Thyssenkrupp bets on India for industrial solutions

German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp’s industrial solutions business will make India a supplier to its international markets, eyeing the country as a “major pillar” of its global strategy that is currently chasing a turnaround, its chief executive said.

It has also become “relatively” easier to do business in India, said Marcel Fasswald, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, who has spent many years building and managing steel plants in the country in his previous stint as the chief executive of the SMS Group in India, a family-owned metals business headquartered in Germany.

“Something has dramatically changed in the mindsets of the officials,” Fasswald told ET in an interview. “They want to promote businesses and want to make it much easier to do business in India,” he said, when asked if the company saw regulatory risks slowing the pace of execution of projects.

Globally, the industrial solutions business has been facing challenges of profitability, and Fasswald, who assumed charge in October last year, has been given the responsibility of turning around the business. Group CEO Guido Kerkhoff is also carrying out a churn at the entire group level.

While the cash-rich elevator business is being prepared for an IPO and maybe part stake sale, according to media reports, plans to merge its loss-making steel business with Tata Steel Europe crashed two months ago.

In India, Thyssenkrupp’s industrial solutions business has two arms — Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions India and Thyssenkrupp Industries.

While its local industrial solutions unit executes projects under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode for chemical and industrial plants, the industries unit builds plants for the cement, power and sugar industries as well as boilers serving various needs.

In the industrial solutions business, the company has an 80% market share in the caustic soda chlorine segment, while in the industries business it is expecting the investment cycle to return in the cements segment with the government announcing a ?100-lakh-crore infrastructure package for the next five years.

The industries business also sees the mining and aggregates business growing at a compounded annual growth rate of almost 30%.

For the industries unit, services are also an integral part of the portfolio and make for roughly 25% of its sales revenue. Thyssenkrupp will strengthen the services unit in the country, Fasswald said.

Globally, the company’s core plant technology business has 12,000 employees, with 3,000 in India alone.