Purchase Magazine team in conversation with Mr.Ajay Bhargava, Managing Director – Rittal India Pvt Ltd

2014-04-23. Optimism is high of a turnaround in Indian manufacturing performance in 2014 -- given that global economies are on the mend., and a new government at the centre brings renewed hope. Your views on this. We believe that the economy has bottomed out and after 3 years of manufacturing decline, India is on a major turnaround from 2015 onwards. We also believe that irrespective of the nature of the government, we will see major policy reforms that will boost manufacturing economy for next 3 - 5 years.

Optimism is high of a turnaround in Indian manufacturing performance in 2014 -- given that global economies are on the mend., and a new government at the centre brings renewed hope. Your views on this.

We believe that the economy has bottomed out and after 3 years of manufacturing decline, India is on a major turnaround from 2015 onwards. We also believe that irrespective of the nature of the government, we will see major policy reforms that will boost manufacturing economy for next 3 - 5 years.

The rupee is gaining strength and expected to do even better by year end. Impact of this on your industry and your growth performance this year.

Rittal has a strong manufacturing base in India, however there are still substantial imports that happen to provide solutions to our customers in India. Especially for new product launches etc. Rittal India depends on German production. Strengthening of rupee makes us competitive and we believe that some of our businesses like IT which depends on imports will see much higher growth in the next 3 months.

What are the growth challenges and opportunities you see in 2014.Outline your company's road map for investments, innovations and new business focus

The gross capital investment in India has been going down since last 3 years and that is reflecting in growth of our industrial business. Since the markets have shrunk, we find that the pricing has become a challenge as there are a lot of local competition that is getting aggressive.

However, we find opportunities in segments like solar pushed by government, telecom stability and our IT business. We also find major opportunity in Infrastructure sector in metro and airports in 3 - 5 years. Rittal India has been continuously investing and we have created a big warehouse in 2013. Our investment in 2014 is focused towards creating a Learning Center for our employees and customers, showrooms across India with latest products & solution and new machines in the factory to enhance production capacity. Rittal’s core value globally has been innovation and for 2014, we have products that are being launched in India - LCP-DX, RiMatrix S and Industrial Cooling Solutions like Industrial LCP etc.

Global investor confidence in India is at a low. What in your opinion is the need of the hour to reverse this trend?

Global investors are looking for consistent policies and a decent return on investment. The government of the day should ensure that the policy framework is conducive to investment and is not reversed or changed while the governments may change. We have to show a consistent picture to the outside world so that the investors can put in their money to get better returns in India than those in the world.

Any recent achievement, milestone achieved by the company that you would like to share with us.

Inspite of a tough economy, Rittal India has been able to manage substantial growth in the last 6 months. This is due to the fact that Rittal operates in multiple segments and few of our segments have done fairly well in last 6 months. We have also started to focus on the infrastructure and got some critical wins. We been able to bag some prestigious data center jobs in the market and that has given us significant visibility in the IT space. We understand that even our exports in Rittal affiliates has grown substantially and Rittal India has been delivering products that are on par with German quality and has been recognized globally as well.