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Carborundum mulls China, Dubai foray

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, SEPT. 15. Even as it is gearing to celebrate Golden Jubilee, the Rs.314-crore abrasive maker Carborundum Universal Ltd. (CUMI) is looking at the option of setting up manufacturing bases in China and Dubai.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Ramesh Agarwal, Managing Director, said the company was looking at China as a low-cost option to produce niche products and Dubai as an entry point to access West Asian markets.

He insisted that CUMI was weighing all options vis--vis its China strategy. Essentially, the company was keen on making niche as opposed to mass products to cater to the Chinese market. If opportunities presented to make high-end products in China to service global markets, Carborundum would seize it, he said. To a question, he said, "it is too early to talk about the scale". He, however, insisted that the company would be able to take a call on its China initiate inside six months.

The company was contemplating a production base in Dubai more with an eye on reaching out to West Asian markets. "We find lot of materials flow into Iran, Iraq and the like," he pointed out.

M. M. Murugappan, Chairman, said "Our vision is to place CUMI on the global map in the area of material science and its application". The initiatives on the Dubai and China fronts were surely in line with this objective. Clearly with this in view, CUMI mandarins had fixed a target of upping exports to 20 per cent of the turnover in three years from the existing ten per cent.

To hit this target, CUMI had drawn up an investment plan of Rs. 25-30 crores a year over the next three years.

Mr. Murugappan said the company would keep its eyes and ears open for organic and inorganic routes to grow.

Carborundum will kick-start its Golden Jubilee celebrations on September 16 in Chennai. The celebrations will focus on the theme "thanks giving and rededication".

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