Exclusive interview with Shri M V Rajasekhar, CMD (I/C) & Director (Mining & Construction), BEML Limited

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Context: BEML is a indigenous metro car manufacturer and supplier in India. Currently, BEML is executing Rolling Stock projects of Mumbai metro line 2 & 7 for MMRDA. Our Team reached out to them for an exclusive insight into this and about the updated footprint of BEML in the Indian market along with the insights on other BEML initiatives.

Interview Insights

Rail Analysis: Firstly, congratulations to you for being appointed as Chairman & Managing Director of BEML. Please tell us more about your professional journey so far leading the BEML today along with multiple project initiatives in the Rail & Metro Sector.

Shri M V Rajasekhar:  Thank you for the warm wishes.

I have been given the additional charge of Chairman & Managing Director of BEML. I started my professional career with BEML as an Engineer in R&D and my 33 years of experience is spread over in Manufacturing, Assembly, Planning, Outsourcing, Marketing and R&D covering total spectrum of business activities in all the three business verticals of BEML i.e., Rail & Metro, Mining & Construction and Defence.

During this time, I headed various functional departments at 4 major production divisions and Marketing division with countrywide network.

With regard to Rail & Metro Business vertical, as a Division Head, was responsible for development, production, supply of Bangalore & Kolkata metros.

During my tenure, successfully established Metro-bogie frame production line and eliminated bottlenecks for Delhi Metro & Kolkata Metro. This resulted in import substitution and cost reduction of Metro car by 50 Lakhs. Manufacturing / Assembly processes were streamlined through strategic outsourcing, systematic process improvements & modernisation of the production lines to increase Metro car production capacity by 50% i.e., 25 cars a month.

 


 

Rail Analysis: What is the current status of manufacturing of metro trains for Mumbai metro line 2 & 7? What are the timelines BEML has set for delivery of all metro trains to MMRDA?

Shri M V Rajasekhar: The prototype trainset was delivered on 27th Jan 2021 which is presently under depot testing. Further trainsets are under various stages of manufacturing and testing. The delivery of all 96 trainsets is expected to be progressively competed by end 2023 in line with the contractual stipulations.

Mumbai Metro Train manufactured by BEML

 


 

Rail Analysis: Can you please share the updated footprint of BEML in the Indian market for rolling stock, freight and other initiatives in the railway and metro sector? What are the BEML’s current ongoing rail & metro projects in India?

Shri M V Rajasekhar: BEML’s footprint in Metro rolling stock market includes cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur.

“BEML presently holds about 43% market share in procurements of Indian metro rolling stock in terms of supplies. BEML is currently supplying 300nos. of state-of-the-art Main Line Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) fitted with 3- phase propulsion to Indian Railways.”

Further, BEML is the local production partner for LORAM, USA for manufacturing of Rail Grinding Machines to be supplied to Indian Railways. BEML is also a regular supplier of 8 Wheeler Tower cars / Catenary Maintenance Vehicles (CMV) to Indian Railways as well as the different metro projects in India.

 


 

Rail Analysis: With the aim to strengthen the country’s economy and industry, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the initiative of ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’. What is the role of BEML in such initiatives for the railway sector since its inception? What are your plans for indigenization of signaling and propulsion equipment in the future?

Shri M V Rajasekhar: BEML is a fully developed indigenous metro car supplier, supplying the state-of-the-art driverless metro coaches (with highest level of automation) independently to Indian metro corporations. BEML has invested heavily in its manpower skill sets, in-house R&D and manufacturing set up for Design & Development of metro cars and bogies. BEML is securing the metro rolling stock contracts amidst stiff competition from global players in international competitive bidding process which is a testimony of its competence and competitiveness. BEML is truly an epitome of the successful ‘Make in India’ and ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ policies of the Government of India, serving the national interests.

Metro Assembly line at BEML Bangalore Complex

“BEML has vast experience in design, manufacture and supply of OHE/Catenary maintenance vehicles for rail application. BEML has so far designed and supplied around 100 such machines and is the only Indian supplier of 8W Catenary Maintenance Vehicles (CMV) to various Metro Corporations in India.”

BEML make CMVs are successfully serving Delhi (including airport line), Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai metro corporations. BEML has been continuously striving to upgrade its product to meet the changing needs of customers and all the machines are designed, developed, sourced and manufactured locally imbibing the true spirit of ‘Aatmanirbharta’. BEML expects to continue its partnership with M/s Loram Maintenance of Way, USA for future projects for various maintenance machines for Indian Railways as well as Indian Metro Corporations.

BEML is continuously aligning with the MoHUA policies on increased indigenization, under which the indigenization of propulsion also plays a crucial role. BEML collaborated with different propulsion suppliers for execution of its rolling stock projects in the past and the feasibility of setting up of JV is also being explored.

 


 

Rail Analysis: Earlier this year, BEML invited global EOI for strategic disinvestment of the company. Can you please brief us about the same and how will this step help BEML in improving productivity in the coming days?

Shri M V Rajasekhar: DIPAM has invited Global EOI for Strategic Disinvestment of 26% of Government of India’s Shareholding in BEML, out of its 54.03% share with Management Control. Multiple bids have been received which are under review & process by the Transaction Advisor appointed by DIPAM. BEML’s productivity over the years is on improving trend as mentioned below:

2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Productivity per employee (in Rs. Lacs) 42 48 50

Considering the above trend, BEML is hopeful that its productivity will keep on increasing irrespective of disinvestment.


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