Raghunandan Jagdish, CEO and managing director of Nandan GSE Pvt Ltd talks to Parveen Raja about the company and its plans for growth
Raja: Can you introduce your company to our readers?
Jagdish: Nandan GSE Pvt Ltd is a 30-year-young organisation based in Mumbai in India. We manufacture there in India and deliver around the world. Currently, we export to all of India, the rest of Asia except China and the Middle East. Africa has a lot of our equipment too, and we intend to expand to the Americas, so we are just setting up a US branch office.
Here in Europe we have no immediate intentions of expanding, but we are looking for collaborations. For example, if there is a company who’s got a product that is exporting to France, if they want to get the same product made in India, we can do it no problem.
I am looking in particular at electric GSE; I believe that the airport is going to be an electric place. By myself I might not have all the electric solutions, but I have the applications for airports so we can make the applications electric from someone else and we can do a marriage that will work.
We are looking to sell into places like South America, Central America and the rest of Africa. We are looking for dealers that can work this out. In India, if somebody wants to sell equipment, we can do sales and service for them even though it’s not our equipment; we can do that and we can provide after-sales service because we have a fantastic service team that can go across and serve the customers’ products in these markets.
At the end of the day, it is all about value, and we believe we give value for investment for the customer. In fact, it’s a three-times win: the first win is for the end client because he gets something at a good value, saving every dollar going to the bottom line. The second is the company who wants to get it done [sell] can benefit from us because they get it done at a lower cost, so the profit is defined by what they retail. And, the third is for us of course, because we can manufacture and utilise whatever capacity we have. We have 250 people in 100,000 square feet of factory space.
Raja: And are you now building electric GSE? You said you want to partner with somebody…
Jagdish: Yes, we have built a few small ones, but I think the traction is not fast enough; if we do partner with somebody, I think the speed will go much faster.
Raja: Indian airports are not into electric GSE so much?
Jagdish: That is changing very fast. Just to give you context, in India, skill levels can be phenomenal – ten years back we had barely one mobile phone among 100 people, but today we have close to 1.2 mobile phones for every person. That’s the kind of penetration we have.
We are talking about 5G, we are even talking about the vegetable seller on the street having a QR code, so you don’t give cash, you don’t give credit cards, you just scan and pay. So, India has 25 billion transactions; the next biggest is China, which has 14 billion, so I think in India, the scale we can grow at is fast. As for the [aviation] ministry, the government want to make airports a cleaner place – there are already circulars passed which talk of a green environment, so they are doing solar, like in my own factory, for which 60% of power is coming from solar. Five years back it looked like a dream, but today it is a reality.
Raja: You are also creating a lot of employment as well, so how are you looking to train your staff and retain them?
Jagdish: I believe that more than salary, it is learning and development and self-actualisation that will make people like to stay. I have people that have stayed with me for 30 years. There is constant upskilling in what we do, and we have invested in our own online learning management portal where a lot of training is video-based and staff must do it – it is compulsory. Two hours of learning per week is mandated.