KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park, Kakkanad
KINFRA Parks have nurtured industries that meet global quality standards. Many of them are unique. Seen are the container handling equipment produced at Bash-P International at KEIP, Kakkanad. This is the first Indian company to produce these equipment, which have an increased potential as the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment terminal becoming operational.
Mohammed Basheer was firing a test dose in his home State when he started an assembling unit of Bash-P International, his marine safety equipment manufacturing company, at the KINFRA International Export Park at Kakkanad, Kochi. The London-based entrepreneur with operations in 10 countries was not initially very keen on investing in Kerala, but he tried to check out the offers, which included developed land near Kochi. He put in a token amount of Rs 50 lakh to start a unit which will redistribute in Kerala the marine security products he produces elsewhere.
The reluctance is history now. The sales office has now become the marketing office for south Asia. From mere redistribution from a shed, Bash-P International today manufactures and distributors marine safety equipment for the burgeoning Indian market. From a marketing nodal office, it is the hub for international marketing. And from a single manager who manned the office, the number of people employed at the Kochi facility is more than 200.
Kochi is becoming a hub for maritime activities as International Container Transshipment Container Terminal at Vallarpadam taking off and the Cochin Shipyard Limited becoming one of the successful ship-makers in the country. The company is planning to make use of this opportunity. The company has started manufacturing steel chains for cranes, the Indian company to do so.
If Bash-P made use of his international raw material, Neeraj Balan has made the local skills to make products that sell in the international markets. His AB Tooling, started on a 50-cent land, set the standards for the industry. Balan has his reasons to set up his company in the park. “Our industry needs human resource of the best quality,” he said. “Kerala has some of the best training institutes for such machinists.”
He specialises in moulds for the packaging industry. His clients are spread all over the world, including the big names in the processed food industry in Europe and Middle East. The company imports knowhow and machines and trains local talent to work on them to manufacture products for the global market. “We have to meet the global quality standards without which we will not be able to survive in the highly competitive market,” Balan said.
Balan has made his people believe that ‘they can do’ it. “It took time to convince people that we can meet the global standards very well. The company makes a value addition of four to five times the value of the raw material.” Balan says his quality has helped him weather even the Chinese Threat. “Some of our old customers in fact opted for the Chinese products, as we were unable to match the Chinese manufactures in terms of price. However, all these customers who deserted for pricing returned to us for they could not find the quality matching.”
Kera Fibretex is one of the most successful units in Kerala. Stared as a small unit in KINFRA Park in 1995, Kera fibretex has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of coir-based product. The company in which 95 per cent stake is held by Italian company, it is a 100 per cent export unit.
Most companies who started units in the park on a small scale have multiplied their numbers several times. ‘Say T R Balu, Managing Director of the Park, “When KINFRA started the park, it had only 23 units employing less than 300 pepole. Today, the 2500 people work in various units in the Park.” The total investment in the park is estimated to be Rs 2000 crore.
The EPIP was one of the first Parks KINFRA set up in the State. Established in 1994-95, the first company was Kerala Chemicals and Proteins Limited, which later became Nitta Gelatin ltd with Japanese collaboration.
The park has a 45 mVA power station. The Brahmapuram diesel power plant on the vicinity proves power protection to the park. The park has its own power distribution system which ensures that the units are provided with uninterrupted and quality power all the time. The overhead water tank of 6.5 MLD capacity takes care of the water needs of the park.
L J International is a biotechnology company in the park, belonging to the AV Thomas Group. They also have a story to tell about how they beat the Chinese. “Some of our customers opted for the Chinese products sometime back. But they are all back with us now, after their experiment with the Chinese failed.