Brothers in pledge to grow cable company
THE new owners of one of the world’s oldest cable companies have mapped out their commitment to the North-East, saying they are in for the long-haul as they aim to turn the loss-making plant into profit.
Sanjay and Sandeep Aggrawal of New Delhi-based Paramount Communications Ltd, who recently-bought AEI Cables in Birtley, say they have ambitious plans to build a highly-profitable business which will employ a growing number of highly-skilled workers.
Sanjay, group chairman and chief executive, who had flown into the North-East from India this week, dispelled some workers’ fears that Paramount are anything less than 100% committed to the future of AEI. He said: “When we first visited AEI we were undecided about whether we would pursue our initial interest.
“But what we saw was something that was part of history. A company which was started in 1837. One of the oldest cable companies in the world.
“This was something that we felt was not just a company, it was an institution that must be nurtured and developed.”
In recent years the Birtley plant had been part of the TT Electronics group and despite AEI being a world leader in a number of cable markets, including defence construction, railway and power, the Birtley plant was losing money. Fears that Paramount might also leave the AEI grape to wither on the vine were quickly dispelled following the Aggrawals’ purchase of the plant for £13m in October last year.
Sanjay said: “Our core competent is cable manufacturing. We do not do anything else. AEI is an ideal fit for our business in terms of its product range and our product range.”
AEI chief executive Jim Duffy said: “The positive reaction from our customers has been noticeable. They say ‘we’re absolutely delighted you are part of a cable group now’.”
Sanjay added: “There is a perfect synergy between Paramount and AEI. We never believed it was going to be easy, and we are in it for the long-haul.
“A business never stands still. It either grows or it shrinks and our goal is to take this business forward. We will invest in all possible ways to make this company work. Our people here at AEI have started realising that our commitment is genuine and long term.”
The Aggrawal brothers also said they wanted to ensure high-quality North-East manufacturing skills are nurtured and plan to develop the company’s training programme.
“As the business grows and we develop our range with more specialised and high-margin products we will be investing in our people to ensure they have the specialist skills we need,” added Sanjay.