Incredible stories of Indian Manufacturing

From the land of Innovators

Andrea

Italy is the 2nd largest manufacturing country in Europe and 6th in the entire world. Italy is known for its extraordinary contribution to the strategic small and medium scale sectors such as automotive, machine tools, pharmaceuticals, and even fashion & food.

The power that Italian manufacturers bring in the global scenarios is undoubtedly increasing every day. German, Chinese, and Japanese companies have always known to dominate the international trading and manufacturing market in India. But, in the last few years, the trends have seen a major shift and the Indian market has been more open to Italian companies and their products.

Italy is the country of innovators and has a strong history of being a manufacturing country. Technologies used in the machining industry were invented by the Italians, who have the characteristics of being individualists.

Italians, as people, did a lot of individual networking. Due to mainly language barriers and the fact that the World

was not connected as it is today, Italian innovations were spread around the globe in an unorganized and unstructured way; Italians have always been called upon to solve tough issues and were often the first to find a solution.

Being an individualist and constraining business among the country’s community was not enough. Early on, Speroni, just like most Italian companies, had few and specific association with other countries and maybe behind when it came to enter the market on a global scale as it is intended today. With time infrastructure for better communication improved and led ways to connect with trailblazers and achievers across the world.

From Spindles to Tool Presetters

Speroni was founded in 1963, a reasonable 55 years into marketing and manufacturing, with an extensive history of innovators and solutions providers. The measurement and presetting of tools is pioneered by Speroni. 55 years down the lane, Speroni, fighting through all steeps of ups and downs, is standing strong to serve better every day.

In the early 60s, Speroni started with making spindles, quality subassemblies for the machine tool world in Italy and special applications. A couple of years into this, when the CNC consoles started equipping machine tools, there was a need for setting tools offline.

Today’s core business therefore arose to satisfy this growing market need. They have worked on other products of quality analysis ranging from CMMs to inline measuring systems and 3D laser camera measuring systems for cars. Offering such innovative technology at that time was impeccably commendable.

Global Expansion from America

Andrea completed his primary studies in Italy and later was schooled in a secondary school in Switzerland. To his advantage, he had a chance to grow up in an international, multicultural environment. The exposure helped him manage various situations at home and at work later. His initial learning experience with people from different cultures and backgrounds added on to his knowledge to his benefit further when he joined the business school later in Boston.

After graduating he moved to Chicago, USA and worked there as manager for 8 months for various innovative projects at IMTA (Italian Machine Tool Association). As he recollects, Andrea says, “One of my first projects I worked on at the company was the project management of an automatic riveting system for BOEING. I did not work as a manufacturer or creator of the system but closely worked with the people and the project as a whole as I was responsible to manage the accounts and clients.”

After working for 8 months, he realized the need of upping his game in management and business and completed his post-graduation from Boston University, USA. After completing his masters, he was getting offers to work as consultant in consulting firms and industries, as was the trend in the early 90s.

On working with Speroni, Andrea says, “I never thought of working for my dad. My dad had built Speroni from scratch. I knew Speroni culturally, but did not know anything about manufacturing or installations. I challenged my father that if I wanted to make a difference by joining Speroni, I would like to expand the company’s American market.”

That is when his connection with his family business ignited. He was trained by the experts in-house about the machines and machining processes. He would meet customers, do trade shows and even visit door-to-door to market the attributes and usefulness of Speroni. With the practice, he learned different ways and strategies that he could use in dealing with the American market.

In 1992, started off with just 20 installations on the American soil, Andrea succeeded in developing the market by implementing a new business model. Speroni started its venture in America with complete zest when Andrea took over the operations. Speroni manufactured and still manufactures everything; they grind, mill, turn, design, create, build, and even develop the respective software for all the products. Such was a focus and attitude of Speroni on product development. Even USA had its own set of different cultures and attitude towards dealing with the manufacturing sector.

The ability to understand the different market needs was extremely necessary, and his schooling and education allowed him to be flexible. By the end of 2004, Speroni together with his local partners, created a record 1200 machines installations. At the hour of need, due to family reasons, he had to leave the US and be back with his family in Italy. He started working from Speroni Headquarters, and further started what he was good at–markets and expansions. He put his efforts to start operations in Japan in the year 2004.

Speroni: Journey in India

The journey in India started in the year 2003, in the very standard way. A representative from India helped Speroni to go through the Indian market and helped to understand the culture and needs in India, as a nation. He considered it to be much easier to control the operations around the globe by sitting in Europe owing to ease of accessibility.

Speroni’s decision to choose Indian market over China was intentional. India was seemingly making much more progress in the way of advancements in many fields. More than 70% of market is dominated by Small and Medium scale industries.

As a large nation, India was a great place for Speroni to learn more from the diverse nature of businesses. With more than 15 years of association with India, Speroni has learnt many ways to bridge the gap with other nations as well.

The complexity of the Indian market is what attracted Speroni to invest and install factory units here. Our clients are small and medium scale industries who are spread around the territory not quite evenly. On providing equal service throughout the nation, Andrea Speroni says, “We have the goal of providing the same service and support to everyone; it is indeed a challenging task. Infrastructure and internet are helping us positively, but it doesn’t make it any less complex owing to the diverse marketers and culture across the nation.” Talking about quality he added,

“Despite the gaps that may exist in any market, quality is always the core belief and path to follow. The first time I visited larger Indian corporations in 2004, I was surprised to see, in a lot of companies, an active use of the latest tech equipment, just as witnessed in Italy, USA, Japan or Germany.”

Speroni: Handling Negotiations

“Everybody is price sensitive and it is more of a cultural habit, than an actual need. There is no substitute to quality if the goal of a company is to grow and compete on a global place. Everybody has the access to everything and, culturally speaking, people love to negotiate.” Says Andrea when asked about negotiations in India. Funnily, he later did mention that he understood the affinity as Italians are also known for their negotiation skill.

His visit to India, in the year 2004, made him realize that Speroni needed to promise quality and the profit will resolve by itself. Generating great values and beliefs across the business front was what was key for many Indian manufacturers. He saw a similar trend with other countries when it came to negotiations. Everyone wanted a good deal and best quality, so he did not struggle in the arena of fixing quotations.

Indian Market: Quality over Quantity

Indian companies resist adopting automation as it would affect their turnover and labor is cheap in the country. But

Andrea Speroni chooses to differ and reinstates the fact that India used to have cheap labor and every country has been through the phase of labor unions and workers doing mundane jobs at factories. But today, the scenario has changed. Just as the western countries, India is also evolving. The education in India is aligned with the western world and the country is generating quality engineers, doctors and professionals.

Speroni wants to walk together with this trend and wants to adept to running with the market when needed too. Growth is the answer to everything. Technology and automation are growing processes; they need time to evolve in a country as diverse and huge as India. With technology meeting with the skilled workers and employees, Indian companies are evolving towards automated processing.

Indian Market: Changes in Trends

Every country has their way of working. Speroni has seen a lot of changes in dealing with their Indian clients. To be specific, Speroni has witnessed a major improvement in the quantity level requests coming from India. The companies are now inclined and pay more attention to technology and its involvement as a factor of growth. The Indian companies are having ever-growing needs to not only satisfy the needs of local customers but are looking ahead to expanding globally and become global players.

“The increase in requests are interestingly in line with the request from other countries such as Italy, USA and Germany. There are definitely some shades of culture that differ, but otherwise the number of orders coming from across the nation has seen a rise.”

On managing Indian market, he adds, “I try to run things and manage from Italy with the help of my eminent team in India. We are trying our best to serve better to such a growing country with lots of growing opportunities. The Indian market has become better to understand in the local aspect because of the people I interact and work with. With the help of people like Ravi Moolya, General Manager at Speroni India, who comes with great experience in handling the manufacturing sector, things are less complex now.”

With Andrea and Ravi sharing a similar vision for Speroni, they look forward to achieving a lot more with Speroni India. Every day is a new adjustment at Speroni, the ever-evolving need of the market and being able to adjust the products and services of Speroni accordingly, is a challenge that Speroni is balancing quite well. Andrea considers India to be a huge market with dreams and visions that he would like to explore one at a time.

Work and Inspiration

“My father has been my greatest inspiration” says Andrea. He understands the culture and values that he was raised with and realizes that coming from a very small town and reaching at such a pinnacle did not come easily. Right after the first World War, Andrea’s Grandfather decided to make his son, Mr. Dante Speoni, travel outside the small town for better opportunities and education. That is when Mr. Speroni, Andrea’s father, was called upon to manage a subcontracting company that made axis for milling machines and spindles for grinding machines. This involvement in the metalworking field transformed later into manufacturing of Tool Presetting and Tool Measuring Systems.

Speroni has always been “forced” to innovate; its early days of subcontracting were characterized by daily challenges posed by Machine Tool Manufacturers that wanted new solutions. Never series but always something new, something different, something better. This culture kept true in the years. Speroni was the first in the world to make a universal spindle with universal clamping system, Shop Floor CMMs are another example, Integrated Tool Management solutions (what we today call Industry 4.0) was designed and introduced in the late 1970’s as well as the very first fully Integrated Tool Presetting & Shrink-Fit system, etc

“Keeping true to the Italian innovators, we consider ourselves a company of innovators. When I look back, history is a great source for strength and inspiration for the future, always. The World pushes us to invent and innovate; when this is not enough, we look back at history and in it we find additional strength and stimulus to keep on improving every day”, says Mr. Andrea.

Speroni–The Future

Speroni designs manufactures and provides products and services to the manufacturing world to increase productivity in the sector since the beginning. Speroni is a solution provider that designs, produces and delivers solutions which greatly improve productivity and quality in the manufacturing World.

“As a company, we grow and evolve every day. We often have a general misconception that companies grow alone. No! As the company grows, it takes its people along with growth and success. A small towner like us, and our people, get a chance to work closely with worldly issues and travel around the globe for work. All of this is because we are connecting with more people and more cultures; we are building relationships and not just profits. No matter how much we automate, people’s relations will always be a key factor: human relations cannot be automated!,” says Mr Andrea Speroni before signing off.

Comment