HMT (company)


HMT Limited, formerly Hindustan Machine Tools Limited, is a state-owned holding company under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in India.[5] The company's wholly owned subsidiaries include HMT Machine Tools Limited and HMT International Limited. HMT also holds a majority stake in Praga Tools Limited (51%).[4]

HMT Limited
FormerlyHindustan Machine Tools Limited
TypePublic Sector Undertaking
BSE: 500191
Founded7 February 1953; 69 years ago (1953-02-07)[1]
FounderGovernment of India
Headquarters59, Bellary Road, ,
Key people
S. Girish Kumar (Chairman & MD)[2]
  • Machine tools
  • Printing machinery
  • Food processing machinery
  • Watches
  • Tractors
  • Bearings[3]
RevenueIncrease 32.10 crore (US$4.2 million) (2018)
Increase 3.67 crore (US$480,000) (2018)
Increase −7.164 crore (US$−940,000) (2018)
Total assetsDecrease 927.48 crore (US$120 million) (2018)
Total equityDecrease 100.29 crore (US$13 million) (2018)
Number of employees
1,742[1] (2018)
  • HMT Machine Tools Limited (100%)
  • HMT International Limited (100%)
  • Praga Tools Limited (51%)
  • Closed subsidiaries:
  • HMT Watches Limited (100%)
  • HMT Chinar Watches Limited (100%)
  • HMT Bearings Limited (97.25%)[4]

In its heyday, HMT Watches were the largest supplier of wrist watches in India. The company was closed in 2016, largely due to mismanagement, leading to heavy losses.[6][7] In the same year, the Government of India also shut down HMT Chinar Watches Ltd., HMT Bearings, and HMT Tractors.

HMT Machine Tools Limited still manufactures industrial machines and tools with a work force of around 2,500 in six manufacturing units situated at Bangalore (Mother unit), Kochi, Hyderabad (2 units), Pinjore and Ajmer.[8] These mostly serve India's defence, government and educational Institutions.[9]


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 is 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.[10] 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 divisionEdit

HMT Kanchan Automatic wrist watch

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 here 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.[11]

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.[11]

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.[11] In September 2014, the Government of India decided to shut down HMT operations in a phased manner. By late 2016, the website for HMT watches was pulled down. This would soon prove to be a temporary move as there arose a newfound demand for mechanical hand wound and automatic watches made by the company, both in India and overseas. This sudden increase in demand was due in part to the appearance of pre-owned HMT watches on online platforms such as eBay where they were being sold at prices several times higher than recent retail prices. Moreover, there has been a growing new interest in Indian watches such as HMT and Titan overseas ever since watch review channels started reviewing them on YouTube. The HMT Watches website was functioning again by the end of 2019, although a notification was put up to inform online visitors that HMT watches would now only be sold online and company-owned showrooms.[12]


In September 2016, Government of India closed some divisions of HMT: 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 ₹242 crore on revenues of only ₹11 crore. In contrast, competitor Titan's watch business reported sales of ₹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.[13] Machine tools divisions of HMT in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi (Kalamassery) are still operational and catering industrial and defence sectors of India and abroad. The Government of India is mulling takeover of HMT by Ordnance Factory Board.[14][15]

Operating unitsEdit

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.

Machine tools divisions of HMT is still continuing its operations and introducing state of the art technologies in Indian industrial market. The Kochi unit has entered manufacturing equipments for Indian Naval defence sector by manufacturing Directing Gear systems.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2017-18" (PDF). HMT Limited. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Organisation". HMT Limited. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Our Products". HMT Limited. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Holding Company". HMT Limited. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Links to the websites of Central Public Sector Enterprises under Department of Heavy Industry". Department of Heavy Industry. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ Rao, Mohit M. (1 April 2016). "Clock stops ticking at HMT". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  7. ^ Manchanda, Anil (20 January 2016). "Why HMT Watches stopped ticking". Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  8. ^ "P r a g a T o o l s - Machines". Archived from the original on 6 February 2002.
  9. ^ "HMT Ltd gets 136 Crore Government Loan to revive its operations". IANS. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Taskforce on HMT-Praga Tools merger". The Hindu Business Line. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "HMT: Making a switch in time | Deccan Herald". 25 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Time up: HMT Watches to wind down after 53 years". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  14. ^ HMT reopens plant to make last batch of watches Retrieved 9 July 2021
  15. ^ Three HMT firms may be a test case for shutting more loss making non strategic psus Retrieved 9 July 2021
  16. ^ "HMT to make more hi-tech sub-systems for the Navy". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  17. ^ "HMT all set to cement its position in defence production". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 July 2017.