TMJ Global

Kerala is having good scope to be an electronic hub

06 Nov 2023   |   3 min Read
K P Sethunath

The possibility of Kerala attracting a sizable chunk of electronics hardware manufacturing looks bright with most global companies diversifying their supply chain networks due to various factors such as de-risking and geopolitical tensions. Speaking to select media persons Dr.N Jehangir Chairman and Managing Director of the Kochi-based Nest Group said the state with its skilled human resources and connectivity have a very good chance to position itself as a hub for sourcing end-to-end electronics hardware solutions, components and manufacturing.

SFO Technologies example, flagship company of the Nest Group, is an example of the potential of the state in the electronics segment. SFO Technologies, started in 1993 as a contract manufacturer, has now grown into an electronic solutions provider and components manufacturer catering to leading global manufacturing companies. 'Our products and services cater to nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies and our export footprint covers 58 countries. We cater to leading names in aerospace, medical devices, defense industries, transportation and logistics', Mr. Jehangir said. He declined to reveal the names of the clients due to strict confidentiality norms.


IPO PLANS         

SFO Technologies, accounting for nearly Rs 2,500 cr out of the Rs 3,500 cr revenue of the Nest Group, plans for Initial Public Offer in 2024. 'We are planning to go for an IPO towards the end of 2024. We have initiated the process for the IPO', Mr. Jehangir said. The proceeds of the IPO will be used for expansion of the business. SFO Technologies is earmarking Rs 400-500 cr capital expenditure in the next 12-15 months.

The core areas of the business ranging from R&D to software engineering and manufacturing including sheet metal fabrication, plastic injection moulding, cables, relays, transformers, fibre optics, PCB assemblies and high-level assemblies. Smart ICU and neonatal ventilator, ultrasound scanner, complex boards, high-voltage panels, recharge cards, ticket vending machines, cash counting machines, specialised communication equipment are some of the key products of the company.  


According to senior executives of the NEST group India is poised to benefit greatly from the China Plus strategy of the multinational companies. The China plus strategy rests mainly on the idea of diversifying the supply chain network and India is going to benefit largely on account of such a transition. Kerala is having a great advantage within India due to the skilled human resources and the good connectivity, they added.

The three-decade old Nest Group is a diversified business conglomerate with operations in technology, education and food and beverages. The manufacturing facilities of the group are located at Cochin Export Processing Zone and NeST group's SEZ, the first in the electronic industry SEZ in the private sector in the country at Kalamassery.



The food and beverage business of the group caters mainly to refreshments and ethnic cuisine of Kerala. Kerala ethnic cuisine is mainly sold in the US, Europe and Middle East under the Royal Malabar Brand. The company also plans to expand the portfolio with new products, senior officials said.

The group, having 12,000 employees working from 25 locations worldwide, also claims to have one of the lowest attrition rates of 3 percent. The company has its Research and Development and Product Fulfilment Centres in India, UAE, Japan and USA, besides front-end offices in UK, China and Singapore. NeST has over 40 per cent of women employees in its plants in Kerala as part of its policy to promote gender equality. Women excel in all sectors including R&D, software development and manufacturing and mission critical assignments, said Althaf Jehangir and Nazneen Jehangir, CEO and Executive Directors of the company.

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