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Interaction | February 2017

India is geared to move towards cloud-based digital world

Talking about the power back-up market in India, Palash Nandy, Chief Commercial Officer, Numeric India speaks about the company´s growth and future in the country.

Tell us about Numeric´s India story. How has the market grown over the years?
Numeric was established in 1984, and the first UPS from Numeric was launched in 1985. and by 1992 we had already completed 25,000 installations across India. In 1994, the company was ranked as the No. 1 UPS manufacturer by Soft Disk. In 2012, Numeric joined the Legrand group; and the company today has complete solutions in UPS across line interactive, online single phase, three phase and the latest generation modular UPS. We pride ourselves as a truly ´glocal´ company - global expertise and local knowledge. Over the years, the Indian UPS market has expanded due to the power deficit and need for clean energy. These drivers were relevant and important across all market verticals like SOHO, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, datacenters, IT/ITES, BFSI, hotels etc. From being a very fragmented industry, the UPS industry has seen major consolidation with the top three players (including Numeric) enjoying a substantial market share. There are still many regional players, but the market share of all the national players are constantly increasing. According to Frost & Sullivan, the size of the total Indian UPS market has been estimated at Rs.2,200 crore (not considering batteries that form a part of the UPS system).

What are some of the major milestones in the Indian market?
There has been a tremendous evolution of technology in the UPS market. In fact, technology in the field of UPS is constantly evolving. Numeric´s biggest strength has been its ability to always be at the cutting edge of UPS technology. This ability was further strengthened when Numeric became a part of the Legrand group which gave us access to their global expertise combined with our local knowledge of customers and applications. Today, we have the very latest in terms of technology. Just to give few examples of the same, our Keor T UPS has the capability to handle and manage regenerative loads; and our Modular UPS are truly granular not only across the three phases but also within each phase, allowing customers to scale up their UPS power as they grow their operations. On top of the latest technology, we have the biggest company owned service network in the UPS industry. Today we have 258 service locations across India manned by more than 900 trained technicians. This wide network allows us to service our customers like no one else. This also explains the tremendous amount of trust that our customers have in us.

What your value proposition in India, given the growing competition?
Numeric has consciously and meticulously interwoven the best-in-class business processes with a consistent value-chain in its effort to guarantee and deliver products of international quality. We are known to provide world-class power management solutions that improve energy efficiency, ensure business continuity and decreases energy cost. Our value proposition has been to provide the best-in-class in terms of technology at a reasonable price and back it up with the widest service network. In most verticals, UPS is a very critical element of electrical installation. Hence, customer´s confidence and trust on the product and service network is key.

What is the impact of growing grid and renewables on demand for UPS products?
In choosing a back-up power solution; reliability, efficiency, maintenance and return on investment are key considerations. Additionally, lowering a facility´s energy footprint through conservation is an important goal. Increasing grid connectivity will help improve power availability across the country. However, the quality of power will remain an issue. Hence, UPS will remain a key element in any electrical infrastructure. However, the back-up time required may reduce. The thrust on renewable power will have an impact on UPS technology, which will now have to be compatible with the same and this trend has already begun since the last two years.

What are the triggers for demand? What impact will demonetisation have on this segment?
Demand triggers are generated since the Indian business is geared to move towards cloud-based digital world; and in a world like that data must be available 24x7.

Computer downtime effects production and severely hampers business prospects. Other factors are harsh power environments; increase in the number of modern electronic gadgets which requires superior quality of power; increase in use of renewable power; IoT and digitalisation in general across all sectors - this would also drive more data centres. We don´t visualise a mid/long term impact of demonitisation on the UPS industry. There have been temporary setbacks specially in the banking sector and in the retail distribution channel. However, there will be no fundamental change in terms of the drivers of the UPS industry.

Kindly share your vision for Numeric. What are your plans for sustained growth?
Our vision for Numeric is for it to become the reference player across product segments and across market verticals. We would achieve that by constantly focusing on technology and service and are extremely excited by the long term growth prospects of India as a country and the prospect of Numeric therein. We have been rated as the biggest player in line interactive and single phase online UPS for the last 24 years (source: Soft Disk) and we intend to also become the largest three phase UPS brand in India. We will continue to invest in technology for not only making better products but also leverage technology for providing better service to our customers. We will also invest our resources and energy in making the organisation more lean, energetic, responsive and a fun place to work. We strongly believe that one of our strongest assets is our motivated team of close to 2,000 Numericans.

What technologies have you implemented specific to the Indian scenario?
Technologies specific to the country include an improved active power capability to increase energy efficiency by reducing power looses; transformer less technology for improved flexibility; reduced footprint of UPS machines by increasing usage of integrated components/SMD components; advanced monitoring options to enable customers to monitor and manage the UPS machines remotely; improvement of man machine interface to make the configuration and installation more easier; and introduction of modular UPS - which is a big change. Numeric UPS is not only modular across three phases but also within each phase. This allows customers to scale up the power of the UPS as they scale up their operations.

What is your plan for capitalising on the ´Make in India´ initiative?
We have manufacturing facilities across India in Pondicherry, Chennai and Sinnar. Close to 92 per cent of our revenue are from products and services manufactured in India. Numeric has the largest sales and service network in the UPS industry in India with over 258 service locations and close to 900 trained technicians.

What is yours and the industry´s emphasis on R&D in this segment?
R&D is an important asset for us as also an important driver. We have our R&D centre at Chennai which works with our R&D centres across the world to ensure that we have the latest products that are fully adapted for Indian conditions and requirements. There has been a lot of change in the technology landscape of the UPS industry in India within the last decade. A lot of the change is also being driven by the changes that are happening in the applications area i.e if the printer technology changes, the UPS supporting it should also change; if the medical imaging technology is changing, the UPS supporting it must change so on and so forth. On top of this a lot of change has been worked over the years to make the UPS more safer and energy efficient.

- JOCELYN FERNANDES

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