Look­ing for­ward with hope and op­ti­mism

Electrical Monitor - - EDITORIAL -

It is no use say­ing, 'We are do­ing our best.' You have got to suc­ceed in do­ing what is nec­es­sary.

—Win­ston Churchill

Two ma­jor events con­cluded last month—Union Bud­get: 2016-17 and Elecrama: 2016. Both had their im­pact, a pos­i­tive one, on the elec­tri­cal equip­ment in­dus­try. This year’s Bud­get has duly ad­dressed In­dia’s core—its vil­lages. Boost­ing farm in­come, in­ten­si­fy­ing vil­lage elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, ac­cel­er­at­ing pend­ing ir­ri­ga­tion projects were amongst sev­eral pro­pos­als out­lined in the Bud­get that will def­i­nitely boost—di­rectly or in­di­rectly—the elec­tri­cal equip­ment in­dus­try. Mega events like Elecrama—widely dubbed as the largest power T&D show in the world—have never failed to have an up­lift­ing ef­fect. When one sees the en­thu­si­asm of over 1,000 ex­hibitors and the un­remit­ting in­ter­est of over 1 lakh vis­i­tors, one does feel that the in­dus­try is in­nately op­ti­mistic. Even in 2008, when the world was in a firm grip of un­prece­dented re­ces­sion­ary pres­sures, Elecrama was fairly in­su­lated from the de­press­ing en­vi­ron­ment and pro­gressed tri­umphantly with lit­tle or no im­pact on the en­thu­si­asm of ex­hibitors and vis­i­tors. The elec­tri­cal equip­ment in­dus­try can safely look for­ward to steady de­mand aris­ing from ba­sic vil­lage elec­tri­fi­ca­tion right up to high-volt­age in­ter­re­gional trans­mis­sion lines. It is also worth men­tion­ing that fi­nan­cial­ly­chal­lenged state dis­coms have tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity to turn­around with the Ujwal Dis­com As­sur­ance Yo­jana (UDAY) scheme. So far, twenty state gov­ern­ments have con­veyed their in-prin­ci­ple ap­proval to join the scheme in­clud­ing seven states al­ready in. One can tech­ni­cally ex­pect at­ro­phied dis­coms to re­struc­ture them­selves, lead­ing up to re­vival and ac­cel­er­a­tion of their pro­cure­ment process. Most im­por­tantly for sup­pli­ers, pay­ment cy­cles of dis­coms are bound to im­prove, en­gen­der­ing a healthy pro­cure­ment-pay­ment rou­tine. Af­ter the stu­pen­dous suc­cess of the LED pro­cure­ment pro­gramme where the govern­ment is to­day procur­ing 6 lakh bulbs per day, the power min­istry is ex­pected to roll out its pro­cure­ment for dis­tri­bu­tion trans­form­ers and en­ergy me­ters. When the pro­cure­ment started, the cost of one LED bulb av­er­aged at ₹ 399. This has dropped to ₹ 99 per bulb with man­u­fac­tur­ers con­fi­dently of­fer­ing their rock bot­tom prices thanks to trans­parency in pro­cure­ment and prompt pay­ment sched­ules. There is no dearth of op­por­tu­ni­ties for elec­tri­cal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers in the fore­see­able fu­ture. While In­dia is prov­ing to be a huge mar­ket, the op­por­tu­nity in other de­vel­op­ing na­tions, es­pe­cially African ones, is equally lu­cra­tive. In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ers should fo­cus on su­pe­rior qual­ity, tech­no­com­mer­cial ef­fi­ciency and global com­pet­i­tive­ness. Busi­ness growth will take care of it­self.

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