28 September 2009
IHC Merwede opens new regional HQ in India and eyes future expansion
IHC Merwede’s team
IHC Merwede has opened a new regional headquarters in Mumbai in a bid to boost its presence and service offering on the Indian Subcontinent.
The Dutch shipbuilding group, well-known worldwide for its dredging and offshore work, has actually had an office in Delhi for nearly 25 years and it has already been doing business in India for more than 80 years.
Philip de Bats, Area Manager for India, IHC Merwede Dredging & Mining, says IHC Merwede has been considering setting up a regional office in India for some years now, adding to regional offices it already has in Dubai, Nigeria and Singapore.
De Bats says: “The Indian market is very special for IHC Merwede and has been for many years but we want to offer additional support to our growing base of clients.
“IHC Merwede has regularly been supplying new vessels and spare parts to companies in India but we were keen to boost our service offering. We want to be near to the customer, where they have their offices. Being closer allows us to deliver the service required at all levels. These improvements allow our clients to benefit from IHC Merwede’s unique Life-cycle Support service.
“We expect that this new regional presence will give our customers the opportunity to optimise their performance and be even more successful in their business,” he says. The new regional organisation will have a lot of expertise available to customers and of course, Mumbai will have a direct line to IHC Merwede’s Headquarters in the Netherlands and other stations worldwide.
“Setting up this regional office means that we are close to the customer and their vessels. We can make regular visits and keep up-to-date with their maintenance needs, whether customers need the revision of a gearbox or a complete new Docking Assistant or anything in between.”
De Bats also says the new office answers the growing demand from Indian entrepreneurs who are either expanding existing businesses in the dredging sector or entering the market for the first time.
“We have been doing business in India for more than 80 years. IHC Merwede is the main supplier of the Dredging Corporation of India, supplying around 90% of its fleet. But while in the past the State was the main customer in the dredging business, this picture has altered over recent years.
“India is changing rapidly, in the past five years the private sector has been booming. Demand from customers for spare parts and new services has increased dramatically.” Many Indian nationals working in IHC’s regional office in Dubai will also transfer to the new branches in India, ensuring continuity.
Life-cycle Support - a fresh approach to maintenance
IHC Merwede is also keen to bring its unique approach to maintenance to the Indian Subcontinent.
De Bats says that maintenance demands are slightly different in India at the moment. “IHC Merwede aims to be involved with the vessel throughout its whole life-cycle, rather than merely repairing a vessel or supplying spare parts. IHC is not talking merely about functionality; we want to maintain the equipment in the same condition as it was before. Our Life-cycle Support strategy offers a totally new vision.”
De Bats adds: “IHC Merwede advises on how to maintain the vessel in the best possible condition. We have a whole dedicated department analysing the vessel and its maintenance needs. This helps prevent a relatively minor maintenance issue turning into a large job.”
Future expansion plans
IHC Merwede’s ambitions for the Indian market include future plans to establish warehousing and storage facilities in the Mumbai region. De Bats hopes that these plans will come to fruition within the next six months.
In the longer-term, IHC Merwede is also considering increasing its presence with the addition of more local branches and it is mulling over the possibility of establishing local production facilities, bringing many new jobs to the region.
For IHC Merwede, India is an exciting market. De Bats comments: “India is still growing, there are so many possibilities and challenges. The biggest problem is choosing which possibilities we are going to develop but that is a luxury problem!”
Profile IHC Merwede
IHC Merwede is focused on the continuous development of its design and construction activities for the specialised shipbuilding sector, in particular the dredging and offshore industries. IHC Merwede is world market leader in the construction of specialist dredging equipment. IHC Merwede is also recognised as an outstanding builder of complex, custom-built vessels for offshore construction. The clients of IHC Merwede include major dredging companies, oil and gas exploration groups, offshore contractors and government authorities. IHC Merwede has a staff of approximately 2,800 at its locations in the Netherlands. There are also branches in China, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Note for the editor, not for publication
For more information on IHC Merwede please contact:
IHC Merwede Holding B.V.
Mrs. Renée van Krimpen-Baudesson
T +31 184 411555
M +31 62 229 13 29