Syed Sajjadh Ali: Eaton to focus on energy transition, EV and digitalization
With industries shifting to work from home and are remotely managing their tasks, UPS industry see a staunch rise with some new features in demand. With the government laying more emphasis on the capacity building and energy transition, Eaton is focusing on building smart products to serve the need. Syed Sajjadh Ali, Managing Director - India, Electrical Sector, Eaton, in an email interaction with Pushkar Oak, highlights recent trends in the UPS industry and digitalization. Excerpts:
How big is Indian
market for UPS in terms of volume and worth?
The Indian UPS
market is estimated at INR 3,000 Crore with about 2 million units sold
annually. As a country our consumption patterns and industry capabilities are
rapidly upgrading to adopt the digital and clean energy technologies. This is resulting in an increased demand for
UPS in e-governance, e-Commerce/retail, manufacturing, and of course in
Datacenters. According to various studies India is one of the fastest-growing
data center markets worldwide, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
between 7 per cent and 8 per cent. The growing data center infrastructure in
the country, which requires 100 per cent uptime, has created the need for UPS
suppliers to offer innovative power backup solutions.
The COVID pandemic led to a small disruption in supply chain, however given the
move towards digitisation and business criticality, we are expecting the market
to grow faster than earlier expected.
What are some recent trends in the UPS market of
The need to have
employees working from home led to a sharp increase in the demand for home UPS.
However, we feel the industry did a great job in adapting to the new normal and
most of the physical infrastructure required for employees to be productive at
home has been installed.
A step further, we are now seeing organisations look at their office
infrastructure and explore opportunities to unlock value from the same. This is
leading to a lot of interest in high efficiency, modular UPS’s which also offer
small form factors. UPS’s such as Eaton DXRT & Eaton 93PR are some great
examples which facility managers are relying on to unlock capital and reduce
From a long term perspective, the trend of edge computing and hybrid cloud
is seeing further acceleration. Today, legacy UPS systems can no longer support
the reliability, remote management, and automation required for Edge and Hybrid
cloud systems. The trend towards integrating power management as an additional
layer of the IT converged infrastructure is fast picking up. We are therefore
seeing a lot of interest in Eaton’s Intelligent Power Management software
Has remote working factored to the overall growth of
UPS in India?
Yes. With remote
working, uninterrupted electricity demand has shifted from city centres and
office parks to more residential areas. This has resulted in increased demand
for UPS at a household level. Also, most organisations have kept cloud-based
backups as part of their business continuity and disaster recovery plan to
recover data quickly.
What changes do you find in the
current time in the buying behaviour? How has it changed over the years?
Today’s consumer is
equipped with various means to gain information and insights about a product or
a solution before deciding to purchase it. In UPS category also we have
observed changes to this effect and most of the customers are aware of the
latest in UPS technology and demand for it. UPS buying is a significant capex
and customers do take support from independent electrical consultants. Such
influencers do make most of the buying decisions for customers. Apart from this
the channel partners in the UPS trade are key to sales as they have a much
deeper reach within a geography and have strong customer base.
We have also seen good traction with
E-commerce sales of smaller rating UPSs (typically home use) as it gives user
the flexibility to order unit from anywhere and anytime with door-step
delivery. We welcome such trends.
Looking at the fact that the Government is
building capacity, how does Eaton look at the renewable energy market in India?
Energy transition is
going to be at the heart of government’s strategy to build security as well as
improve the nation’s finances. Therefore, we expect India not only to be a very
large market for renewable technology, but we also expect many new start-ups
and innovations happening from India.
We expect the energy transition will be enabled by
information technology, policy frameworks and market instruments. Eaton has a
range of solutions for renewable energy right from small fuses used in rooftop
installations to complex Micro-grid infrastructure which are used in defence
and healthcare segments to increase energy reliability, redundancy, and reduce
Adaption of new age tech like automation
and AI is on rise. Do you believe that this is also another key element driving
the UPS market in India?
UPS is a transversal
technology and can be used by any power consuming set-up which could be a large
data center or a small scale industry. Of course, AI and Robotic Process
Automation (RPA) adoption does encourage use of IT assets (servers, storage,
switches etc.) which thereby result in the increased usage of UPS to provide
clean continuous power to such critical assets.
Another interesting point here is that
with the use of AI and automation, the UPS is itself becoming more ‘Aware’ and
What is Eatons R&D team currently
We have a R&D center in Pune who
serves Eaton globally across its all range of businesses be it UPS, Switchgear
or Aerospace. We are developing new technologies which would help in creating a
better for all of us to live. We are focusing on digital solutions (Software
suites and intelligent products) which help customers to better manage their businesses.
What are your focus areas in FY 2021-2022?
Focus on Energy Transition (Building as a
Grid, Data Center as a Grid solutions), EV solutions and lastly Digitalization.
Describe about Eaton’s ‘giving back energy
to the grid’ with EnergyAware.
UPS is often referred to as the heart of
the electrical network. Eaton has recently introduced UPS using EnergyAware
technology that allows large Data Center operators to give back energy to the
grid. The UPS's primary role doesn’t change, but by creating UPS as a Reserve
(UPSaaR) through EnergyAware, organizations can enable Energy Transition.
UPSaaR organizations can offset both their capital expenditure while reducing
the carbon footprint and boosting renewable energy. This is installed along
with UPS to regulate demand from the grid i.e, responsible for upstream and
downstream charging to discharge the battery back to the grid. It compensates
the data center companies/operators for reducing energy consumption when
required to maintain the grid frequency and contributing to green energy, thus
generating revenue from their UPS investments.