Heavy mechanical complex accelerating pace of industrial, economic development of Pakistan

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Firstly, Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) feels proud to be Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) partner of Frontier Works Organization (FWO) in establishment of 48 MW Jaggran-II hydel power project located in Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Under the guidance of its esteemed Board of Directors, HMC is transforming from a jobbing industry to an entity wherein the core emphasis is to support the Government of Pakistan in exploitation and development of hydel power stations.
Industrialization in developing countries is not a matter of choice any more. To achieve that end they need to develop their engineering sector industries to meet requirement of plant, machinery and other vital inputs. The engineering sector is not only the focal point of the industrial development, but other sectors of economy are also dependent on its capabilities. In terms of benefits, engineering industry provides maximum employment opportunities per unit of capital investment, maximum value addition and foreign exchange saving through import substitution.
The engineering and capital goods sector is complex and involves slow process of assimilation of technology. It is generally highly capital intensive giving low returns, have long gestation period and requires skilled and trained manpower. These peculiar factors make engineering industry a difficult business to manage. As such private sector is usually reluctant to enter into this sector and government has to step in to establish such industries.
The engineering sector, therefore, deserves strong government patronage and support for acquiring latest technology and regular business in order to sustain, grow and face the competition particularly in the export market.
The company has been assigned the mission for developing a sound industrial base in the country by manufacturing capital engineering goods conforming to international quality standards. Since inception the HMC has significantly contributed towards this goal vis-à-vis the manufacturing activities are geared to consistent development and improvement.
It is important to mention that in the absence of local potential for manufacturing of capital goods, the suppliers from advanced countries exploit the situation by increasing the prices of their products in the under-developed countries. However, they are forced to reduce their prices wherever indigenous capabilities are developed for import substitution. The local engineering industries during developmental process though suffer losses in certain cases to compete against foreign supplies but this compelled the foreign suppliers to reduce their prices in our market due to which the economy of the country saved millions of USD.
In addition to supply of plant & machinery, HMC being a mother industry has been playing a leading role in the development of technical human resources. Thousands of trained personnel in the supervisory and managerial cadres are now serving other engineering industries throughout the country both in government and private sectors. HMC has also indirectly played role in the export of skilled work force, thus helping in earning much-needed foreign exchange for country.
There are numerous indirect contributions to the national economy, which include the growth of value added sector; absorption of modern technologies; development of vendor organizations; creation of large number of jobs; regular supply of spares; training of manpower and reducing foreign dependence in vital sectors. Among the third world countries, Pakistan feels honored to be one of the major manufacturers of a wide range of heavy and light engineering goods. HMC has made momentous contributions in setting up Sugar and Cement plants on turnkey basis right from design to commissioning.
In 2016, the Board of Directors decided to revamp the whole structure of the HMC by introducing new management, bringing cultural, structural and technological changes; to transform the HMC into a vibrant, self-sustained and modern business enterprise.
To revive HMC business, a comprehensive study was conducted in 2018 to prepare a workable business plan to turn around. The new Business Plan envisaged two staged way forward, a short term three years plan to achieve sustainability and a long term eight years plan to modernize, rehabilitate, and expand the entity to diversify its industrial manufacturing in the fields of agriculture, power plants and construction industry. Implementing the new business plan for HMC, in the start of 2019, the Board of Directors inducted top management including Chief Financial Officer and Director Human Resources & Administration having dynamic industry exposure vis-à-vis acumen to lead the organization. The management subsequently started the process to filling up middle management that depleted due to voluntary separation schemes offered by government at different times to reduce the financial burden which rather proved damaging by creating voids.
To meet the short-term plan by 2022, the Board of Directors is committed to provide required support and fiscal sustainability is envisioned to be achieved on completion of short-term plan. Revamping of Foundry and Forge Division by replacing the energy inefficient Furnaces and refurbishing the out of action continuous Billet Caster Plant is set to be completed by 2021 followed by setting up a Bar Rolling Mill to realize financial sustainability for the ensuing businesses.
Marketing has always been a weak area for any public sector business organization, to shift the focus from orthodox marketing techniques the reform process for the marketing department to reach out to new clients and keep the business afloat on latest trends is in progress. Likewise, the design department which provides one of the largest facilities in Pakistan equipped with latest hardware and software was not being utilized to its full potential. To optimize its utilization and generate revenue, the design center is being turned into a separate business unit.
In addition to above measures a diversification by capturing new business vistas, other than the HMC primary business sectors of sugar and cement industries that have come to a saturation point, is a main goal of HMC. Foreseeing a great potential for turbine manufacturing and establishing its set up, vigorous efforts are underway to form a Joint Venture with a foreign company in the field. Recently, MoUs with European and Chinese companies have been signed to launch future Joint Ventures.
To harness the potential of engineers, researchers and university academia a Research and Development Centre has also been established. The management is reaching out to universities and technical institutes to offer its R&D Centre for joint research endeavours in scientific and industrial fields, particularly in clean energy.
Current reforms process and commitment of new management is bringing positive changes. The lost customers’ base is being regained, commercial orders of boilers up to 140 Ton / hour capacity, steel structures, bridges, sugar mills and hydel steel structures are under manufacturing process. Negotiations for multibillion EPC projects are also underway with various private and public sector groups. With the focused aim and continuous efforts HMC by the year 2022 and 2028 is all set to achieve its short- and long-term objectives and live up to its image “The Mother Industry of Pakistan”, that surely will play a vital role in self-reliance and nation’s building.