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Feature | September 2016

We expect major demand hike for wires and cables

Amit Jain | Managing Director, CMI Limited

How is the market trajectory in the segment like currently?
In the power sector, cables and wires are a must and with the Ministry of Power looking at an investment of Rs.15,000 lakh crore over the next five years, the sector will witness a huge growth trajectory. In all the outlays and announcements by the Government, there is expected to be a major demand hike for wires and cables. We expect that the power industry´s share of our revenues will rise up to around 20 per cent and the real numbers will possibly double with the increased demand.

What has been the impact of renewables in this segment?
With such ambitious plans and huge outlay, there is expected to be a major demand hike for wires and cables given the investment figures we are talking about. It is said that the sector will see investment in range of Rs.65 lakh crore by 2030 that includes around 40 per cent of power gear through domestic manufacturing in India. This in itself is a huge figure and possibly points to the explosive growth in the sector. The government is also aiming to increase share of clean energy through renewables. While we do not have much traction here as of now, with the focus in policy for this segment and witnessing the increasing demand, we are looking at this market closely.

What is the impact of the unorganised sector?
Though the unorganised sector is only limited to home and commercial segments, they have around 35 per cent market share and it is here that the issues of quality and pricing come into play. In the unorganised sector, unfortunately cost is the consideration rather than quality and certifications. In the home and commercial segment, players suffer from a double whammy - it is not just the un-organised sector but also the Chinese sub-standard imports that cause trouble and give a bad name to the industry. But now the industry is gearing up to take the challenge head-on and is creating awareness about the need for certifications and educating influencers in the category.

What are the emerging trends in regulations and standards for safety, reliability for users?
ISI certification marks to ensure quality of cables as per BSI standards. Specific customer approvals from customers and quality of cables are ensured as per their specifications. For example our products have been tested and approved and approval certificates given by RDSO (for cables to be supplied to railways), EIL (for different cables being supplied to power, oil, petroleum and chemical industries), BSNL-TEC (PIJF-Telecom cables), NPCIL, NTPC, DMRC, BHEL (its various units), ISRO (cables for space applications), steel plants, EPCC contractors, etc. We are proud that as we work on zero tolerance level and dispatch our work after strict inspection, we have never been rejected by customers for deficiency in any parameters.

What are the emerging technologies that CMI Ltd has implemented in their products and services in this segment?
CMI is exploring the possibilities of induction of new technologies such as: most modern vulcanising lines, additional test labs, and high end automated cable machineries, not only to meet higher demands but also cater to special application cables.

What is your emphasis on R&D in this segment? How forward is the market here?
Research and development is the most important aspect in any field of manufacturing activity. The requirements of customers are changing and so are our offerings. Special insulating/jacketing compound with special parameters like fire retarding parameters, low smoke zero halogen parameters, TPU jacketing, lead free compounds etc., are now in demand. Similarly there are changes in construction of cables to meet specific requirements of customers and we take all necessary action to meet and better these requirements. We continuously keep ourselves updated with development in the industry (India or abroad) and keep producing cables as per customer requirements. We have earmarked around 5 per cent of our top line on R&D activities including updating/modernising of plant and machinery and trying new raw materials for special application.

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