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Schneider Electric accelerate R&D and Retail in India 2014
Posted on:Thursday, April 17, 2014

At a time when project development is moving at a slow pace, French based energy management specialist Schneider Electric has hastened strategies for expediting its research and development (R&D) activities and retail operation in India.

The energy management and electrical equipment provider, with operations in more than 100 countries, is strengthening its base in India to cater to the Asia-Pacific market. Its Indian subsidiary—Schneider Electric India—has also claimed that its retail foray, which is just two years old, has delivered healthy dividends, and the firm is expanding through retail route. Schneider ventured into retail after acquiring an energy efficient solution provider Luminous Power systems in 2011. Going ahead, the energy equipment maker is emphasising more on energy-efficient products and making the brand a household name in the country.

“Currently, we have more than 50,000 sales points across regions through Luminous, and we also want to further accelerate our retail expansion in various other locations,” said Anil Chaudhry, Country President & Managing Director, Schneider Electric India. The company has been distributing a range of products including switches, sockets and distribution systems for home and small and medium business segments through retail outlets. “We are very much committed and focused on our retail business,” he added.

Moreover, Schneider Electric is looking towards expanding its geographical presence in addition to partnering and retailing outlets in virgin markets in Tier II, III and IV cities. Also, the company has embarked on ‘Xperience Efficiency Yatra’ [across 50 cities] to commemorate its 50 years of operations in India, and to collaborate and share knowledge on energy challenges as a part of retail growth plan.

In order to expedite deep penetration in Tier II cities, the company’s retail focus has been backed by strong local R&D activities. According to Chaudhry, currently there are over 1,250 engineers working on designing and developing products not just for India, but also for the global market.

The R&D team also gets inputs from a strong marketing team on the specifications of the products. “India will always remain a strong R&D hub for the group. Availability of talent, knowledge and skill in the country makes Schneider Electric a major hub for innovation and R&D,” says Chaudhry. Schneider has made about eight acquisitions in the last 7-8 years to grow its business in the Asian markets. Currently, it operates 32 factories at various locations in India.

Schneider is helping its clients to achieve savings up to 30%. India being a critical market for the company, apart from China, the Group has invested heavily in an R&D centre at Bengaluru. The R&D centre is the second largest in the world after Europe, and is engaged in Indian as well as global innovations. It contributes to the company’s strong presence in the local market. In 2009, the company acquired Meher Capacitors (a manufacturer of electrical components), and in 2010, they acquired Uniflair (a marketer of precision air conditioning, technical cooling systems), Areva T&D (a provider of power equipment) and Zicom’s electronic security systems integration business. In 2011, Schneider acquired Digilink, a manufacturer of structured cabling solutions.

Providing field services and professional services to help clients acquire efficient energy management systems, Schneider Electric India has enjoyed a strong presence in data centre space.

Credible Presence

Frost & Sullivan, in its recent analysis, recognised Schneider Electric with the 2013 Global Total Plant Ecosystem Energy Optimisation Customer Value Enhancement Award. This award was presented because the company demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively created value for customers by improving the return on investment that customers make in its services or products.

According to information posted on company’s website, Schneider Electric, as an industry leader for superior process automation solutions, is recognised for its PlantStruxure architecture, which helps customers to meet their business goals by optimising the total plant, rather than just individual aspects of it. “Schneider Electric understands that for customers to become truly efficient, they must integrate formerly distinct systems,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Senior Analyst Sonia Francisco. To support this transition, Schneider Electric has developed the EcoStruxure architecture, which serves as a single platform that can connect to diverse solutions, including the PlantStruxure architecture.

“Overall, Schneider Electric’s integrated platform is gaining popularity across enterprises of all sizes, and infuses reliability, scalability, and flexibility in plants’ processes,” said a senior industry analyst Muthuraman Ramasamy.


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