How did Ashok Makhija lead Special Specialists Posithread to take its Quantum Leap?


Posithread is a renowned name in the realm of specialised threading solutions. Its roots date back to 1986, and they initially focused on manufacturing and grinding carbide inserts for threading applications. Over the years, Posithread has evolved into the “Specials Specialists,” excelling in solving threading challenges for top OEMs worldwide. Recently, under the dynamic leadership of Ashok Makhija, who was recently elevated as its Managing Director, Posithread has embarked on a remarkable journey of expansion.

At the EMO Hannover 2023 event, I had the opportunity to meet with Ashok Makhija, who had recently been promoted to the position of Managing Director at Posithread UK, a company belonging to the Israel-based Vargus group. Ashok Makhija is a well-known figure in the Indian industrial sector, particularly in the Cutting and Machine Tools industries. His association with the Machine Maker team dates back over a decade when he served as General Manager at Carborundum Universal (CUMI). Later, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Indian subsidiary of Vargus.

Vargus deputed Ashok Makhija to Posithread UK in 2022, and he relocated to the UK and began working to improve the global footprint of the Posithread range. Over the past 15 months, he has implemented significant changes and introduced new business verticals for the company. Under his leadership, Posithread expanded its operations from the UK and Europe to the Indian market. Here are some key excerpts from my candid discussions with Ashok Makhija at EMO Hannover 2023, the world’s largest production technology show.

Why are Posithread Specials Specialists?

Posithread is a UK-based company that specializes in solving threading application problems for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), and other industries by providing optimal solutions. Established in 1986, the company initially focused on manufacturing and grinding carbide inserts for the threading market. Over the years, Posithread has expanded its product offerings and expertise to become known as the “Specials Specialists” in the field of threading.One of the key strengths of Posithread is its utilization of unique technology in the manufacturing of formed electro-plated diamond wheels. This technology allows them to have the flexibility to produce both standard and bespoke threading inserts while maintaining acceptable tolerances.

Posithread has continued to grow and diversify its product lines in the past decade. They have ventured into manufacturing Oilfield Premium Threads under licenses from well-known companies such as VAM, JFE, TENARIS, and NIPPON STEEL. This expansion has allowed them to serve a broader range of industries and customers. Posithread’s success can be attributed to its team of highly trained grinding technicians who design and manufacture inserts on-site. They utilise advanced equipment, including 5-axis and 6-axis profile grinders, creep feed technology, and more than 25 years of accumulated profile grinding techniques.

With a wealth of threading knowledge amassed over a quarter of a century of production, Posithread has become a prominent player in threading solutions for the Oil and Gas industry. Their manufacturing expertise, combined with the support of a global sales team, has made them a trusted partner for a diverse customer base worldwide. Posithread’s commitment to innovation and quality has positioned it as a go-to solution provider for threading application challenges.

Embarking on a Journey of Excellence: Ashok Makhija’s Rise to Lead Posithread UK

Ashok Makhija

Ashok Makhija’s remarkable career trajectory took root at Bajaj Auto Limited, but his journey was destined for greater heights. With extensive experience garnered from renowned manufacturing giants like Widia (bought by Kennametal), Ceratizit and Carborundum Universal, he embarked on a transformative chapter by joining Vargus. There, he played a pivotal role in successfully establishing their Indian subsidiary, setting the stage for future accomplishments.

Posithread, headquartered in the vibrant city of Newcastle, UK, thrives in manufacturing of specialised threading tools, catering to the elite OEMs in the Oil and Gas sector. Ashok acknowledges the pivotal role played by his management team in helping him embrace the challenge of leading Posithread. Their conscious efforts to foster a collaborative spirit between Israel and the UK were instrumental in achieving a remarkable turnaround quickly.

Ashok’s global journey, having handled exports for an extended period, uniquely positioned him to seamlessly adapt to his new environment in Newcastle, UK. Reflecting on the cultural differences, he notes, “Culturally it is different and a little challenging, but having worked extensively in the export domain for years, I find myself comfortable navigating the nuances of European and UK British culture.” As a fitness enthusiast, Ashok is unwavering in his commitment to maintaining his fitness regimen (mainly Aerobic Running and Strength Training), whether in the UK, India, or even during visits to events like EMO.

Posithread’s specialization lies in producing licensed threads, demanding a distinct skill set that piqued Vargus’s interest and led to the acquisition of the company. Ashok elaborates, saying, “We collaborate closely with the top ten oil and gas clients, crafting specialized tooling tailored to their patented designs. Our journey involves a rigorous process of tool development, thorough audits, and the ultimate stamp of approval from the OEMs. Suppliers of these OEMs must exclusively source their toolings from licensed entities like Posithread.” It’s a closed loop of technology, design, and unwavering commitment to quality and implementation, and Ashok Makhija is at the helm, steering Posithread towards unparalleled excellence.

Posithread’s Expanding Horizons in India: A Thrilling New Chapter

Diversification is the game’s name, and Posithread, a stalwart in the oil and gas sector, has been making significant strides. Two years ago, they embarked on an exciting journey to broaden their portfolio, ushering in new product lines. Ashok Makhija said, “We added our new range, thread milling, and we have all standard range of thread turning. So now we have these three product lines: thread turning, thread milling, and Premium threading for oil and gas industry.”

The latest development in this dynamic expansion is the introduction of channel partners in India. Ashok Makhija enthusiastically shared, “We are trying to deliver this comprehensive offering through our newly established Indian channel partners.” With foresight and determination, Posithread has already set up four strategic channel partners, covering every corner and region of the vast Indian subcontinent. And the ambition doesn’t stop there; Posithread is set to blaze a trail of growth and innovation, extending its market base and creating new opportunities in the thriving Indian manufacturing landscape.


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