Transfer switches demand is growing fast in India
Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions India Pvt Ltd, as he tracks the developments in Indian electrical & electronics industry.
…says Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions India Pvt Ltd, as he tracks the developments in Indian electrical & electronics industry.
Socomec has been in India since 1990. How has been the journey of the company since then?
Socomec started its operation in India through a distributor in 1990 for promoting power switching range of products. We started our independent commercial operations in December 2014 and since then the business strategy is to appoint strong partners in India & neighbouring countries to ensure that we are as close to the customers as possible. Today, we have over 110 distributors who represent us across the region. In addition to the sales network, we have also established the Pre & Post sales service support mechanism, currently we have 15 Service partners who not only help with post-sales support, but also are capable of providing pre-sales support like site inspection, retrofit solutions & even site audits for reliability & power quality.
Socomec has the most comprehensive value proposition in transfer switches as we not only have the complete range in terms of ratings (40 Amp to 6300 Amp) & mode of operations (manual, remote & automatic) but also provide most optimum solution in terms of ustomer/installation requirements. Our various models offer meet the various site requirements starting from basic transfer function to high end communicable system & the most important aspect is the capability of site upgrades from manual to motorised or even automatic, from basic transfer function to integrated DG or SCADA/BMS functionalities.
Today, Socomec offers the most competitive cost of ownership for power transfer function, thanks to its product quality and after sales support which gives complete peace of mind to our customers & this automatically strong drives demand for our products.
What was the idea behind launching Always On brand campaign in India?
Socomec launched Always On logo as powerful revitalisation strategy to embark on a massive rebranding campaign, giving it a whole new tone and stronger market position. The program provides the library of documents, tools, communication package, & both internal as well as external training modules for transfer switching equipment (TSE), aiming at reinforcing our leadership position and penetrating in to new customers & territories.
TSE is one of the star products in our switching division and we have the widest range available in the market. Today, more than 3 million installations and major integrators worldwide are secured with a Socomec transfer switch. In India we already have over a million active installations where we have been handling customer’s power transfer needs efficiently. More and more customers appreciate the advantages of our quality products & we wish to communicate on this success using the most modern media including the digital tools.
Due to our existing significant market share and high potential of growth, India has been a strategic country for Socomec. The market in India is changing fast and the demand for automatic transfer switch is booming which leads to high demand for Socomec products. Socomec is the first historical transfer switch manufacturer in India and has been promoting its products and equipment for more than 25 years. All our distributors & customers will be associated with this program and will get benefited.
What are the applications of transfer switching equipment (TSE)? How is the demand for TSE in India?
Any installation which runs on more than one power source requires a transfer switch. Due to power failure or power quality problems, most of the Indian installations operate on multiple sources, which make it a significant product for each & every installation. There have been multiple products or techniques by which the function was achieved in last few decades as a single device to have all integrated functions that wasn’t available. But with Socomec entry in to this segment few years back the market has got the product which fulfils the requirements & ensures that all power transfers are carried out in the most sophisticated way.
Transfer switch market in India has grown significantly over last 2 decades. In the last 5 years, the growth in transfer switches is outperforming the switchgear market growth in India. If we leave this year as exception, then the growth has been double digits for the transfer switches. While the market is growing as a whole there are also some interesting trends which are worth mentioning like the market itself is gradually changing from manual to motorised transfer switches. In certain markets & segments, the transition is towards automatic transfer switches (ATS). The evolution of IEC standard has also helped in improving the awareness level & as a result now customers are able to differentiate between ATS & integrated devices which work as an ATS or advantages of a PC-based ATS over CB or CC based systems.
India has been investing a lot in infrastructure, transportation, healthcare & IT/ITES. These are also the focused segments for Socomec, hence the growth in last 3 years in transfer switches has been above the average market growth and we expect the trend to continue for at least next 3 to 5 years. India is one of the strategically important markets for us and in last 12 to 18 months, Socomec has revamped its product range in India to suit the emerging needs. Today, we offer the same products in India which are offered across the globe.
What has been the impact of GST on electrical & electronics market in India?
The distributors were significantly impacted by the initial lack of clarity on the goods and services tax (GST). In the middle of the financial year, the distributors were trying to liquidate their old inventory and the new inventory intake was halted for few weeks as it was adding stress in the value chain. The manufacturers, who had bought raw materials, were trying to push sales of finished products to their distributors, but distributors were unwilling to take any more stock. Therefore, manufacturers adjusted the production accordingly and when the market resumed operations, we faced the shortages as the ramp up of production was taking its own time.
Initially, the GST parameters on invoicing as well as transit were not clear, leading to manufacturers practising cautious. These two reasons severely impacted the distribution of electrical products. However, the projects where customers were buying directly from companies did fairly well.
The cash flow in market was also severely impacted resulting in decline in realisations which adversely impacted the bottom line of both distributors as well as manufacturers. Now, when the new tax regime is over a year old the situation seems much better with the market sentiments back to normal where the demand can be felt and the flow of cash is also stable. With stable tax regime, the market is on the right path for sustainable growth.
How is Socomec India embracing Industry 4.0?
Manufacturers and their value chain partners across the world are waking up to the fact that Industry 4.0 is the way forward to enhance competitiveness and sustain profitability in the new digital world. However, Industry 4.0 requires end-to-end digitisation of business processes, operating models, and physical assets and implementation challenges often keep manufacturers from realising the true potential of digitisation.
The digital industrial revolution is creating a new breed of electrical ecosystem. The drive towards common digital architecture is maximising the potential value of the IoT, the result is unsurpassed efficiency including the benefits of more automated, centralised systems. Socomec is driving a stream of innovation in this field, specifically engineered to guarantee the performance of the new electrical ecosystem.
As a leading provider of IoT-ready connected power devices, Socomec is uniquely positioned to partner with forward-looking companies in their journey to adopt IoT technologies in their business context. We provide partners and customers comprehensive support in configuring and integrating our IoT-ready power solutions with their systems and applications, helping them maximise their installation and lifetime efficiency.
How is the response to your IoT-ready UPS, transfer switching and metering solutions in India?
The Indian companies are started exploring application of Industry 4.0 in to their operations. Our new range of IoT-ready metering, UPS and transfer switching equipment can be seamlessly integrated into the digital ecosystem. The result is the ability to impeccably exchange information between various other products and systems in the manufacturing environment. eWIRE the first app specifically designed by Socomec to support UPS installations are well appreciated by the industry players. The app simplifies the installer’s job, improves power supply reliability and ensures all the necessary installation steps and assessments are made in support of the installation.
How is digitalization making a difference in the Indian electrical & electronics industry?
Digitalization is impacting every industry. Existing business models are changing, and every industrial sector is under pressure to rethink business processes in order to manage risk and reward – as well as leveraging the opportunity to increase scope and competitiveness. When an organisation becomes digital, connectivity is greater than ever before and must be guaranteed. In the new electrical ecosystem, power continuity, reliability and optimised efficiency are key drivers of competitiveness – in an increasingly competitive world.