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In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, V. Parthiban, Founder and Managing Director of Bull Machines, shares his entrepreneurial journey and company’s future plans
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“A declining man sets sail upon success, only with lessons learnt from hustle.”
Bull Machines is the leading manufacturer, supplier and service provider of tractor attachment and construction equipment. It manufactures its products by using high-grade material and advance technology. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, V. Parthiban, Founder and Managing Director of Bull Machines, shares his entrepreneurial journey and company’s future plans.
Walk us through your entrepreneurial journey. What was it like?
My entrepreneurial journey has been a roller-coaster ride with successes and failures. While manufacturing of vehicles is limited to multinationals, I dreamt about making earth-moving vehicles with a meagre startup capital of 8 lakhs and eight people in 1997, which was started in a discarded shed of our sister company. We started manufacturing attachments, which convert a tractor into an earth-moving vehicle. It was benchmarked in the similar line of tractor
attachments in Europe. The difference being in Europe, the attachments were used for agri-applications. In India, it was used for construction applications. The success for Bull Machines became possible due to relentless innovations.
Initially, in 1997 we had converted the agricultural tractor into an earth-moving machine by attaching loader attachments to the tractors. After a few initial heartbreaking failures, we invented and patented a structure design, which protected the tractor even if it was misused. This innovation gave us a technological edge in the market. Soon, Bull became the leader in the Indian tractor attachment business. In fact this innovation gave us the edge in the market and we could grow over 100% for almost a decade. In 2011, Bull became an end-to-end fully built indigenously designed Earthmoving vehicle manufacturer.
What are your plans for 2017?
We are working to reach out to a plethora of markets and we are planning to also introduce innovative products. We are optimistic to grow at a reasonable pace this year.
What challenges do you expect to face this year?
The challenges are to get the support of the NBFC and banks to fund our end customers for buying our machine. Innovation is our strength. We are planning to bring many features like integrating the vehicle performance data to the customer smart phone and to also improve the fuel efficiency by a new hydraulic technology.
Technology plays an important role in your sector. Has it transformed the manufacturing sector?
Robotic welding is transforming the way of welding. We are also planning to install robotic welding systems. Of course, the manufacturing process control is enabled and managed more through enterprise resource planning (ERP) synced with triggers on smart phones.
Do you have any lessons learned you can share with young entrepreneurs?
You don’t need big money to start and to be successful. Knowledge is more important, along with a strong belief system. You need to have the conviction that every problem has a solution. One should never lose hope. We don’t have to be bothered about big multinational
companies. We have enough room to play in order to give an edge over the competition with our innovation.
How has the Entrepreneurs’ Organization helped you achieve success in your business and entrepreneurial journey?
I am actively involved in my forum and the learning events that are organised by our EO Chapter. Our forum is a well-organised and extraordinarily disciplined forum. We meet once a month for five hours, and the agenda is timed to seconds. We share our issues and receive our respective feedback, which is based on our shared-experiences. Such feedback has immensely helped me at personal and professional level. The best aspect of becoming a member of EO is the key takeaway. For example, the meetings conducted at our organisation have become very efficient, as we have started following a certain way of managing timing and content. Also, we have a weekly review mechanism goal within which goal buddies work as a review mechanism. And a particular goal buddy almost works as a mentor and a motivator in order to help a mentee accomplish a set of goals.
V. Parthiban is the Founder and Managing Director of Bull Machines, and holds many patents to his credit. The invention of his unique design of mounting backhoes and loaders, which eliminate stress transfer into farm tractor body qualifies to become the fastest growing earth moving vehicle manufacturing company in India. Adding a feather to his crown, in 2013, Parthiban was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” by his peers in the Coimbatore chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.