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Northern Tool + Equipment aims to double revenues in next 5 years

The $1.6-bn worth company supplies customers with over 1,00,000 tools and equipment. The company is a market leader in commercial grade pressure washers, log splitters and agri sprayers

Suresh Krishna, President, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Tool + Equipment
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Suresh Krishna, President, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Tool + Equipment

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Northern Tool + Equipment's is a retailer and manufacturer that specializes in offering superior quality tools at great prices, along with the knowledge and support needed to help customers get the job done right. The company has significant growth objectives, "with plans for doubling our revenue in the next 5 years," says Suresh Krishna, president and chief executive officer at Northern Tool + Equipment, in an exclusive interview with Bizz Buzz

What are the offerings of Northern Tool + Equipment to end consumers?

Northern Tool + Equipment's is a retailer and manufacturer that specializes in offering superior quality tools at great prices, along with the knowledge and support needed to help customers get the job done right. We are a $1.6 billion worth company supplying customers with over 1,00,000 tools and equipment from top global brands and private label products that we design and manufacture. We are an innovative market leader in commercial grade pressure washers, log splitters, agricultural sprayers and similar equipment. Our products can be found in over 125 retail stores in the United States, on our international website, and via numerous catalogs throughout the year.

What is the company's strategy and primary focus in India? How do you see India as potential market?

We are making a significant investment in a multi-year business transformation and are committed to investing in technology to deliver an outstanding omni-channel experience. Our growth plans is to double our revenues in the next five years: by expanding our investments into our omni-channel and e-commerce capabilities, by introducing more innovative products and by doubling our retail brick and mortar store footprint. We plan to extend many of our corporate functions into India, with a focus on talent in information technology, data and analytics, finance, marketing, and innovation and product design.

When was the Hyderabad GCC center launched and why Hyderabad was the chosen city?

Our first Northern Tool + Equipment India team member started in August 2021; we now have 35 team members across several core functions. We wanted to build our GCC in a talent rich location that would be able to best support the expansive capabilities and core functions for which we are building in India. We're looking to hire the best and brightest talent in India to continue to be a visionary leader in our industry by using technology to drive innovation and customer experience.

What operations are undertaken in the Hyderabad centre?

Northern Tool + Equipment currently has 35 team members based in India within our finance, information technology, human resources, marketing, and merchandising teams. We anticipate hiring our 70th team member this summer and are continuing to build out new capabilities in India including customer analytics, market insights, AI, and product engineering and design.

Elaborate on the growth and expansion plans of the company.

We have significant growth objectives, with plans for doubling our revenue in the next five years. We are rapidly growing our retail footprint, with plans to double our store count and expand into new markets. As a manufacturer, we are focused on evolving our product offerings, driving innovative new products and solutions, and extending our focus on electrification and battery powered equipment.

How is the India centre going to contribute to build next generation tech capability in design and e-commerce for the company globally?

With our focus on building out strong market research, consumer insights, and data and analytics capabilities in India, the teams will drive significant developments in our ability to target customer growth and drive competitive advantage for our business. Leveraging data, analytics, and technology to deliver a seamless omni-channel experience to our growing customer-base is key to providing an exceptional end-to-end customer experience.

What are the hiring plans of the company in the next two years? What kind of job opportunities the company aims to create for talent in Hyderabad?

We plan to grow our India team by six times of our current team size in the next two years. Job opportunities will expand across all our existing functions with a core focus on data and analytics, personalization, AI, and product design and engineering.

GCCs in India usually focus on building tech capabilities. Why is the company looking to build design capabilities from India?

We're looking to expand our design and engineering capabilities to drive innovation, market leading products and solutions for our growing customer base. As a market leader in commercial grade equipment, we're focused on delivering a new wave of battery powered products to meet the evolving needs of customers worldwide. We believe Hyderabad has the talent in design engineering to help us build world class products.

How has the e-commerce industry in the tools segment evolved during the pandemic?

We are a pioneer and leader in ecommerce. Recently, Newsweek recognised our website as a top three online store in the DIY, tools, and supplies category. We were one of the first true omni-channel retailers in the US and over 35 per cent of our sales are through online channels. Throughout the pandemic, we recognized and responded to the growing need to provide enhanced digital experiences for our customer base. We offer several buying options for our customers to purchase online and have the product shipped to their home or to their job site, shipped directly to the store for customer pickup, and also offer the options to buy online and pickup in store, curbside, or have product delivered that same day. We've significantly enhanced our customer experience through these offerings.

Elaborate on the partnership with ANSR. How ANSR contributed in setting up the India GCC center?

ANSR has partnered with NTE to help them set up the center in Hyderabad, India. In our journey together, we are looking forward to build NTE's second headquarters and an innovative world-class team and capability to support NTE's ambitious growth agenda. All function's including finance, marketing, merchandising and engineering.

What are some of the upcoming trends in the GCC industry in India?

GCC – an extension of headquarter– all functions being represented in the GCC. The business and tech functions being represented here.

Strategic capacity for digital transformation – as enterprises are becoming technology companies, with tech at core, they are now looking at talent hubs globally to build strategic capacity in digital related technology

Global leadership based in GCC – GCCs have a seat on the table. GCCs are investing in global leadership to be based out of the GCCs, as they are becoming centers which are co-developing digital technologies

Culture and context key tenants for any organizations on a transformation journey. Enterprises to build a sense of what to do internally and what goes out of the door in the traditional outsourcing sense. By ownsourcing, enterprises can build teams in-house that are key to the business – blueprint, design, architect among others who are aligned to culture and have the necessary context to be extremely effective and aligned to current business goals.

Kumud Das
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