With a staff of almost 250 people producing an extensive portfolio for sale in India and abroad, SchuF India generates a business well in excess of USD 13 million per year.

Meet Mr. Subhash Kasar: Building relationships based on trust

This will hardly come as a surprise to readers of VWIME, but the flow control sector in India is currently riding a huge wave. Project activities have driven demand for valves to such exceptional levels that valve makers are working flat out to meet demand. This editor was very appreciative, then, when Mr. Kasar found space in his packed schedule to discuss his new position with SchuF Specialty Valves India and the road he has travelled to get there.
 
^ With a staff of almost 250 people producing an extensive portfolio for sale in India and abroad, SchuF India generates a business well in excess of USD 13 million per year.

Article by David Sear,
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“I started my career in valves and actuators by studying instrumentation and control at Pune University, where I graduated in 1990 with a first-class degree. It was always my ambition to work in this industry and particularly in the areas of sales and marketing as I feel quite at home communicating with people from all walks of life,” is how Mr. Kasar kickstarts a pleasant interview about his professional life.

“In the beginning I was purely working in instrumentation but as my career progressed, I also had the opportunity to become very familiar with actuator technologies, mechanical valves, control valves, etc. I enjoy advising customers about all types of flow control products but have always had a particular affinity with automated valves.”


His current role continues to give Mr. Kasar plenty of opportunity to liaise directly with customers. “SchuF engineers, manufactures and sells engineered products such as actuated valves, angle control valves, automatic recirculation valves, rising stem ball valve, rotary plug valves, segmented valves, blow down valves etc, so instrumentation remains at the heart of my work. 

Moreover, interaction with clients is essential to ensure the right valve is ordered for each given application. However, as Executive Director (Sales & Marketing) my focus is now more to lead our organization, to develop systematic sales and hence to promote long-term growth.” 

Further elaborating on the market for specialised products, Mr. Kasar says that in-depth client discussions are essential. “It is our job to understand the customer’s applications, to identify optimum valve solutions and to clearly explain to the customer why these valves will outperform other designs. Staying in close contact with the customer also means you are better attuned to shifting market needs. That facilitates the development of products and services that will genuinely help clients. Not just in existing sectors but also in emerging industries. This is an area of responsibility which has been assigned to me and which really adds to the richness of my role as executive director.”

Wear and tear

Headquartered in Germany, SchuF has established a significant, full-fledged manufacturing capability in India. Comments Mr. Kasar: “With a staff of almost 250 people producing an extensive portfolio for sale in India and abroad, SchuF India generates a business well in excess of USD 13 million per year. In fact, we are currently doubling capacity given increasing global demand for our products. 

New lines coming up such as the rising stem ball valve, the rotary plug valve and the segmented valve are further driving sales in India and overseas.”

Asked about the benefits of rising-stem ball valves, Mr. Kasar says this design is a vast improvement on the standard ball valve design when it comes to wear and tear on the seats. “For high-cycling applications a regular ball valve has lot of limitations as parts can quickly suffer from wear. Our rising stem design keeps the ball away from the seat until the very last moment, so wear and tear is almost nil. Another advantage of the rising stem ball valve is the friction-free operation throughout most of the cycle. This means that a small actuator can be specified, saving CAPEX and OPEX costs.”

On the topic of emerging markets, Mr. Kasar notes the current interest in the hydrogen sector as well as hydrolysis, adding that quite a number of hydrolysis plants are currently under construction in India. Such applications call for quick-closing valves, he states. He also points to a growing industry-wide interest in actuators as end users look to further automate valves for superior process optimization. 

“Today, many end users are also considering actuators even for standard isolation valves,” he further comments.

Information source

As process equipment and technologies become increasingly complex, many end users now see competent suppliers as a reliable source of information, notes Mr. Kasar. “Even with new-build plants, many customers want our insights into how to best integrate instruments for superior process performance. I believe that says a lot about the value they place in our advice and expertise.”

Interacting with customers clearly remains a source of great satisfaction for Mr. Kasar. He does his utmost to remain available and proactive, even if it means picking up the phone late at night. “I would never say no to a good customer, even if he calls me late at night. 

We all know the stresses and strains engineering companies can be under when trying to win project orders. So if a client needs a quick quotation for a valve which has been overlooked, I consider it my duty to open the laptop and give him details about pricing and delivery which he can rely on. This approach is the key to building up trust and appreciation, which in turn leads to a successful business relationship.

 

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