The cable companies have started investing in R&D enormously. From manufacturing technology-driven products to implementing industry 4.0, they are taking every step possible to be technologically advanced and compete with the international market.
Wire & cable is the backbone of the much-hyped electrical and electronics industry. Much similar to the blood vessels of the human body, the wires and cables are the channels that transmit power and data, empowering today’s civilized societies. The government’s initiatives to boost the domestic manufacturing sector and infrastructure have paved the way for the wire & cable sector.
India’s ambitious renewable energy target, expansion of power transmission & distribution, and increasing investments in real estate and transportation (roadways, metro, railways and airways) are some of the interesting developments that promise a bright future for the wire and cable industry.
Talking about the wire & cable as an important sector driving the growth, Mr. Bhushan Sawhney, – Executive President and Chief Business Officer (Cables), Polycab says, “Due to rapid GDP and economic growth India will experience a power surge soon. The number of units consumed per capita has increased significantly, and it is expected to grow. The current government invests heavily in infrastructure development, including modern-era public utility facilities (airports, railway stations, etc.). These investments will recirculate, and India will soon see massive growth in private real estate and infrastructure construction. Several industrial corridors are being built. Industries will emerge as connectivity improves, industries will be set up, and residential projects for the working staff in those industries will begin in addition to the construction of commercial complexes, small businesses, recreational facilities, and other similar structures.”
“All these new developments will significantly increase the demand for electrical commodities. Manufacturers must brace themselves, expand their facilities, and strengthen the supply chain structure if they want to be an active part of this mega expansion. Apart from the huge demand for quantity, several new product types, like BMS cables, fire survival cables, and home automation solutions will be in high demand,” he added.
With technology becoming increasingly integrated, wires and cables are gaining more importance now than ever before. The applications of wires & cables have increased due to growing data centres and IT facilities ensuring secure and affordable connectivity. Moreover, the demand for next-gen gadgets and the rollout of 5G and 6G services are acting as catalysts for the ever-growing industry.
“Some of the major trends defining the growth in demand of the wire and cable industry are: meeting the demand in view of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), surge in EV charging products & accessories, and the rise of the export potential of the industry. Additionally, there will be a spurt in the demand for segments like railway cables, solar cables, amongst a few other segments to name,” says Mr. Ashish Mangal, Managing Director, Dynamic Cables Ltd.
Mr. Abhivandan Lodha, Director-Sales, Chandresh Cables Ltd. (AVOCAB) added, “The growing number of infrastructure development projects like the expansion of the metro railway network, the development & construction of airports, and various others. Notably, we are expecting to see a drastic rise in investments and spending from the government and the private sectors. These factors are playing a crucial role in bringing growth opportunities to the wire & cable industry.”
Government’s Initiatives Creating Demand
With rapid urbanization; the low voltage market portrays dominance in the cable market; hence, cable companies are trying to bring innovative products into the building wire segment.
Talking about the development, Mr. Hemant Gadhave, Vice President – Business, Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Ltd. says “There are many prospects driving the growth of the Indian retail market for cables and wires, with the rise in housing demand being the most significant. The demand for residential spaces is continually increasing because of the government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan, which is supported by a massive influx of investments and advantageous policies. A continual need for housing wires is also being created by the government’s urban and rural electrification programmes, such as ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)’ and ’24×7 Power for All’. Other factors fueling the demand for housing include rapid urbanisation, an increase in nuclear households, and the simplicity of obtaining financing. These provide us with fantastic potential to grow our B2C sales in the house wires area.”
“Under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), capital expenditures are to be made in the key infrastructure sectors over FY 2020-25. There is a strong thrust on oil & gas projects, renewable power projects, tunnelling, and ventilation projects in highways, railways, and metro rail projects. Other factors favouring are the 100 percent electrification program for railways and the development of smart cities,” he added.
“As far as the demand in the power sector is concerned, the ambitious government-driven ‘Power for All’ program, coupled with other sectorial reforms, is driving the growth of the power cables market segment,” said Mr. R. Sridharan, President & CEO, Birla Cable Ltd.
Along the similar lines, Mr. Vinay Rathi, Director, Gloster Cables Ltd. added, “Since India is a developing country with several projects for the further development of infrastructure, the market potential for the wire and cable industry looks more than promising. In fact, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP), and so on – are some of such initiatives. In addition, the upgradation of existing airports and new airports in Class B & C class cities, high-speed road & rail connectivity, renovations & upgradations of ports, and programs like ‘Housing for All’ & Smart Cities’ projects are also some of the major driving factors. As per the Economist, the electrical manufacturing sector is growing at CAGR of 15-20 percent. Keeping all the factors in consideration, there is a huge potential for the electrical manufacturing sector.”
Mr. Parasmal Jain, Director, Fybros mentions digitalization and growing demand for energy efficiency as other factors determining the growth of the wire & cable sector. “The Indian government is focusing on modernizing the country’s electricity grid through the use of smart grid technologies and digitalization. It is expected to drive demand for advanced electrical systems and equipment, including sensors, control systems, and communication networks,” said Mr. Jain, adding, “To meet the growing demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the government is promoting energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transportation. This will drive demand for energy-efficient equipment, appliances and electric vehicles.”
India’s infrastructure story remains incomplete without the mention of its ambitious renewable energy target. The country plans to have 500 GW of non-fossil-based power capacity by 2030 – a dream that can never be fulfilled without the immense contribution of the wire & cable sector.
Elaborating on the subject, Mr. Shashi Amin, CEO – Cable Solutions, APAR Industries Limited, says, “India is one of the emerging countries in recent times for generating solar energy. With favourable government policies and a conducive environment, India is gearing up to execute the world’s most extensive renewable energy expansion plan. For a solar plant, cables play a pivotal role in interconnecting solar modules, combiner boxes, inverters, and other electrical components all the way to taking the generated power to the grid. In the last decade, India witnessed a sharp increase in demand for and technological advancement of modules, structures, inverters, and copper cables. But in this metamorphosis, the copper cables could not meet a few critical challenges besides ensuring lower transmission losses. Inspired and witnessing these needs, APAR Industries developed and launched a special photovoltaic (PV) solar cable that sustains the surge and other harmonic transitions during electrical power transmission. These surges occur at all levels between applications, like PV modules, inverters, inverters to end power distribution grids, etc.”
Impact of 5G on Cable Industry
The 5G revolution promises to have a mass impact across various sectors and change the lives of billions of people. Meanwhile, Bharat Net, touted to be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity program, aims at connecting all the 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country.
According to a recent report by Markets and Markets, the global fibre optics market size is estimated to be USD 4.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 8.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 10.9 percent from 2022 to 2027. The report further states that Asia Pacific is expected to hold the largest share of the fiber optics market during the forecast period. Various companies have put their efforts and deployed necessary resources in introducing innovative products from time to time depending on the requirements of the end-users in the industry.
Mr. R. Sridharan, President & CEO, Birla Cable Ltd. affirms, “In the telecom sector, the requirement for high-speed broadband applications is driving the demand for a variety of optical fibre cables. Moreover, the deployment of 5G mobile communication technologies is enabling exponential demand growth in the installation of the high-density optical fibre cable network.”
“Opening of markets after COVID-19, new residential constructions & commercial spaces will be some of the major growth drivers for 2023. 5G and 4G deployments will also give a push to the telecom hardware industry which has been in a state of slowdown for the past few years. A major share of investments is allocated by telecom operators in India to increase the coverage of 5G, which will trickle down to robust demand for all telecom products. Wireless and high-bandwidth 5G also poses to cut into the market for copper networking which we are closely watching. Globally speaking, the world is looking at India as a reliable and alternative supply chain solution for various products. Thus, anyone who can capitalize on this wave will surely benefit,” adds Mr. Vipul Nagpal, Founder and Managing Director, Orient Cables.
Innovation in the Workplace
It is interesting to see the innovations happening in the wire & cable industry. The cable companies have started investing in R&D enormously. From manufacturing technology-driven products to implementing Industry 4.0, they are taking every step possible to be technologically advanced and compete with the international market.
“With Industry 4.0 and digitalization increasing the load on machine networks, the network technology should be as functionally reliable and powerful as possible, with permanent network stability. Taking into consideration the increasing size and complexity of machine networks, the correct design and real-time monitoring of the network and the downstream evaluation of diagnostic data becomes a key focus for LAPP. Manufacturers including LAPP will also channel efforts towards integrating Industry 4.0 concepts such as smart supply chains into their operations and developing high-speed connectivity solutions. We are also targeting to pilot smart factories in different locations of LAPP,” said Mr. Gary Bateman, Managing Director, LAPP India.
As Industry 4.0 needs a digital workspace; wire & cable sector is witnessing interesting transformation. Today, innovation is not just limited to products and processes; but also an integral part of workplaces and laboratories.
“Our new corporate office inaugurated this year at IBC Knowledge Park, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru is a uniquely designed modern workspace which incorporates the hybrid model of working,” added Mr. Bateman.