On the surface, Pune city, a Tier II city in the state of Maharashtra, is just like any other bigger city in India. However, a closer look reveals a lot working in its favor. Proximity to the financial capital of India – Mumbai – is a distinct and undeniable advantage. Pune has become the hub for automotive OEMs such as Tata Motors, Bajaj, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, Jeep and Mahindra & Mahindra.
The city is not only a large automotive base – its strategic importance has generally increased. The good local infrastructure also makes it possible to quickly reaching numerous industrial customers within and outside the country. Overall – excellent conditions for Freudenberg Filtration Technologies (FFT) operating its Indian business from two locations in Pune.
Some 50 employees are located in the city center, at Vimannagar near the airport, with the corporate office, validation service, sales, project office, IT, finance and controlling as well as HR and administration. The production facility with more than 110 employees is located a one-hour drive outside of Pune, at Sanaswadi Village. The moment you step into this factory, you will immediately recognize the permanent traffic at the site. Customer orders lined up in white and brown box cartons just at the entrance. On the shop floor, the place is buzzing with activity. Workers are busy working on products for various industries: Automotive filters such as cabin air and engine air intake filters as well as industrial filters like cartridges for gas turbines, high temperature-filters or filters for paint booths.
Besides, the site it is the hub for Viledon filterCair Services, the individual air quality management system FFT has been offering for 25 years. Furthermore, inlet air-cooling projects like Viledon eee.Sy, an all-in-one system for filtration and cooling of the inlet air, are realized there. The comprehensive portfolio is marketed under the two globally established brands Viledon for industrial filtration and micronAir for automotive filtration.
FFT India was founded in 2008 and has grown rapidly over the past years. “We came to our current production facility within Pune at the beginning of 2014 – at the same time we opened our corporate office. We have grown our operations exponentially and customers have welcomed our product innovations," says Dhirendra Choudhary, Managing Director & CEO. One of these innovations was the nationally and globally patented Viledon eee.Sy, which has been exported successfully to various countries. To sharpen its expertise in HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) and clean-room filters, FFT India acquired Pyramid Filters in 2012. “Pune city also gives a distinct advantage to us with proximity to customers, import-export from Mumbai and highly qualified engineering resources," adds Choudhary. “We are well represented across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh."
Nevertheless, it is not only about numbers. FFT embraces the idea of sustainable living and quality of life. For their outstanding efforts, the facility has received accolades from Government bodies for ensuring a safe work culture over the years. The employees who live close by are also encouraged by the organization to cycle to work, with cycles being distributed to the staff. Safety shoes, earplugs, appropriate gear and a clean work environment are all mandatory in the facility as per Freudenberg safety standards. For their efforts, FFT India won the internal Freudenberg “We all take care-Award", which honors outstanding projects in health, safety, environmental protection, responsibility for society and site safety, even two times: In 2015, for their cycle-to-work-project that aimed to reduce the carbon footprint and in 2013, for a project concerning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
All the foundations are laid for Dhirendra Choudhary: "We are on the right track, seeing a lot of potential for further growth. Of course, the market environment is challenging. But we are optimistic about and well-prepared for the future".