Small fabricating unit, Siddharth Engineering Works founded by Mangaldas Ganpat Naik, Priol, is in an enviable position in terms of business, discovers Serilda Coutinho
Goa’s industrial landscape is made up of large number of small units that despite being tiny contribute significantly to the local economy. One such enterprise is Siddharth Engineering Works, a fabricating unit in Apewal, Priol, owned by Mangaldas Ganpat Naik.
The unit, a workshop actually, provides metal products and fitting services such as roofing sheets, railings, gates, rolling shutters for shops, window frames and grills. It is well-established and caters not only to locals but also to clients across the state. Some of the projects completed by the workshop are in major cities including Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco and Margao.
The workshop is more than 20 years, says Naik, adding that, the business is also run by his son who looks after the logistics. After Naik’s father expired at an early age the responsibility of the family was shouldered by him and his brother. Having completed his higher secondary education and in the need to support his family he decided to move to Saudi Arabia in 1985 where he learnt the skill of the trade.
“I was working for a construction company as a supervisor in the transport section. The job required me to repair machinery and that is where I learnt the technical aspect of turning and shearing used in fabrication.” After his superiors left the job for better prospects, Naik got promoted to the position of workshop- in- charge. It required him to travel to various parts of Saudi Arabia like Riyadh, Dammam and other remote areas depending upon the construction project the company had on hand.
In 1995 he returned back to his hometown Priol and decided to start his own workshop fabricating unit. “I had learnt to take the measurements for the fittings and the quotations for the orders while working in Saudi Arabia. My boss always supported me to learn new things and take up this business as a profession “he says.
Setting up a business on his own without any financial assistance was not an easy task for Naik. He invested his savings of about Rs three-four lakhs earned from his overseas job in setting up the shade at the workshop. However to procure the required machinery for the workshop Naik did not have the required finance “I later took a loan of Rs one lakh to get the machinery to be able to start work on orders that I received.” As Siddharth Engineering works started getting large orders more money was needed to purchase material.
That is when he applied for a cash credit at his bank. Apart from the expense to set up the business arranging the transport from the workshop to the project site was also a challenge. Naik adds “Initially we had to manage with a rented vehicle as we did not have the money but later once we could afford we realized that buying our own transport will help reduce the huge cost incurred on the rentals.” The unit got its own transport in the year 201 and it eased the load that it faced in terms of logistics services.
Some of the ongoing projects that the fabricating unit has taken up in Ponda are roofing for PES College, Farmagudi, fabrication work for residential buildings like Raj Aguiar Enclave, Dhavli and Sai Raj Park, Shanti Nagar. During his working tenure in Saudi Arabia, Naik had observed the time saving from advanced level of machinery that reduced the load on the labor force unlike in India where fabrication is a labor intensive job. He is keen to automate and implement all that he learnt in his overseas stint.
The unit employs about 15 people, of which six workers at the workshop and about nine laborers employed on the site to handle the assembling and fitting work. Having sustained his business for a very long time, Naik feels justified. “I was doubtful if this venture would fetch me any profit. In fact many questioned my decision to start the business but it was my hard work and never give up attitude that took the business to its heights,” he says.
Naik adds that a loyal clientele gives him regular orders because of which he completed residential projects for builders such as Raj Developers, Hum Associates in Ponda and Shivram Construction, Margao . Apart from these he has also taken up government projects like health centre in Madkai, Goa Tourism Department, the Kadamba bus stand, Panaji and a few schools in Marcel, Banastarim and Curti.
My unit till date has received contracts on word of mouth basis, says Naik. He says, to run the business successfully one has to personally visit the site and supervise the work. “It is a 24/7 job that requires you to stay on your feet to ensure that the work is done according to the clients preference.” Coming to the profitability aspect of a fabrication business Naik adds, “When I started the unit I had not expected this level of recognitions but in a short time span our work was appreciated across the state and we started getting orders. So I believe that once the customer is satisfied with the work the money will come in.” Presently the unit earns an annual profit of about Rs six lakhs, he reveals. The peak season for the fabricating business in the Goa is April and May while the monsoon brings a drop in sales.
In the future Naik wants to expand his business by setting up another unit in Priol itself but work pressure means that he has no time to set up a new unit. “I already have the got the land for the new unit but I am busy with my ongoing projects. Starting another workshop unit will help me accommodate a bigger machinery,” says Naik .