Prasad Kulkarni: Setting New Benchmarks In Indian Mechanical Sealing Industry Through Continuous Innovation And Quality Products | CEOInsights Vendor
Prasad Kulkarni: Setting New Benchmarks In Indian Mechanical Sealing Industry Through Continuous Innovation And Quality Products

Prasad Kulkarni: Setting New Benchmarks In Indian Mechanical Sealing Industry Through Continuous Innovation And Quality Products

  Prasad Kulkarni,   Managing Director

Prasad Kulkarni

Managing Director

Mechanical seals help prevent leakages in equipment and are used across multiple industries such as construction, defense, agriculture, oil & gas, and so on. With industries across the country opting for more technically advanced tools for better and faster operation, there has been a significant boost in the demand for mechanical sealing products. However, the Indian sealing industry has been predominantly ruled by foreign brands for the last 5 decades. Sensing an opportunity for country made sealing products in the market as well as to provide job opportunities to fellow countrymen, Prasad Kulkarni started SAP Parts in 2001. Initially, started at Kalol, Gujurat, the firm slowly moved its primary operations to Pune. His hard work, a knack for continuous innovation as well as a "no compromise" attitude towards quality has pushed the firm into becoming one of the leading as well as successful mechanical sealing providers offering globally acclaimed mechanical sealing across the globe.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Prasad shares his early education and prior industry experience, the unique proposition offered by the firm, and much more:

Shed some light on your professional background and prior industry experience. What inspired you to venture into the manufacturing segment and what drives you today?
After completing my primary education in Govt schools at Mangalwedha, a small village in Solapur district, I joined further studies for engineering at Govt Engineering collage Solapur in Mechanical Engineering. After completion of my study, I joined NRB bearings at Jalna for a brief period of two years. Then I joined the Delux-Texspin group is again a very small village called Ranpur in the Saurashtra region. There I got my hands-on experience as well the
life experience with people and business. After establishing I started a manufacturing unit at GIDC Chatral in Gandhinagar district in 2001 and from there I have my trusted employees working with me. Mr. Mohan Autade and Jayant Kumbhalkar joined me from there and they are part of my business and family. I have been supported by my wife Rita and I am deeply inspired by my Late Mother Suman Kulkarni who toiled our land herself after my father's demise to give me a good education.

Innovation and quality is something which has to be maintained in each and every department of the company

Define SAP Parts as an organization and its position in the market. What is the unique proposition that your organization offers to its clients?
Anonymous with innovation, the products made at SAP Parts are unique as well as innovative with two patents in metallurgy and another two in products. The products which we offer are used across multiple industries such as the farming industry, mining industry, defense industry, and so on. We have a very innovative material, a near Net safe casting process as well as a very specific super finishing core lapping process for the mechanical issues. We innovate the solutions for the sealing as well as propose sealing in challenging atmospheres, which is also our USP. Other than supplying to Indian defense, we are also supplying to some programs in Korea and Germany by giving unique sealing for the tanks.

Coming to agriculture, we have also designed sealing for the PTO application used in paddy, for which we got the Innovation Award in the first year of its inception from Mahindra & Mahindra. Our seals are made of steel cast material which is abrasion-resistant and offers you better equipment life and performance. Initially started at Ahmedabad in 2001, later on, more units were started at Pune where we, later on, started making the mechanical face seals. We had an annual turnover of Rs.75 crores this year and expect an annual turnover of around 110 crores in 2022-2023. 70 percent of our total revenues are from exports. We are doing
business globally with countries such as Europe, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, and Korea.

Why did you choose Pune to be the breeding ground for your company? How has the place favored you so far in your operations?
Whether it's metallurgy or elastomer science or casting, Pune has a lot of talents to offer who are good at their domain. The ecosystem around Pune suits perfectly for the development of such kinds of products. We also have ARAI as well as an auto cluster in Pune to help us in continuous innovation. Even the people and quality of life are much better than the other metro cities, which is why we prefer Pune as our operation destination.

Going forward, what are the changes in market behavior that you anticipate, and what are the opportunities that you foresee? Could you elaborate on the latest technologies adopted by the company in manufacturing the products?
Currently, there have been many challenges with the major one being in terms of raw material price. However, that will be settled at some point in time. Another major challenge has been the change in customers’ purchasing behavior towards India mostly due to the pandemic. People are ready to work with Indian companies on long-term contacts. However, they are expecting a consistent supply chain, which is also a bit challenging for the Indian industry.

Coming to the latest technologies, we have the Unitized Mechanical Face Seal that is going to replace the existing rubber seals and has the ability to almost double the equipment’s life expectancy. We have already started working with OEMs in India using this seal and fortunately, everybody is optimistic about our solution. The second technology that we are working on is laser surface hardening where we do minimum distortion heat treatment of the metals.

Prasad Kulkarni, Managing Director,
SAP Parts

After his graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 1993, Prasad worked for some firms before starting his Mechanical Seal firm, SAP Parts, with the sole intention to provide a job for his fellow countrymen. Under his able leadership, SAP Parts has grown into one of the leading mechanical seal firms in India with annual revenue of 75 crores while eyeing a 110 crore turnover in 2022-23.

Trending Stories