Likhitha Mullapudi: A Young Entrepreneur Carrying Forward the Rich Legacy of Lokesh Machines | CEOInsights Vendor
Likhitha Mullapudi: A Young Entrepreneur Carrying Forward the Rich Legacy of Lokesh Machines

Likhitha Mullapudi: A Young Entrepreneur Carrying Forward the Rich Legacy of Lokesh Machines

 Likhitha Mullapudi,    Director

Likhitha Mullapudi


Established in the year 1985, Lokesh Machines is ranked amongst the top 5 Machine Tool Manufacturing industries in India. Renowned for offering standard and customized solutions in a wide range of High Speed, Precision and Reliable CNC Machines, the firm is also a mid-volume Custom Built Special Machines Manufacturer in the metal cutting arena. Primarily catering to the needs of automotive and particularly Power train components, Lokesh Machines has also catered to a handful of Non-Automotive industries in areas of Power Sector, Hydraulics and other allied sectors. Some of the niche products offered to the non-automotive sectors include the Agriculture and Farm Sector, Gas Turbine and Aerospace Sector, Railways, with Finish Cam & Crank Boring, Finish Barrel Boring, Finish Joint Faces Milling machines being its forte. Recently, the firm has also been fairly successful in the Infrastructure and Irrigation markets as well.

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Supported and mentored by a team of people who at all levels have been supporting the firm since the inception, Lokesh Machines has successfully acquired a good customer base who constantly guide it with recommendations and repeat orders. With most of its customer relationships expanding over two decades, the firm is extremely proud of how the very first lathe and vertical milling Centre sold by Lokesh Machines is still in operation. Also, major OEMs still have machines operating for the past 25 years, delivering the same accuracies and productivity. Today, most of the leading Automotive OEMs, Tier I & Tier II companies as well as a host of non-automotive companies put their trust in Lokesh Machines. Both in automotive and non-automotive sectors, the firm has individual companies owning more than 200 machines at their single or multiple locations. This is a testimony of their faith in Lokesh Machines and their products.

Carrying forward the rich legacy of Lokesh Machines is Likhitha Mullapudi. Contributing as the Director of Lokesh Machines since 2019, Likhitha is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to achieving the vision and mission of the firm.

In a recent interaction with CEO Insights, Likhitha Mullapudi, Director, Lokesh Machines shared more about her career, journey and more. Here’s an insight from the exclusive interaction.

Tell us more about your professional background and experience. What is it that inspired you to take up the role of Director at Lokesh Machines?
Coming from a family of enginee
ring entrepreneurs, I had always dreamt about leading our family’s business, Lokesh Machines Ltd. Inspired by my father, grandfather and my uncles’ determination towards work and owing to my father’s guidance, I decided to pursue Mechanical engineering from PSG IAS, Coimbatore, one of the leading colleges in Asia. Following my bachelors, I decided to pursue by Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, post which I completed my Management course from the United States. During my Masters program, I had got many opportunities to work on various projects using different technologies and this invigorated me in how well I could put this knowledge to use back home.

At Lokesh Machines, our goal is to increase our presence further in the Indian markets before we spread our wings overseas

Managing a position as big as a Director in one of the leading manufacturing industry of this scale, especially in this era of rapid advancements in science and engineering, it is necessary to have the right skill sets to be industry ready. Hence, I worked as a design engineer in my company for a few years and worked towards absorbing all the necessary technical skills and perspective.

My designation as a Director and being the third generation entrepreneur in my family, it has always been an overwhelming experience while motivating at the same time. This has inspired me to do better and take up more challenges to keep growing on par with the market while always remaining amongst the top manufacturing industries in India.

Tell us about some of the major challenges which you have experienced in your journey so far? How did you overcome them and what are the learning that you derived from these situations?
One of the major challenge which we have come across is COVID 19. The pandemic was an unprecedented obstruction to business, no one was prepared for this. More so, this happened when the industry was just coming out of a slowdown in 2018, 2019.

While the CNC machine manufacturing industry is still in a very mature space, and technologically most players are at par with leading global players, especially in the Medium Technology machines. With most of the players being so well versed with high volume production, they have also been fully geared to cater to the entire country’s requirements. In a nut shell, we are fully equipped for the Government of India’s clarion call of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

At Lokesh Machines, we have fairly good hold in medium tech machine manufacturing, however, when it comes to the High Tech. machines, we do have some technological gaps and this is where the imports continue to be highly prevalent. With the domestic availability of technology which can be easily industrialized being a major challenge, the companies have to individually work on this. Whereas, in western countries, the universities and other agencies develop this technology and are always few steps ahead of the curve when it
comes to technology. There after, companies have adequate time and resources to productionize these technologies in the most cost effective way. Of course they also have the customer base to absorb this technology both in cost and utility.

In India, the industry is partially overcoming this through technical tie ups with overseas players and some through acquisitions, but yes, slowly yet gradually, players are moving up the value.

As an upcoming city, how has Hyderabad favoured the growth of Lokesh Machines?
Hyderabad is one such city that promises opportunities, thus, offering an excellent atmosphere for industries to grow and survive. We are proud that we are deeply rooted here and continue to grow unhindered. With a proactive government and the industry friendly policies in Hyderabad, along with a good work force and owing to its strategic location in the map of India, we are lucky to have originated here in Hyderabad. Also, with a host of new manufacturing industries across various sectors coming up in Hyderabad, there would be a great scope of expanding our sales in this territory itself.

Going forward, what are the changes in market behaviour that you anticipate and what are the opportunities that you foresee?
I believe, the only way one can succeed in the international market is if they have completely penetrated the local markets. At Lokesh Machines, our goal is to increase our presence further in the Indian markets before we spread our wings overseas. With the current growth rate and competition,in order to survive we must be advanced and tactical into adapting new technologies.

Today, customers are looking for more technologically advanced, digital and connected, robust, accurate and time efficient machines. Covid-19 pandemic has opened up various new markets leaving us an immense opportunity to enter, expand and collaborate in these various new segments. To add to it, with a good investment in R&D and technical collaborations, we are gearing up to embrace the same.

Owing to your rich industry expertise, what advice would you like to impart to the budding industry leaders?
With the current growth rate and competition, it is going to be tough and challenging to survive in the industry. It is essential that budding leaders gear up, come out of their comfort zones and look for new market opportunities while staying committed to the challenge of adapting various new technologies in their current processes without taking a hit on the quality and credibility. In short keep in par with the growing technology and work smart is the key to paving your path ahead.

Likhitha Mullapudi, Director, Lokesh Machines
A mechanical engineer from PSG College of Technology Likhitha completed her Masters from University of Hartford (US). She is a young passionate entrepreneur steering Lokesh Machines' diversification and growth to become a future ready and vibrant brand.

Hobbies:Sketching and cooking
Favorite Cuisine:Asian

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