Boeing and Airbus use components manufactured by a company owned by Gujarati
You may not have heard the name of the non-resident Indian (NRI) Rahul Shukla, but your product plays a vital role when traveling in a Boeing or Airbus planes. These global aerospace giants use flexible shafts manufactured by Shukla's company: S. S. White Technologies Inc., a 175-year-old American company founded in 1844 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Shukla, 72, not only acquired the former American company but also brought the manufacture of flexible shafts to Gujarat. The Indian subsidiary of S. S. Technologies operates a plant in the city of Surendranagar. Shukla, a mechanical engineer, was born in Wadhwan in 1947. Flexible axles manufactured at the facility are used by automotive giants such as Ford.
“Most of the aircraft, commercial and military, that fly today use at least a part made by us. We have facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom and India, says Shukla, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of S. S. White Technologies.
How did Shukla end up owning one of the oldest companies in the United States? There is an interesting story attached. After completing his degree in mechanical engineering, Shukla joined Rutgers University in New Jersey to obtain his master's degree in industrial engineering.
“I went to the USA. UU. With only US $ 1,400 and I worked as a driver, security guard and waiter to cover my expenses. I didn't have the money, so I left the doctoral study, ”recalls Shukla sitting in his office in Wadhwan.
In 1973, he began working as a quality inspector at S. S. White, who had moved his industrial division to New Jersey after cutting his ties with the sister company, S. S. White Dental Manufacturing.
“Then I received $ 2.48 per hour. While the director of research and development was rising, the company continued to sink and went on sale in 1988 for $ 60 million, said Shukla, who decided to buy his sick employer with the help of his colleagues
“I sold one of my two houses and mortgaged the other. I prepared a business plan and went from one bank to another until I got the loan, ”adds Shukla, who is also passionate about writing and cinematography. Today, S. S. White has revenues of US $ 42 million.
Shukla is also a big-hearted employer. A few years ago, he presented his 122 employees with a vacation bonus of $ 1,000 each at a time when industries were reeling from the slowdown in the United States.
When competition intensified, Shukla was advised to establish a plant in China. However, he chose India and brought flexible axles for electric car seats to Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Listening to my father's advice, Bhanubhai, I changed the plant to Wadhwan, he added.
Today, this plant employs more than 300 workers. In addition to the flexible shafts, the facility also manufactures orthopedic implant removal instruments for another company in the group called Shukla Medical. Indian revenues are Rs 40 million and we are further expanding our production capacity, he said.