The coming years will be crucial for the Indian electrical equipment industry as it is gearing up to meet the rapidly rising domestic demand as well as strengthening its presence in the global market.
In conversation with Wire & Cable India, Mr. Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric and Power, talks about future prospects while outlining the new outlook towards their business strategy, their expectations from the Government, and how the pandemic has served as a learning curve for the Company.
Wire & Cable India: What are the various challenges that the industry will need to reckon with and negotiate in the next 6-12 months?
Gautam Seth: The economy is making a robust recovery based on the government data and hopefully, the worst of the pandemic is behind us. The biggest challenge in front of most of the industries would be to come back to the pre-COVID levels quickly.
Over the last decade, the wire and cable industry has seen consistent growth backed by infrastructure development across the country. Further, the housing development and smart city projects have contributed immensely to the growth in the wire and cable industry. With consistent investments in the infrastructure and urban development projects, the government can improve upon the sagging economy which will have a cascading effect on all the sectors of the economy.
“We have recently set up a R&D center to conduct advanced research in developing solutions for smart IoT technology and communication technology.”
WCI: What expectations does the industry have from the Govt. in terms of policies and support?
GS: The coming years will be crucial for the Indian electrical equipment industry as it is gearing up to meet the rapidly rising domestic demand and also establish its presence in the global market. The government needs to ensure coordinated efforts of all stakeholders, in an effective manner, to accelerate and sustain the growth of the domestic electrical equipment industry.
WCI: India has an opportunity to build a more resilient and diverse economy post-COVID. How do you plan to contribute to this?
GS: We are an Indian brand committed to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. With an experience of more than 50-years in the Indian market, we understand that the overriding mood of the nation is to have a robust industrial and technological capacity in order to be a resilient economy in view of the ongoing global uncertainties.
At present, we’re not only designing and manufacturing electrical components and products at our manufacturing facilities, but we also have an elaborate R&D and testing facilities. Moreover, we have recently set up a R&D center to conduct advanced research in developing solutions for smart IoT technology and communication technology.
“Furthermore, the union budget for FY2021 has stipulated certain expenditures towards revamping the DISCOM infrastructure, which will further boost the sector with the expansion in the coverage and network.”
WCI: Fast forward to 2021 — what strategies and reactive measures will you take to ward off the unexpected downtime caused due to COVID-19? What will be your key focal areas going into the next financial year?
GS: The focus of the business would as always be consumers’ satisfaction. Last year, the business and the economy were disrupted due to the impact of lockdown and other necessary measures taken by the government. This has led to a lot of pent-up demand in the market. The gradual economic recovery that we are witnessing has brought back the demand for wire and cable products. We believe that in the next financial year, the economy would be back on track and the wire and cable segment would start registering a higher growth rate. Additionally, we hope that the unorganized payments will diminish. Furthermore, the union budget for FY2021 has stipulated certain expenditures towards revamping the DISCOM infrastructure, which will further boost the sector with the expansion in the coverage and network.
Learning from the disruptions, we’ve undertaken substantial steps to minimize the impact on the business, like employing more digital technologies and creating standard operating procedures for normal operation if impacted with further disruptions and lockdowns. We are hopeful that the disruptions caused due to the COVID -19 pandemic will not happen further in the coming years.