing process of the country. Can joint ventures fetch the desired results?

The Indian manufacturing sector is facing challenging times. In order to achieve the targets set in the National Manufacturing Policy and raise the sector’s contribution to 25% of the overall GDP, the government needs to introduce reforms in a number of areas and improve the regulatory framework. With manufacturing identified as the focus area by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Make in India initiative, I am hopeful this will help achieve double-digit growth in manufacturing and create much-needed jobs for the growing labor force. There are early signs of a turnaround with the OECD recently predicting a growth of more than 6% for the Indian economy in the next two years. We need to not only retain but also enhance competitiveness of our industry so that we can supply to the domestic market as well push exports and be an integral part of the global value chain. Joint ventures can be one solution but it is important that companies that come together understand their respective strengths, are also aware of the key attributes of their partner and are committed to take the JV to a logical conclusion by committing resources.

How is India different from other geographies (in terms of work culture and timely delivery) you have had experience of. What is one suggestion that you want to give to the workforce here.

India is geographically a very diverse country. The business culture of India is a reflection of the various norms and standards followed by its people. Indians have various cultural yardsticks, which extend to their business culture too. Work culture is important for the growth of a company, in turn the growth of a country depends on the companies. There exist many differences, pros, and cons in work culture of any country. We have to pick and adapt the best practices of work culture around the globe and implement them in our organizations.