EPCOS in India
Excellence in cost and quality
Mahatma Gandhi once wrote that “infinite striving to be the best is man’s duty, it is its own reward.” That EPCOS takes the quest for excellence seriously is evidenced by its activities in India. And the reward for its efforts has been its success in what is the world’s second-fastest growing economy, and one of the fastest for electronics. In the past three years, EPCOS India has increased its sales by a solid 60 percent, a rate far exceeding the growth of the Indian economy.
India is pursuing an ambitious program to upgrade its infrastructure, particularly in the areas of energy and transportation. In addition, capital expenditures for manufacturers and spending on consumer durables is increasing steadily. “We have the right products and the expertise to cater to these segments,” observes T. K. Misra, Chairman of EPCOS India.
Today, EPCOS operates two factories on the subcontinent: one in Nashik some 180 kilometers northeast of Mumbai for the production of film capacitors and the other in Kalyani near Calcutta for the production of ferrite powders and cores. Both factories are world-class facilities.
In order to serve the market even better, EPCOS India is further expanding its capacity. A new factory for film capacitors is under construction in Bawal, some 100 kilometers southwest of New Delhi. “The new factory will not only allow us to increase our capacity in India, but will also position us much closer to many important customers,” says H.S. Banerjee, Managing Director and CEO of EPCOS India.
Market leader in PFC
To meet the growing need for enhancing energy efficiency, EPCOS supplies a wide range of products for measuring and improving power quality. The PFC capacitors, power factor controllers, harmonics filters, thyristor modules, power analyzers and contactors, for example, help power utilities and manufacturers improve power quality, reduce their power consumption and cut energy costs at the same time.
Because of the heavy investments to upgrade power networks, India is EPCOS’ largest single market for PFC products. The ability to develop and deliver a large volume of high-quality PFC capacitors at competitive prices has made EPCOS the clear market leader.
The company has been particularly successful in improving power quality across all industry segments and in utilities. PoleCap PFC capacitors, for example, are widely used to improve the power factor and quality right on the masts of overhead power lines.
Over 60 percent of EPCOS India's PFC products are sold locally to customers in India with a 50 percent market share for PFC capacitors in the low voltage range.
R&D close to customers
For Amiya Banerji, President of the Film Capacitors Division in India, “the key reason for this success is the fact that our R&D is located close to our customers.” Nashik is responsible for global R&D activities for PFC products. Among other targets, EPCOS is focusing on designing different film profiles for use in PFC capacitors and power capacitors.
Global R&D for AC capacitors is also located in Nashik. These products are typically used in home appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, water coolers and pumps. Today, the plant is manufacturing some 2.5 million motor run caps per month.
Kalyani is the home to EPCOS’ first factory on the subcontinent. Established in 1995, it is the company’s worldwide largest production facility for soft ferrite materials and products. With a clear focus on Asian markets, the plant currently manufactures almost more than 4500 metric tons of ferrite powders and cores. In addition to a wide range of ferrite materials, the portfolio includes E, EP, RM and ring cores.
B.B. Das, President of the Ferrite Division in India, is particularly proud of the facility’s R&D team, which, among other things, is responsible for the development of new advanced low-loss power ferrite materials such as N95, T36 and N51. “These materials help our customers design more energy-efficient power supplies,” he notes. Based on its engineering and manufacturing competence in soft ferrites, EPCOS is the market leader in India with a nearly 45 percent share of the market.
Local sourcing as competitive edge
As the Indian market continues to grow, local business is becoming ever more important. Today, around 40 percent of the overall production capacity is sold to local customers. The competition from local and Asian manufacturers is stiff. Therefore, local sourcing has become an increasingly important factor in the development of competitive products for both local and global markets.
“Our employees make it happen. They are very excited about grabbing the emerging opportunities,” explains H.S. Banerjee. While this strategy is not possible for all product groups-raw materials for ferrites are not available in India - today more than 90 percent of the direct materials and components for film capacitors are sourced from within India. And half of that is from the Nashik vicinity where the factory is located.
Growing customer network
To serve the rising demand for electronic components, EPCOS has established a strong sales force with its headquarters in Bangalore for products that are manufactured both in India and abroad. Altogether, EPCOS India has a nationwide network of highly qualified sales engineers in the field. “We have positioned them in all the important cities close to our customers, consultants and decision-making authorities,” emphasizes K.N. Krishnamurthy, President of Sales and Marketing at EPCOS India. “One of our true strengths is our excellent knowledge of applications,” he adds.
This is maintained by the team’s close connections with the various R&D units, which also enables quick sampling, especially for new projects and applications. As a result, “we can offer customized design of our products in the early stages of active projects,” explains Krishnamurthy. “Our goal is to offer best-in-class support from first inquiry to actual execution.” An extensive network of dealers throughout the country complements the direct sales organization, enabling the company to serve a diverse range of customers. They include LG and Whirlpool in household appliances, and Bombardier and Bharat Heavy Electricals in the transportation industry, Enercon for wind power, and power utilities and manufacturers for power quality solutions, to name just a few.
EPCOS aims to achieve even higher growth in the coming years. To accomplish this, the company is steadily stepping up its activities to create greater awareness about the company and its portfolio.
Plans call for, among others, an increased presence at trade fairs throughout India such as the ELECRAMA and ELCOMP and several other local exhibitions. In September 2008, EPCOS India will attend the electronicIndia fair in Bangalore for the first time. Not only will the company present its broad portfolio of components, modules and systems at its stand, it is also contributing a number of lectures to the symposium "Trends and Future Requirements of Automotive Electronics", a market that is gaining strength in India.
EPCOS is also ramping up its individual customer events. “We are now conducting close to 60 exclusive seminars a year on power-quality solutions for consultants and channel partners,” says Krishnamurthy.
Motivated to excel
As the electronics market in India matures, market researchers forecast that the demand for electronic gadgets will grow tenfold by 2015. Simultaneously, local manufacturing is expected to increase accordingly, offering huge further opportunities for EPCOS' wide range of components, for example LCD panel displays, entertainment electronics and mobile communications equipment. In order to meet the challenges of the future, EPCOS is constantly investing in its staff.
“Our employees make it happen. They are very excited about grabbing the emerging opportunities,” says CEO H.S. Banerjee. “That’s why we are constantly endeavoring to upgrade their capabilities and skills and provide them with new challenges.” After all, striving for excellence produces more than its own reward.