AFG learns the gentle art of grinding

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The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) held another of their informative meetings at the Marriott Courtyard last week. It was addressed by Praveen Jaduvanshi from Wendt Thailand who spoke on his organization’s capabilities and his experiences in Thailand.

Many of the items in Praveen’s address came as new information for the AFG members, including the size and scope of the Wendt technologies, being also associated with Carborundum Universal (CUMI) and the Indian conglomerate Murugappa. All this equates to a USD 4.4 billion enterprise.

Praveen Jaduvanshi.Praveen Jaduvanshi.

Wendt has 14 manufacturing locations in the world, with the Thailand plant being the newest. Thailand was chosen as the site for the new plant because of the leading position in the forthcoming ASEAN and Japan markets.

In common with most industrial concerns in Thailand, a shortage of skilled labor force is a problem for Wendt.

Wendt was founded in 1920 and is now a market leader in the development of grinding technologies for hard materials, such as steel, glass, hard metal, ceramic, and the polycrystalline materials PCD and CBN. Praveen used the example of champagne glasses, where his grinding materials are used on the very fine lip of the glass.

Wendt Thailand is already working with most reputed glass manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and steel manufacturers in Thailand. Praveen, very proudly, stated that Wendt began in this country with a zero base and is now the market leader in Auto glass, paying 100 percent dividend for the past few years.

Praveen had spent some time in Japan, and this reflects upon his customer base here in Thailand, which is 85 percent Japanese. This was a figure envied by many AFG members, as the Japanese market has historically been very difficult to crack.

He stressed that his company does not go out to sell “product”, but rather sells the concept of providing “solutions” for the client’s problems. This novel approach has certainly helped pay the dividends for Praveen’s company here in Thailand.