INTERPIPE experience in supplying wheel products to the market of India and Southeast Asia.

Building relationships and becoming a pool of reliable suppliers in the markets of India and Southeast Asia is a task for many years, as it always requires not only the knowledge of the country, but also building a personal relationship with the client.

As a Ukrainian manufacturer of premium wheeled products INTERPIPE has managed to increase 15 times the share of exports to India and other Southeast Asian countries in five years, says the manager of the department of sales of railway products in foreign markets of INTERPIPE Oleg Vodolazhsky.

supplying wheel products

According to him, the peculiarity of the market of India and Southeast Asia is the difference in technical part and the lack of a certain unification, which is inherent in the CIS, Europe and the United States. Each country in the region of Southeast Asia has different technical specifications, has different and unique wheel designs. This is shaped by the historical development of the railway industry in the region, and directly depends on which Western country has played a leading role in the supply of rolling stock.

All this requires a company planning to enter India and Southeast Asia to engage in technical services and R&D, as paper drawings are often of poor quality and the customer can use the technical specifications of the 1980s.

supplying wheel products

“INTERPIPE under the KLW brand has been developing high-tech exports and cooperation with Indian Railways for over 25 years. During this time, all-cast wheels for various purposes were delivered to India: for freight and passenger cars, locomotives, public transport and the subway, ” said Vodolazhsky.

According to him, it was possible to build a long-term relationship with the national railway operator of India thanks to a systematic approach to meeting customer needs and a strong R&D unit.

“Over the years, we have become not just a supplier to Indian Railways, but a technical partner,” he said. – With many years of international experience in the supply of wheels around the world, our technicians are always aware of the latest innovations in international specifications, types of packaging and protective coating of wheels, experience working with leading European companies in the railway industry. Already at the stage of technical negotiations, we share this knowledge with the client and offer to improve the product specification.

supplying wheel products

Often INTERPIPE is a developer of wheel design. So it is the author of a modified wheel design for passenger trains in India. The company R&D management has the ability and experience to design wheels and advanced steel grades to meet customer needs, taking into account not only the technical but also the geographical operating conditions of a particular railway line, as climate and altitude differences can significantly affect performance and service life of wheels. The new design will significantly increase traffic safety after the repairs of passenger cars. ”

Now, especially for Indian Railways, INTERPIPE has developed an improved wheel design for passenger transport in accordance with the operating conditions in India and has already started fulfilling this order.

The company expects to supply the Indian national railway operator with a record volume of wheels. This will help INTERPIPE strengthen its long-term relationship with Indian Railways.

According to Vodolazsky, the partnership approach works not only in India but also in the markets of Southeast Asian countries such as Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The share of deliveries to these countries in the total sales of INTERPIPE wheeled products has increased 15 times since 2017: from 0.37% to 5.61%.

supplying wheel products

In 2020, INTERPIPE delivered the first batch of wheels to Thailand, fulfilling orders for the Bangkok high-speed overground subway. “So far, this is a small batch of wheels for railway repairs, but we expect to gain a foothold in the Thai market,” says Oleg. – To do this, we must learn to compete successfully with China, which has historically held a strong position due to geographical proximity and low costs.

We have been trying to enter this market for a long time, but local railway operators have traditionally cooperated with Japanese suppliers. More than a year ago, a Thai client technical delegation audited Interpipe NTZ.

And here was a real breakthrough: INTERPIPE made the first supply of passenger railway wheels for the high-speed overground subway in Bangkok. The order is quite complex both in production (special requirements for drilling) and logistically – the products must be securely packed to withstand aggressive environments of high humidity for more than a month.

The positive experience of the first delivery will be a good recommendation for the State Railways of Thailand.

INTERPIPE – Ukrainian industry company, manufacturer of seamless pipes and railway wheels. The company products are supplied to more than 80 countries through a network of sales offices located in key markets of the CIS, the Middle East, North America and Europe. In 2020, INTERPIPE sold 662 thousand tons of finished products, including 192 thousand tons of railway products. Sales of railway products are carried out under the KLW brand.

INTERPIPE has 11,000 employees. In 2020, the Company transferred UAH 2.54 billion to the budgets of all levels.

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