HMT Limited

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HMT Limited
Type Public Sector Undertaking
Industry Engineering
Founded 1953
Headquarters Bangalore India
Key people S.G. Sridhar(Chairman and Managing Director)
Products Machine Tools, Tractors, watches
Website HMT Limited
HMT Watches

HMT Limited, formerly Hindustan Machine Tools Limited, is a state-owned manufacturing company under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in India.[1] The company manufactures tractors, watches under its watch division and industrial machines and tools mainly under its Praga division[2] It has a work force of 2,806 with manufacturing units located at Bangalore, Pinjore, Kalamassery, Hyderabad and Ajmer.[3]

History[edit]

Hindustan Machine Tools was incorporated in 1953 by the Government of India as a machine tool manufacturing company. Over the years diversified into watches, tractors, printing machinery, metal forming presses, die casting & plastic processing machinery, CNC systems & bearings. HMT is headquartered at Bengaluru ( Bangalore ). Successful technology absorption in all product groups through collaborations with world renowned manufacturers and further strengthened by continuous in-house R&D. Today, HMT comprises six subsidiaries under the ambit of a holding company, which also manages the tractors business directly.

HMT Limited took over Praga Tools Limited as one of its subsidiaries 1988.[4] Praga Tools Limited was established in May, 1943 as Praga Tools Corporation Limited to manufacture machine tools with its headquarters at Secunderabad. It was renamed as Praga Tools Limited in 1963. It is mainly involved in manufacture of machine tools including CNC machines.

Watch division[edit]

In the year 1961, HMT set up a watch manufacturing Unit at Bangalore in collaboration with M/s Citizen Watch Co., Japan. The first batch of Hand Wound Wrist Watches manufactured at this factory was released by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

In 1972, HMT expanded its watch manufacturing capacity with a set up alongside the Bangalore Factory to manufacture additional watches. In 1975, Watch factory at Bangalore was further expanded to manufacture Main Spring, Hair spring and Shock absorber components.[5]

HMT set up additional manufacturing facilities to produce watch components sets at Tumkur and Ranibagh in the year 1978 and 1985 respectively. Watch factory at Tumkur was partially converted to manufacture Quartz Analog Watches in collaboration with M/S Citizen Watch Co, Japan. To cater to the Niche market, a specialized watch case manufacturing facility was set up at Bangalore in 1983.[5]

A photograph of quartz wrist watch by HMT.

Since 1985, HMT Watches has been involved in making Floral Clocks, Solar Clocks, International Clocks and Tower Clocks, most popular among them being the Garden clock in Bangalore. In the year 2000, HMT Watch Business group was re-structured as HMT Watches Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMT Limited.[5] in September, 2014, Government Of India decided to close down HMT operations in a phased manner.

Reason for fall of HMT.
Very early on, in 1981, the Company saw the possibility in quartz watches and started producing quartz watches from its unit in Bangalore. These watches had a movement that is found only in the very high end sector today. The current popular brand uses the cheapest movement possible and tries to make up with outside looks, a policy never favoured by HMT which never wanted to let down its customers. The first quartz watches manufactured by HMT in 1981 still function among the few owners who maintain them demonstrating an amazing feat. The Company very ably withstood competition from Allwyn but cracks appeared when TATA entered into the picture. Suddenly HMT's plan to set up two quartz watch units in two states was scuttled. The executives who had planned the units quit in disgust and joined the TATAs. It is these executives who catapulted Titan. The Government became apathetic to HMT and very soon the Company started behaving like a public sector unit. A GM of the watch unit tried to revive the Company by slowing down and changing course but he was not supported. It was then that everyone knew what was coming and quit.

Operating units[edit]

HMT 1811 tractor

HMT Limited has 18 manufacturing units.The constituent subsidiaries are given below while the holding company retains the tractors business group.

HMT’s tractor business commenced its operations in 1971 in technical collaboration with M/s MOTOKOV, Czechoslovakia. HMT started the operation with the manufacture of 25 HP tractor at the manufacturing plant in Pinjore, Haryana state. Over the years, it has developed tractors ranging from 25 HP to 75 HP.

References[edit]

External links[edit]