HMT (company)

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HMT Limited
हिन्दुस्तान मशीन टूल्स लिमिटेड
Public Sector Undertaking
Industry Engineering
Founded 1953
Headquarters Bangalore India
Key people
Girish Kumar(Chairman and managing director)
Products Machine tools, printing machines, tractors
Website

HMT Limited

HMT Kanchan Automatic wrist watch

HMT Limited, formerly Hindustan Machine Tools Limited, was a state-owned manufacturing company under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in India.[1] The company mainly manufactured industrial machines and tools with a work force of 2,806 under its six manufacturing units situated at Bangalore (Mother unit), Kochi, Hyderabad(2 units), Pinjore and Ajmer[2] To back up sales and service HMT Machine Tool marketing is spread across India serving Defence, Government, Private manufacturing Industries and Educational Institutions.[3]

History[edit]

Hindustan Machine Tools was incorporated in 1953 by the Government of India as a machine tool manufacturing company. Over the years, HMT diversified into watches, tractors, printing machinery, metal forming presses, die casting and plastic processing machinery, and CNC systems and bearings. HMT was headquartered at Bengaluru (Bangalore).

Technology was absorbed in all product groups through collaborations with world-renowned manufacturers and further strengthened by continuous in-house R&D.

Today, HMT consists of six subsidiaries under the ambit of a holding company, which also manages the tractor 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. The most popular mechanical hand-wound watch is HMT Janata. There are also other mechanical watches like HMT Pilot, HMT Jhalak (Semi Skeletal), HMT Sona, HMT Braille.

HMT Janata.
HMT Braille watch for visually impaired
The semi-skeletal HMT Jhalak.
HMT watches manufactured this skeleton watch based on 8N24 movement.

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 specialised watch case manufacturing facility was set up at Bangalore in 1983.[5]

A photograph of quartz wrist watch by HMT.

Since 1985, HMT Watches had 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, the Government of India decided to shut down HMT operations in a phased manner.

Closure[edit]

In September 2016, Government of India closed HMT and all of its divisions: HMT Watches Ltd, HMT Bearings, HMT Tractors, and HMT Chinar Watches Ltd. The main reasons were that the company was making losses for more than a decade. During 2012-13, the company had losses of Rs 242 crore on revenues of only Rs 11 crore. In contrast, Titan's watch business reported sales of Rs 1,675 crore during the same year. The government also tried restructuring it in 1999 to improve its finances but the company continued to make losses. While in the 1980s several new companies entered the market with newer designs and more modern production techniques, HMT is said to have been hobbled by slow decision making and was unable to compete.[6]

Operating units[edit]

HMT 1811 tractor

HMT Limited had 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]

  1. ^ "Links to the websites of Central Public Sector Enterprises under Department of Heavy Industry". Department of Heavy Industry. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.pragatools.org/machines.html
  3. ^ "HMT Ltd gets 136 Crore Government Loan to revive its operations". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Taskforce on HMT-Praga Tools merger". The Hindu Business Line. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c http://www.hmtwatches.in/9/about-us/history.html
  6. ^ "Time up: HMT Watches to wind down after 53 years". Retrieved 5 July 2017.