“Future of switchgear market looks attractive”

“Future of switchgear market looks attractive”
Government of India intends to make the country a $ 5 trillion economy by 2025 by focusing on investment in all infrastructures including the electrical & electronics sector. All manufacturers will be benefited by growth in demand of the electrical industry due to investment in infrastructure, says Anil Saboo, Managing Director, Elektrolites Power Pvt Ltd. In this interview, Saboo highlights some interesting trends in the industry.
 
What is your opinion about this year’s budget? 
In budget 2019-20, the announcement of One Nation-One Grid is a very welcome step like GST. It will help to utilise electricity properly. Government’s focus on investing in all infrastructures including the electrical & electronics sector which will boost the GDP and help India to achieve $ 5 trillion economy by 2025.All manufacturers including Elektrolites will be benefited by growth in demand of the electrical industry due to investment in infrastructure. 
 
How has been the journey of Elektrolites since it was established? Could you please brief us about the company’s products & services?
Elektrolites Power Pvt Ltd (EPPL), Jaipur, is renowned primary manufacturer and innovator in the field of power transmission and distribution products since 1983 and has played a pivotal role in its growth in India for over the last four decades. The company diversified in 2010 with various Smart Grid products for the power sector at its newly built world-class industrial complex at Bagru in Jaipur, Rajasthan. 
Elektrolites is a constantly growing venture and is well known for its ground-breaking and cost-effective products. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India, has recognised Elektrolites as in-house R&D center for switchgears based on their continuous and years long research.Elektrolite’s design, manufacture, type test and exports a comprehensive range of electrical equipment’s like dis-connectors (11 kV to 420 kV); load break switches (11kV to 36 kV); surge arresters (11 kV to 420 kV); pole mounted VCB upto 33 kV; auto re-closer (33 kV to 36 kV); railway switches 25 kV; fault passage indicators up to 66kV; and drop out/air break switches upto 33kV.
EPPL’s 20 per cent turnover is achieved by exporting to many countries ie Kenya, South Africa, Netherland, Korea, Ukraine, Nigeria, etc. Elektrolite’s entered into railway business in 2015 and are approved from Indian Railways, RDSO, CORE and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India and Metros. 
 
The government has big plans to develop Railway infrastructure in the country. How it will help companies like Elektrolites?
India’s rail network is the 4th largest rail network in the world under single management. The Government of India has focused 
on investing in railway infrastructure by making investor-friendly policies. It has moved quickly to enable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in railways to improve infrastructure for freight and high-speed trains. And the railway infrastructure investments are expected to increase from $ 58.96 billion to $ 124.03 billion in 2019-22.At present, several domestic and foreign companies including Elektrolites are looking to invest in Indian rail projects as well as provide world class equipment for the projects. Also, Government of India has assured to give the number of tenders to private player so that the Indian private players are given a level playing field which will boost the economy of companies.
 
How is the market for switchgears? What is driving the demand?
The global switchgear market is expected to reach an estimated $110.7 billion by 2023 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.7 per cent from 2018 to 2023. The future of the switchgear market looks attractive with opportunities in the utilities, industrial, residential, and commercial sectors. The major growth drivers for this market are increasing demand for electricity, growing implementation of smart grid technology, and continuing investment in upgrading transmission and distribution systems.
 
Asia Pacific is expected to remain the largest market and is also expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period. Increasing electricity demand due to growing population, economic expansion, urbanisation, industrialisation, and rural electrification projects, particularly in India, are leading the demand for switchgear.The demand which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the switchgear industry, the increase in electricity demand driving the development of digital switchgear and growing focus on eco-efficient switchgear.
 
Could you please highlight some of the emerging trends in your industry?
In this era, the most emerging trends in electrical industry are technology, innovation and digitalisation. Future of electricity depends on the digital transformation in industries. The three major trends affecting the electricity grid are electrification, decentralisation and digitalisation. 
And our aim is to accelerate the deployment of these grid edge technologies and the economic and social benefits they bring.As technology is very much helpful to Indian industry, the demand of smart electrical devices continues to rise. This trend will lead to the development of new partnerships as electrical manufacturers seek technology partners to aid in building and supporting the industries.
 
What are the key challenges before Indian E&E industry? How real is the threat of imports to Indian E&E industry? 
The key challenge for Indian electrical & electronics industry is to upgrade its manufacturing process by adopting Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, etc as soon as possible to compete with the global market.Many countries work on the strategy of mass production and mass consumption. They produce product at very low cost because of the low capital investment and export friendly policies of the government. Indian industries & government need to think about it and produce goods competitively by adopting cluster approach in manufacturing with innovation & new technology to develop quality and cost competence products to return any threat. 
 
Do you think enough is being done by the government to help SMEs to foster growth?
Yes, government is taking adequate steps to foster growth of SMEs. GoI launch of the 59-minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. Loans upto Rs 1 crore can now be granted in-principle approval through a dedicated portal launched for this purpose which is really benefited SMEs. 
 
They also provide two-percent interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. The industries whose turnover is more than Rs 500 crore have been asked to join the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS) portal. Joining the portal will enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based on their upcoming receivables.  In 2019, 1.5 lakh suppliers have now registered with Government eMarketplace (GeM), out of which 40,000 are MSMEs including E&E sector. 
 
How do you intend to take your business to next level?
In coming 3-5 years, Elektrolites will be focusing on developing new products for railways, defence and exports market. We will be entering in collaboration with European companies to upgrade our technology and products which will enable the company to double its turnover.
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