Larne-based FG Wilson recently celebrated the handover of the 1,500th diesel generator for use by one of India’s leading telecoms companies. The gensets have been supplied in a deal worth around £5 million by FG Wilson, which has used Invest NI missions, including the most recent led by Secretary of State Peter Hain, to develop its business in India
FG Wilson has provided the gensets to Chennai-based Dishnet Wireless, a major supplier to Tata Telecom, one of India’s biggest and most successful companies.
The gensets were manufactured at FG Wilson’s plant at Pondicherry, near Chennai, from designs developed at the company’s global headquarters in Larne and with some components from Northern Ireland. They are being used to power switching gear and other operations at telecommunications towers across India.
FG Wilson currently employs 50 people at Pondicherry and at sales and technical support centres in Chennai and Mumbai. The Northern Ireland company has been doing business in India for almost 20 years. It employs over 2,500 people at its plants at Larne, Monkstown and Belfast.
Dr Sweeney said: “India has become an immensely important market for FG Wilson over the past decade. Demand for our products has grown rapidly as the country’s economy has been transformed through a focus on knowledge-led industries such as IT, software and telecoms. Many of the countries leading IT companies and businesses in other key sectors now depend on FG Wilson gensets for both primary and emergency power.
“We are confident that our business in India will continue to grow strongly from further large scale investment in its infrastructure, especially telecoms, and from the development of its industrial base in both manufacturing and services.
“Setting up a manufacturing base in Pondicherry was essential. It enables us to compete aggressively with other genset suppliers in India, both local and international, in what has become one of the world’s most dynamic and competitive marketplaces.”
Welcoming FG Wilson’s latest success in India, Mr Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, said: “This remarkable Northern Ireland engineering company is a perfect example of how by embracing global manufacturing it can create greater wealth in Northern Ireland.
“While the company has increased its competitiveness by outsourcing the volume manufacturing of some products to its lower cost plant in India, valued added operations such as R&D and product design have been retained in Northern Ireland. The company, furthermore, has expanded its R&D and other high value operations here. FG Wilson’s achievements in global markets have also led to Caterpillar, its parent company, investing in financial and other operations here.”
“The lesson for other Northern Ireland companies in both manufacturing and traded services is that they can enhance their ability to compete successfully and above all profitably in global markets by harnessing the potential of lower cost regions such as India,” he added.