National Engineering Industries (NEI), a pioneer in the bearing manufacturing industry in India, plans to invest around INR1bn (US$19.5m) annually for the next five years boosting capacity in three existing plants and setting up a fourth plant as well as increasing R&D spend to 1% of turnover.

“The fourth plant will be located at Gujarat and Karnataka for which due diligence is being conducted,” Rohit Saboo, President and CEO, NEI, told just-auto.

The company has factories in Jaipur, Newai and Manesar and turns out 80m bearings a year from its three units.

It exports to over 20 countries on five continents. Customers include Hero Motocorp (motorcycles), Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India, TAFE, VE Commercial Vehicles, Ashok Leyland, Indian Railways, Daimler (Germany), Conmet (USA) and Agrale (Brazil).

Saboo said: “As part of our aggressive growth plans, we are considering acquisitions besides organic growth with new and innovative product introductions more often. R&D continues to be a key focus area and we intend to increase spend to 1% of turnover.”

That will be used for regular technology upgrades and establishing new research labs for product development. The key focus areas include application engineering, product testing, product engineering, advanced product technology, advanced manufacturing technology, advanced material technology, modeling and simulation.