FIRST FEET ENGINEERING: The Indigenization Pioneer of Best-in-Class Innovations


As a pioneer in indigenizing import substitutes in India, FIRST FEET ENGINEERING has the vision to provide cost-effective solutions and import substitutes by ensuring the supply of reliable machineries and accessories which, combined with the ability to leverage metal and material technology to provide cutting edge reverse engineering, results in a total cost of ownership that is best in class in the manufacturing industry.

First Feet is an engineering services provider and manufacturer of industrial machinery parts, specialized equipment, and machines for best-in-class manufacturing support and productivity. According to the FounderSrivas AnantharamanFIRST FEET ENGINEERING provides comprehensive and customized equipment design and manufacturing support for original equipment manufacturers. He shares, “Our Expertise in Localization of Industrial Machinery Components creates a bridge between application, metallurgy, and technology.”

An Entrepreneur by spirit, self-starter, an out-of-box thinker, and easily adaptable to industries, Srivas demonstrated leadership with character with sleeves rolled up to get things done. Adept in delivering high-value process cum localization solutions in manufacturing and engineering, Srivas’s areas of strength are engineering metallurgy localization, solution development–process automation/industry automation, eCommerce, industrial engineering, and renewable energy solutions. With more than ten years in the kitty with a wide range of functional leadership and experience, Srivas has demonstrated huge savings through First Feet’s solutions in the engineering space.

In a special interview with Insights Success, Srivas spoke passionately about FIRST FEET’s journey, accomplishments, and plans, the highlights of which are given ahead.

Sir, please brief our audience about your firm, its USPs, and how you are currently positioned as one of the most innovative engineering solution providers. 

Founded in 2015, FIRST FEET ENGINEERING takes a 360-degree approach to the issue and offers a reverse engineering solution. We thoroughly examine the spare part’s intended use and perform a three-step reverse engineering method.

The first step is implementation recovery, which entails examining the final material’s use and figuring out its metallurgy. The second step is to undo the database structure’s mechanics and resolve foreign key references with design recovery—analysis restoration. The third step is to eliminate any model flaws and design artefacts.

Our specialty is the tyre sector, where we have been leaders for seven years. For our clients, we have localized 800+ imported machinery spare parts and engineering consumables such as blades, chucks, jigs, rollers, and industrial knives.

With our customizations for machinery spares and key expertise in identifying raw materials and design approaches, we have assisted our customers in lowering costs, saving money, energy, and time, resulting in crores of rupees saved.

Please brief us about your journey in the engineering industry and how you and your team have made First Feet excel in its niche.

We at FIRST FEET ENGINEERING Services make many localization efforts for top companies in the tyre industry. We are pioneers at localizing Blades, Knives, Safety Chucks, performers, Flow channels, and all types of Slitting, Cutting, and Shearing blades. Our clients in Tyre Manufacturing segment have witnessed huge savings in Maintenance Costs with extended life from our products.

We are such engineers having experience in metals and their chromatography to help our customers find the right metal for the right application giving the lowest lifecycle cost. We believe in end-to-end unique, and customized consulting experience for every client. We bring expertise in reducing your costs to more than 50% on a case-to-case basis on the localized components by giving them the same life.

We offer a unique solution with benefits including:

• Cost Benefit Analysis and understanding

• Realization of potential Cost Saving measures.

• Expertise in various industry backgrounds

• Personalized assistance and training in respective fields

• Best-in-class service and customer care

The main aim behind starting of business has been to make a way to utilize our country’s potential to make sure that all our clients could source complex metallurgy-embedded components economically in India without compromising quality and life.

What professional qualities and values do you think your clients admire in you the most?

• Huge Cost Saving 

• Giving them the exact import substitute in terms of life and reliability

• Re-engineered Designs for better life of the products

• Ready Technical Support at once for any exigencies

Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how adopting modern technologies like AI and ML impacts the engineering solution space and how your company is adapting to the change.

For us, being in MSME, though people might think AI/ML is irrelevant, it is very relevant. The industry is shaping up really well with these techs. There are a lot of failures or maintenance requirements negated through the AI/ML usages in the Maintenance sector.

We have used ML to predict a few patterns of metallurgical disarrays that happen on the materials side over some time. We are embracing this to be very useful for us to excel in giving our customers better life for our import substituted products.

Considering the current industry scenario, what challenges do you face, and how do you drive your firm to overcome them?

The biggest challenge in the industry is the parity of thoughts between the user and the procurement teams. The user usually accepts a higher grade material for a part as we suggest for better TCO, but the procurement team owing to their cost reduction pressure tends to miss out on this relevance. We usually tell the user and procurement that we have a proven record of giving a greater life than others to mitigate this risk.

The other challenge is to find shop-floor employees with a good skill level. Also, here time taken to find a replacement for an impending vacancy takes a toll on production. We do constant training and bonding activities to cut down on our attrition.  

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the engineering solution space?

Stay focused and glued to what you want to achieve. Money is not everything; money will follow you. Always believe that the CUSTOMER is treated as GOD. Never shy away from a customer call even when you have a big argument impending on you.

How do you envision scaling your brand FIRST FEET ENGINEERING’s operations and offerings in the future?

I see us serving at least 10+ industries by localizing 10000+ components for them. To bring this up and to run, we need to make roads to other sectors than the current ones where we have already proven our mettle. To date, all that we have achieved is only through word of mouth. Now it’s time to go beyond it and amass more clients and benefit them holistically.

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