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A leader in air conditioning: Blue Star Ltd.

Overview

Blue Star is India's largestair-conditioning and commercial refrigeration company and the most preferred. With six decades of experience in providing expert cooling solutions, Blue Star has been associated with the most prestigious corporate and commercial installations in the country.

Blue Star Limited (originally known as Blue Star Engineering ( Bombay) Pvt Ltd) was founded by Mohan T. Advani in 1943. The Company was initially engaged in reconditioning of refrigerators and air-conditioners.

Today, Blue Star is India's largest central airconditioning company with an annual turnover of Rs. 716 crores, a network of offices in 29 cities and three modern manufacturing facilities.

Blue Star became a public limited company in 1969 with its corporate headquarters at Kasturi Buildings in Mumbai.

Corporate headquarters

Blue Star manufactures and markets a wide range of airconditioning and refrigeration systems and products. These include large central airconditioning plants, packaged airconditioning systems, split and window airconditioners; commercial refrigeration equipment such as water coolers, bottled water dispensers, ice-cube machines, deep freezers and walk-in cold rooms. Blue Star's other businesses include marketing and maintenance of hi-tech electronic and industrial products such as Testing Machines, Data Communication products, Medical and Analytical Instruments and Special Control Valves.

The Company has business alliances with world renowned technology leaders such as York International, USA; Hitachi, Japan; Kolpak, USA; Electrolux, Sweden and many others, so as to offer superior products to the customers.

The lines of business include Central Airconditioning, Room Aircondioners, Commercial Refrigeration, Commercial Equipment and Professional Electronics and Industrial Products.

The International Software Services business was spun-off into a separate company, Blue Star Infotech Limited (BSIL) in April 2000. BSIL provides Internet/E-commerce, HP 3000/ MPE, BaaN ERP services, Client Server applications and Embedded Systems to clients in USA, Europe and Japan. This software export business was started in 1983 and is headquartered in Mumbai, at the Santa Cruz Electronics Export Promotion Zone (SEEPZ) with offices in the U.S. and U.K.

Recent dynamics

Blue Star reported a total income of Rs 224.14 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2004, representing a growth of 52.4 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Net profit for the quarter grew 55.4 per cent to Rs 5.93 crore, while earnings per share (EPS) increased to Rs 3.30 from Rs 2.12.

The total income for the nine months ended December 31, 2004 grew 34.8 per cent to Rs 611.43 crore. Net profit for the same period increased from Rs 12.04 crore to Rs 18.28 crores representing an increase of 51.9 per cent over the same period last year. The cumulative EPS for nine months stood at Rs 10.16 as against Rs 6.69 last year.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 32.55 crore on a total income of Rs 716.06 crore for the year ended March 31, 2004.

Recruitment procedures

Recruitment is carried out through select placement agencies and campus interviews. A significant proportion of recruitment is at the entry level as 'Trainee engineers' or 'Management trainees'. The minimum qualification stipulated is based on the job requirement.

The recruitment process is well defined and the candidate goes through at least two levels of interviews before being selected.

Work culture

Blue Star has an open-door policy and encourages employees to express their views openly. The management is always open to suggestions from all quarters and is easily accessible to employees at any level. The work culture also encourages innovation and team work.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover at Blue Star is within the industry norms. There are many employees with over 15 years of association with the company.

Career path strategy

The Company believes in growth from within and provides career growth to deserving employees. This is borne out by the fact that the majority of the top management team in Blue Star today are those who joined the Company as trainee engineers.

Training and learning Opportunities

The Company believes in providing learning opportunities to its employees and organizes regular training for development of both technical and managerial skills. Talented employees are regularly sent abroad for special technical training in the factories of its business associates.

For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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