“Polycab Is Betting Big On Make In India And Aatmanirbhar Bharat Initiatives”
The fast-evolving digital infrastructure is contributing to government’s mission of Digital India. In line with this, India’s well-known brand, Polycab is offering most comprehensive passive networking solutions to enhance existing networking infra across India. The deployment of 5G technology will result in ultra-fast data transfer, low-latency and huge data traffic creating the need for a structured optical fiber cable network. With its single OEM-strategy for electrical and passive networking products, Polycab is betting big on the government's Make in India as well as Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. The company is establishing a strong and unique roadmap to accelerate growth in the light of 5G roll-out.
To get more insights about Polycab’s plans to grow, strengthen country’s network infrastructure and create an unmatched service support network, Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal recently held an exclusive interaction with Mr. Ashish D Jain, Executive President & COO, Telecom Business, Polycab India Ltd. Mr. Jain is a seasoned leader with vast experience in the Indian market. He has witnessed the transformation of the market closely and now under his visionary leadership, Polycab is all set to grow their presence effectively across India in the IT networking market as well. During the exclusive interaction, Mr. Jain talked about Polycab’s journey, market landscape, growth opportunities and growing presence. Read the excerpts below:
Rajeev: How do you see the passive networking business in India?
Ashish: Indian passive product market stands at INR 2000+ Cr. Digital connectivity at every sphere of work and life is spreading in the country faster than ever. In the view of enhancing network-capabilities, expanding last-mile network distribution and intensifying efforts to make access to data truly equitable, passive networking solutions, as the foundation of robust and high-performance networks, have a huge traction in the segments like Large Infra, Healthcare, Transport, Airport, Metro, ISP, SMEs. Govt., SDC, Police, Court, Education & others. So, the passive networking product market in India is positively poised to grow at a remarkable rate for the next few years.
Rajeev: What are the three major fuelling factors for the growth of this market in India?
Ashish: Escalating digitization across the country, widespread demand for safe, secure and reliable network-solutions and the new-era hunger for numerous key bandwidth-based applications will lead us to boost passive optical network infrastructure across the country, which in turn is surely going to drive the passive market-growth for the next few years. Smart City, Safe City, Smart School, Smart Hospitality and other new-age components of the evolving smart era are expected to unleash the market for a significant growth.
Rajeev: How has been journey for Polycab in this segment, since you started this journey very recently? Where does your company’s core strength lie?
Ashish: It has been a great journey. We manufacture the whole range of passive networking products and accessories, including fibre and copper. In fact, we’ve emerged as a unique single-source manufacturer and provider of power and data-solutions in our country. While companies in telecom-domain in India are either involved in manufacturing or distribution, we as an organization are uniquely placed in the industry, being involved in manufacturing as well as distribution of Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs) and passive networking products, with empowered backward-integration capabilities.
Talking of strength, we possess decades of leadership in the Indian wire-&-cable segment, with proven expertise in designing & manufacturing Telephone Cables, Signal Cables, CCTV Cables, Copper Cat 5e and Cat 6 Cables & Fibre Optic Cables of 6 cores to 576 cores. We’ve established a dedicated manufacturing set-up of passive networking products and accessories. We design and manufacture cables, the core of our passive networking offerings, in a way that enables them to carry the desired capacity of the data in a specific network. Our products, comprising Copper System and Fibre System, address the issue of rampant data-loss in the industry. So not only cables, each product of our offerings gets tested and certified to meet the desired capacity of a specified network, in terms of the data-volume and data-speed.
In spirit of the trust and brand-value we enjoy in our country, we’ve come up with quality-assurance and certificate for 25 years for our passive networking solutions. Also, to fulfil all the physical infrastructural requirements of a network in an integrated manner for our clients, we manufacture the entire range of passive products, including accessories, to accomplish end-to-end and scalable deployment of a network.
Rajeev: Government is aggressively working to connect the rural areas with the internet and strengthen the digital infrastructure in urban cities. So how do you see the opportunities for Polycab in these areas? Do you have any advice/feedback for policy-makers, which you see as challenge in current market-growth?
Ashish: India as a nation is committed to its ambitious plan to fiberize the country’s 6 Lakh villages and take telecom services there by 2025. We, as a Project Implementing Agency, have already successfully completed BharatNet Phase-II projects in Gujarat (Package B) and Bihar (Package 3) in the stipulated time-frame. Lately, we’ve started to work as a Master System Integrator for Tamil Nadu FibreNet Corporation Ltd. (TANFINET) to implement the BharatNet Phase-II project in the districts delineated for Package A in Tamil Nadu, under the project. Thus, we’ve successfully positioned ourselves as a strong telecom EPC-player with the extended capability to design, build and manage end-to-end data-network roll-out. We’re keyed up to get involved in building Safe and Smart Cities and Smart Schools with innovative technologies in different projects.
Knowing that high initial investment required for installation, laying cables and deployment of network might hinder the market-growth, we’ve advised to the policy-makers for BharatNet projects to go for CAPEX Model, wherein the govt. takes care of 75% stake and the private players own up the rest of 25%. We’ve also suggested to fix the timeline of more than 3 years for these projects, in view of the large infrastructural arrangements. We’ve also put forward our argument against the inclusion of BharatNet Phase-I in the same costs. If Phase-I has to be included, the costs should also go up accordingly to make the working model adequately suitable for private players like us.
Rajeev: Do you have any plans to enhance your distribution-presence by onboarding new dealers and distributors? Please share some details about your current channel-strength & if any plans to increase further!
Ashish: We’ve been operating in our country for decades, so we’ve a massive network of partners, spread across India. Our partner-ecosystem has unique capabilities, responding to varied customer-bases and requirements. With flexible and accommodating business-models to support every level of partners, we’re here to enhance our distribution-presence by onboarding new Partners and distributors, in order to acquire new customers from growing domains like Infrastructure, Healthcare, Transport, Pharma etc. for world-class products in passive networking domain.
Rajeev: How do you ensure the best service or tech-support to your loyal customers? Please brief about your service-infra across India?
Ashish: Polycab is a top-notch brand and a household name in India, serving people with various products. Moreover, we’ve adopted a single OEM-strategy for electrical and passive networking products to make all our products under one brand.
We’ve dedicated pre-sales teams for each region in India to provide support to Partners and End-customers. Aiming to provide brand-aligned quality of service, we’ve also recruited specifically designed and prepared Technical Teams in different parts of our country to integrate and offer customized passive networking solutions or any solution in the realm of combination of Power and Data.