M.P. Birla Group Strides Ahead in India With a Wide Variety of Cables, Customer-First Policy - Wire & Cable India
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M.P. Birla Group Strides Ahead in India With a Wide Variety of Cables, Customer-First Policy

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Mr. R. Sridharan, President & CEO – Birla Cable Limited; President, Vindhya Telelinks Limited; President, Universal Cables Limited of M.P. Birla Group

M.P. Birla Group, a premier company in the field of power cables, copper telecommunication cables, railway communication cables, and a diverse range of optical fibre cables, strides ahead in the Indian cables sector with one of the widest portfolio of cables and its customer- first policy. This was revealed by Mr. R. Sridharan, President & CEO – Birla Cable Limited; President, Vindhya Telelinks Limited; President, Universal Cables Limited of M.P. Birla Group, during his recent interaction with Wire & Cable India.

Wire & Cable India: Kindly share the business journey of M.P. Birla Group’s cable division, major achievements and manufacturing capabilities.

R. Sridharan: M.P. Birla Group’s Cable Division consists of the following companies:

Universal Cables Limited – Reputed manufacturer of low voltage, medium voltage, high voltage and extra high voltage power cables, cable accessories, power capacitors coupled with complete turn-key project division for the deployment of power cables to diverse industry segments.

Under the brand “Unistar,” Universal Cables has made great strides in the power cables segment and earned a trusted name in terms of its quality, customer service and innovative product offerings since the 1960s. Universal Cables is a market leader in high voltage and extra high voltage power cables as a total solution provider starting from design, manufacturing, supply and laying & commissioning of power cables to various reputed power utility companies in India. Universal Cables Limited has an impressive state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities with world class technology, which guarantees technical superiority of the products and solutions being offered to a diverse range of customers with utmost customer satisfaction levels and delight.

Vindhya Telelinks Limited – Pioneer in the field of manufacturing copper telecommunication cables, railway communication cables (signalling cables & quad cables), diverse range of optical fibre cables, including high fibre count ribbon type optical fibre cables, speciality optical fibre cables, optical connectivity products, low voltage power cables and solar PV cables using advanced electron beam irradiation technology.

Vindhya Telelinks Limited’s EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) Division is a leader in the fields of telecommunication network building, power distribution, network construction, water pipeline & lift irrigation projects, gas pipeline construction, sewerage pipeline projects, smart city network build-up and a host of other project engineering coupled with system integration capabilities.

Vindhya Telelinks Limited has made a mark for itself in the industry with its high quality optical fibre cable network building vertical as a quality player and as a preferred partner for the end users with its time-bound project execution capabilities. The manufacturing division continuously adds capacities to its superior production facilities for specialty optical fibre cables apart from manufacturing regular designs of optical fibre cables in huge volumes.

Since the beginning of the company in the 1980s, Vindhya Telelinks Limited made enormous contribution in building the telecommunication infrastructure of the nation through its supplies and services segments.

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Birla Cable Limited Plant

Birla Cable Limited (Formerly Birla Ericsson Optical Limited) – Leader in the field of manufacturing of optical fibre cables with diverse range, in terms of underground, aerial, speciality types of cables along with a complete range of accessories. Birla Cable Limited is also a leading manufacturer of category copper structured cables in the entire product range starting from CAT 5E, CAT 6, CAT 6A & CAT 7 cables along with the required accessories as well. Birla Cable is a trusted brand in both domestic and export markets with its wide variety of cable products and solutions, including high fibre count ribbon type optical fibre cables, speciality optical fibre cables, micro optical fibre cables, Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) type cables as well as with its huge range of copper structured LAN cables & accessories. Since its inception during 1990s, Birla Cable Limited is considered as a very high quality player in the industry with its robust products and solution range and as a trusted partner in the building up of telecommunication and broadband networks for the masses.

WCI: You have always stressed on innovation and R&D playing an important role in manufacturing companies. Kindly elaborate.

RS: All the group’s manufacturing companies have a robust system in place for a strong R&D (Research & Development) functions, and continuously offer innovative products & solutions to its esteemed customers based on varied/diverse requirements. With a positive approach towards product innovations as a true Birla Group’s policy of ‘customer first,’ the manufacturing companies established state-of-the-art laboratories set-up, which are recognised by the Government of India’s Ministry of Science & Technology, and also achieved NABL accreditation. Coupled with the best in class testing equipment, the companies deliver innovative products and solutions to its customers with stringent quality benchmarks.

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WCI: Please share some insight on new innovations and recent developments undertaken by M.P. Birla Group – Birla Cable, Vindhya Telelinks and Universal Cables.

RS: For the telecommunication sector, M.P. Birla Group’s cable manufacturing companies have introduced high density micro optical fibre cables in low diameter ranges, micro module optical fibre cables, FTTH type cables, EPFUs & CFUs, drop cables, flat cables, cables for FTTA (Fibre-To-The-Antenna) applications and other speciality optical fibre cables.

For the broadband applications, speciality low smoke zero halogen type structured copper LAN cables are introduced in a wide range based on various application requirements. In both fibre and LAN cable segments, companies have a wide range of CPR approvals as well.

In the power cable segment, the company has introduced fire retardant and fire survival cables, speciality cables for renewable energy segments, EHV power cable with differential temperature sensing features with best-in-class industry specifications to cater to the needs of esteemed customers in different applications. The company’s capacitor division has also introduced energy saving products with value-added special features across different application verticals.

WCI: Please tell us about your product portfolio, and sectors or industries where your products find their applications.

RS: As elucidated in the introductory section at the beginning, M.P. Birla Group manufactures every cable type for diverse requirements and applications. M.P. Birla Group’s power cables, copper telecommunication cables, railway communication cables, structured copper LAN cables and optical fibre cables are being used for all sectors like telecommunication network; power & energy transmission/distribution network; railway communication network, including city-based metro railway applications and internal railway coach building applications; manufacturing industries; defence; ship building; speciality tactical communication applications in defence sector; enterprise broadband networks; transportation; roads & highways; tunnels; oil & gas; nuclear power plants; thermal power plants; renewable energy production installations in both solar and wind energy verticals; mining sector applications; aviation industry; aerospace applications; in-building communication networks; automation & SCADA controls; automotive applications; water pipeline applications, etc.

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Universal Cables Limited Plant

WCI: Share some insight on your market footprint and the countries where you export your products.

RS: M.P. Birla Group’s products and solutions extensively cover both domestic and export markets in a big way. Apart from being a very strong domestic player in building our nation’s infrastructure development, the group is very strong in the exports segment as well with its products being exported to more than 80 countries across the globe, including many reputed top-notch customer companies in their field of operations.

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WCI: What steps do you take for long-term customer satisfaction?

RS: M.P. Birla Group always gives importance to the customers’ interests and acts on the basis of ‘customer first’ policy. We establish constant communication with our esteemed customers and provide them with benchmarked service offerings to ensure ultimate customer satisfaction and delight. Continuous innovation of products and solutions coupled with the best-in-class services portfolio and dedicated key account management principles comes under our customer first policy. Further, the customers’ feedback is implemented as part of our group’s continuous improvement strategy to fine tune the product offerings. These measures ensure long term customer satisfaction and delight to all our esteemed customers.

WCI: Achieving sustainability remains a core factor in the manufacturing process of all companies in India. What are the steps taken by M.P. Birla Group in this direction? How do you plan to maintain it in future?

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Vindhya Telelinks Limited Plant

RS: M.P. Birla Group always gives importance to conduct sustainable business operations. As part of its various measures to ensure sustainability, the entire common power requirements of the plants are being fed by renewable roof-top solar energy plants and it is ultimately helping the environment in curbing the CO2 emissions. Lots of water recycling plants are commissioned across the manufacturing locations to save water, which ultimately saves the depleting water resources of our mother earth. Recycling of packaging materials, wherever applicable across all the manufacturing plants, is diligently implemented to curb the wastages and pave the way for a sustainable environment. Birla Group’s manufacturing operations are all strictly in compliance with non-polluting industry set-up in line with various national and international benchmarks.

WCI: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

RS: As a forward-looking industrial group, we always have a mission to excel in the fields we operate into and become one of the top companies in terms of our quality offerings with utmost customer delight levels in both domestic and export segments. We further look for diversification opportunities in the related and allied fields/sectors for growth from time to time and strive our level best to come on top in those chosen sectors as well.

WCI: What are the current market trends and the future growth avenues in the cable and wire industry? How can the government help in accelerating this growth?

RS: In general, the cable and wire industry experiences regular ups and downs in a given business cycle. The telecom industry always goes through demand variations coupled with factors which are determining the market dynamics. Right now, the power and energy segment is witnessing rapid growth with a huge boom in the infrastructure creation coupled with strong growth in the renewable energy segment. The government is making huge investments in both power & energy sectors and the upcoming telecom sector projects, driving the growth in a pro-active manner.

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Solar Energy and Power Distribution Plant

WCI: What are the challenges being faced by the industry? Kindly give some measures to address these too.

RS: Both telecom and power & energy markets face challenges from time to time. With the government’s support, the industry always tries its level best to face these challenges and come out of the same in a successful manner. The policies and industrial framework from the government also plays a major role in circumventing the challenges as the industry always comes up with out-of-the-box thinking to tide over any crisis-like situation. The most recent example was the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which was tackled with support from all sections. The situation was brought under control by various measures, which helped the industry to come out in a successful manner.

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