Exclusive Interview With Mr. Rohit Saboo, President and CEO, National Engineering Industries Ltd.

Interview Insights

Rail Analysis: Please share about your journey with the National Engineering Industries Ltd (NEI) and how did you get started in the railway sector?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: Founded in 1946, National Engineering Industries Ltd (NEI), manufacturer of NBC brand of bearings, is India’s leading bearings manufacturer and exporter, renowned for excellence in quality and delivery. NEI has always been a pioneer in the bearings manufacturing industry. Headquartered in Jaipur, NEI is an integral part of the US$ 2.4 billion CK Birla Group. We started with 30,000 bearings in 19 sizes in 1946. Currently, we produce 20 crore bearings per annum in 2300+ variants and export to over 30 countries including Germany, Japan and China. We started working with Indian Railways in 1952 and since then have been developing and supplying bearings to them. Over the years, we have collaborated with reputed international brands like Brenco Inc. (US) to develop our product portfolio. Last year, NEI also acquired Kinex bearings in Europe to enhance and diversify in order to provide best-in-class products to our existing and potential customers.



Rail Analysis: What are the complete range of Products and Services you are offering for the railway sector? Please inform us about NEI’s current ongoing Rail & Metro projects in India and globally?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: Our range of bearings for Railways include: cartridge taper roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings for railway wagons, axle boxes for locomotives, traction motor bearings, including insulated TM bearings and so on. Globally, we have partnered with railways around the world with bearings for locomotives, wagons and coaches.

This year, we had also collaborated with Amsted Seals to start a greenfield project under the brand name NBC-Brenco in Jaipur to manufacture railway bearing seals in India. This aims to host best-in-class manufacturing techniques and equipment. NBC-Brenco plans to add automotive seals and products with metal fabrication in the future.



Rail Analysis: What are the state-of-the-art technologies you are using for manufacturing bearings for Locomotives, Wagons and Coaches at the factory?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: We have constantly evolved our manufacturing process to be at par with the latest developments. Our manufacturing facility boasts of world-class manufacturing techniques with robots and cobots.

NBC Bearings


Rail Analysis: What is the role of National Engineering Industries in ‘Make in India’ or ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ initiatives for the railway sector since its inception? What are your plans for indigenization of other railway products in the future?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: Right from the beginning, our focus has been to provide domestically developed bearings for Railways. In line with the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ programme for attaining self-reliance, we plan to leverage the technology but through local manufacture. With the acquisition of Kinex, our European subsidiary, we are planning to boost up our reach in the international markets.

Our JV with Amsted Seals for manufacturing railway seals is already operational which will not only cater to domestic requirements but also for our international customers. We have already developed and supplied the insulted traction motor bearings, which are currently imported.



Rail Analysis: With the rapid expansion of the Rail & Metro network in India, requirements of products & components have now been increased. How do you see these developments and what are your major plans to meet these requirements?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: We continually work with the Railways to create bespoke products and services to improve productivity and provide value. In the recent past, we have introduced

  • Traction Motor bearings like (Insulated), N332 (Insulated), etc. NU2236, NH320
  • Wheel bearings like Upgraded cartridge taper roller bearings for wagons, UIC 130 x 230 for LHB Coaches, etc.

Despite the ongoing challenges like shrink in segment and delayed tender cycle, we were still able to record high revenues in railroad segment. There was significant growth in MSU bearing segment along with exploration in allied businesses like vacuum evacuation system, electro pneumatic pressurised flushing unit etc.



Rail Analysis: Any additional insights you would like to share with us?

Mr. Rohit Saboo: 2021 is an important milestone for us as we complete 75 years of our incorporation. We have chalked out aggressive growth plans both organically and inorganically. Organically, we will keep working towards expanding our portfolio based on the evolving landscape and needs of our customers.

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