Huf India site in Pune, aerial view

Huf India – automotive supplier in Pune

People & Passion |

The automotive supplier Huf India has been based in Pune since 2007 - and is thus right in the middle of one of India's industrial centers. The metropolis is the country's educational capital, and has won several awards as India's most livable city. In short, Pune is the place to be. Numerous OEMs and suppliers are located around the town, which has been named India's "Motor City" by the British daily newspaper "The Independent". Huf India produces lock sets, door handles and brackets for well-known customers all over the world. Moreover, the automotive supplier Huf  also has a state-of-the-art paint shop in India. When it comes to lean management and sustainability, the Pune plant also goes full throttle.

Text: Manuel Dohr

India as a growth market? Many OEM and automotive supplier companies were late to recognize the opportunities that the subcontinent has to offer. The country's great economic potential was not really discovered by the international automotive industry until the mid-2000s. Huf was one of the pioneers here as well and demonstrated entrepreneurial foresight by opening a new location in Pune in 2007. What initially began as a sales office in cooperation with a local joint venture partner quickly grew into a modern production site that today plays an important role in the global network of the automotive supplier Huf..

As early as 2008, Huf India began manufacturing lock sets for a well-known British car manufacturer, at that time still in rented premises. At the same time, Huf pushed forward with the construction of its own die casting plant, which went into operation in 2012. The plant, which is located around 140 kilometers southeast of the metropolis of Mumbai, subsequently continued to grow: Within three years, in addition to assembly lines for door handles and brackets, Huf also built a computer-controlled paint shop as well as facilities for toolmaking and the production of molded parts in Pune. The site of the automotive supplier Huf is manufacturing several hundred thousand lock sets and tens of thousands of door handles per month.

Kanchan Bhave has been on board at Huf India almost from the beginning. He started as Deputy Manager maintenance in 2008 and is now the head of maintenance for all equipment. "Since its beginnings 15 years ago, Huf India has developed rapidly. Over time, more and more production areas and production lines were added. With the state-of-the-art paint shop, we also have a real flagship, which, like the high manufacturing quality, contributes to the very good reputation that Huf India has among our customers," explains Bhave.

Huf India: automotive supplier was an early mover in the booming Indian automotive market

Growth market India? You bet! The Indian automotive market was developing rapidly, and Huf was right at the heart of the Indian automotive industry from the very beginning. Today, India is the fourth-largest automobile-producing country in the world, with around 5.46 million vehicles manufactured each year. By comparison, only 1.47 million passenger cars rolled off the assembly line here in 2006 – so the figures have almost quadrupled in this period. India's share of global automotive production more than tripled between 2000 and 2020.

Employee of Huf India wearing a mask holds a painting rack in the paint shop.

Adding color: The state-of-the-art paint shop is one of the flagships of Huf India.

Two hands holding a red car door handle painted by Huf India.

Splendid result: The door handles produced and painted in Pune are supplied to renowned customers around the globe.

The current registration figures clearly illustrate this: The Indian car market is booming. In 2022, new registrations increased by 23 percent compared to the previous year and reached a new record level of almost 3.8 million passenger cars.

In this booming environment, Huf India is very close to its customers – also geographically: Numerous automobile manufacturers have their own plants around Pune. The good reputation of the automotive supplier, which the site has built up over the past three years under the leadership of Sandeep Chaudhary, Country Manager Huf India and Plant Director Operations, now extends far beyond the domestic market. The products developed and manufactured in Pune meet highest quality standards – as proven by numerous awards from renowned OEMs.

Consequently, more than half of the components produced by Huf India find their way into vehicles of various brands around the globe.

Huf India is top in Lean Management

“An important pillar of our success is the implementation of the Huf Production System, HPS for short: We have very quickly put the standardized lean processes of the HPS into practice and made the production processes even more efficient,” Sandeep Chaudhary emphasizes. Various "lean classics" were used in the process.

Employees of Huf India during quality control at the factory in Pune.

Quality right to the very last detail: Sanjay Chavan, head of assembly, Thangavelan Selvaraj, Senior Manager Product Development, and Quality Manager Sneha Kulkarni during a quality check (from left to right).

Two female employees of Huf India in Pune at work holding a key.

Key women: Assembly operator Nita Dalvi and Shanu Atute, Engineer for operations quality manufacturing, are part of the strong team of almost 500 employees.

However, the team of the automotive supplier in India does not rest on its laurels but, in line with the Kaizen method, keeps striving for continuous improvement. The reward for so much perseverance: In 2022, the site received two Gold Awards from the Quality Circle Forum of India. The jury honored two case studies on improving packaging and reducing losses in energy transmission. In terms of Lean Management, Huf India holds a top position in the global Huf ranking. This is confirmed by the results of an independent auditing organization.

Individual career opportunities and good social benefits for high employee satisfaction

Even when focusing on lean processes and high quality: People are always at the center of attention at Huf India. "Well-trained and committed employees are our most important resource. The satisfaction and security of our workforce are very important to us," says Shantanu Pande, Head of Human Resources at Huf India.

For example, employees and trainees benefit from very good social benefits, some of which also apply to family members. In addition, Huf India places great importance on maintaining high occupational safety standards. Another important aspect: The automotive supplier provides very employee with the opportunity for personal development. "To this end, we create an individual plan for each person and offer customized training and development programs," explains Shantanu Pande. The training center opened by COO Dirk Fischer in the summer of 2022 provides the ideal framework for this.

World map with symbolized aircraft flying from Huf India in Pune to customer locations around the world.

From Pune to the world: The products of Huf India are supplied to renowned customers around the globe.

In addition to its high degree of manufacturing and painting expertise, Huf India is also pushing ahead with software development. “The new Technical Center at the Amar Madhuban Tech Park in Pune, which will be officially opened in June 2023, is another milestone for our site. With around 100 employees, it covers not only software development but also mechatronics and simulation”, says Sandeep Chaudhary. Furthermore, Huf India is an important apprenticing company in the region. At the Pune site, various training programs are organized for employees at all levels to ensure their skill development in line with functional needs and the Huf competencies.

All this is well received – and the word is getting around: In the latest employee survey, the company achieved an Engagement Index of 96 percent. This value reflects the degree of emotional attachment as well as the commitment and motivation of the employees. In the Pune region, Huf is one of the most important employers for technical careers.

Great team spirit and strong social commitment

This is thanks in no small part to the good working atmosphere and great cohesion among employees. Many colleagues stay on the site after work to play sports together. The activities offered range from badminton to volleyball, chess and cricket. In addition, Huf India promotes a strong team spirit through joint recreational events such as the regular "Sports Day" and the big Family Day, which was held for the first time in 2023.

As an important employer in the Pune region, Huf India meets its overall social responsibility. The automotive supplier is supporting several social projects and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as "Cry" and "Helpage India". The focus here is on education and special needs education, among other things. The aim is to provide people from rural areas and socially disadvantaged groups in particular with the skills they need to improve their standard of living with the help of targeted educational programs.

Naturally: Huf India focuses on sustainability

When it comes to the use of natural resources, Huf India is also forward-looking. The site covers around 25 percent of its annual electricity requirements with self-produced solar energy. This is made possible by more than 2,700 solar modules installed on the roof of the factory buildings and on an open area. The "green" electricity reduces CO2 emissions and helps Huf achieve its corporate goal of CO2 neutrality by 2030. In the context of the company-wide sustainability campaign, Huf India is also stepping up its energy-saving measures – starting with electricity, water and gas to compressed air.

Another example of exemplary sustainability is the use of rainwater at Huf India: Instead of letting the precious wet run off unused, it is collected in a huge cistern and then used for flushing toilets and watering the green areas on the company premises. In this way, the site covers around 60 percent of its service water requirements.

“An important pillar of our success is the implementation of the Huf Production System, HPS for short: We have very quickly put the standardized lean processes of the HPS into practice and made the production processes even more efficient.”

Sandeep Chaudhary, Country Manager Huf India and Plant Director Operations, Huf India
Sandeep Chaudhary, Country Manager Huf India and Plant Director Operations

Speaking of which, anyone who looks around the plant site will discover a lot of greenery - the trees here literally are growing into the sky. The Huf India team has planted more than 700 seedlings of native tree species. Over the next 20 years, the tree population will absorb around 345 tons of CO2 – another valuable contribution to the climate neutrality of Huf.

The Pune plant of the automotive supplier is also taking a progressive approach in reducing water consumption and recycling wastewater. For example, the site is one of the first companies in the region to use a special ultrafiltration softening plant that meets the latest environmental standards. By reactivating an old well, Huf India created a small oasis on the factory premises that is very popular for team-building measures and leisure activities. A nice side effect: The water extracted from the well can be used as service water.

The company's sustainable use of natural resources perfectly reflects what has distinguished Huf India from the very beginning: entrepreneurial foresight. Because if you think about tomorrow today, you can shape the future well by sustainable management. Huf India - the "place to be" in "Motor City".

Huf India employees talking in the garden area of the plant.

Great working atmosphere: Employees feel good at Huf India – as shown, among other things, by the high engagement index of 96 percent.

Huf India employees talking in the plant's garden pavilion.

Getting outside into the green: The pavilion surrounded by many plants and trees is a great place to brainstorm – or to relax during a break.

Huf India employees playing badminton in a gym.

Long live sports: After work, many employees take advantage of the wide range of leisure activities on the plant premises.

Plan your trip to Huf India

Huf India Private Limited

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Huf India Private Limited

Gat no. 304, 305, Nanekarwadi,
Chakan, Tal - Khed,
Pune 410 501

+91 (0) 2135 674100

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