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A 20-year old success story of cable manufacturing

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“The journey has been very successful and this would not have been possible without the support of our customers and partners”
Marc Jarrault, Managing Director of LAPP India Pvt Ltd

LAPP is celebrating 20 years of successful operations in India. LAPP India have become one of the top electro-technical solution providers to over 7,000 customers pan India. Marc Jarrault, Managing Director of LAPP India Pvt Ltd, explains his company’s mantra and goals for a successful future.

What prompted LAPP to set up operations in India?
The founders of LAPP Group had a special affinity towards Indian market. In 1996, when the Indian market was going through a rapid growth in infrastructure and industrialisation, we assessed the potential of Indian market for LAPP and entered the market as a trading agent. By 1998, realising that the country could offer much more, we focused on manufacturing products locally. This got us to set-up our first manufacturing unit in Bangalore. That was the time when there were no other multinational cable manufacturing companies who had established operations in India. In a way, we had for eseen the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative and committed ourselves to invest more and contribute to the Indian economy. Today, we, indeed, have had 20 glorious years in India with a current turnover of over Rs 600 crore and is the one-stop electro-technical solution provider to over 7,000 customers pan India. It has been a great journey and this epitome of success has made LAPP India, the second largest company in the LAPP Group.

What was LAPP India’s vision for the Indian market at the initial phase?
Initially, India had a lot of scope for manufacturing cables and wires. However, the suppliers were unorganised players, who accounted for almost 50 per cent of market share. Gradually, the cabling industry evolved and moved from being an unorganised to organised segment. Now, the unorganised players hold around 35 per cent of the market and the rest is dominated by the organised players. With the progress of the market, there is an increased demand for special cables, addressing the needs of special applications in the industries. Nowadays, cable and connectivity manufacturers are not just producing cables, but engineering them. They can then provide a complete solution to their customers. For instance, LAPP has recently launched SKINTOP HYGIENIC NPT cable gland, which was designed keeping in mind the importance of hygiene in the food and beverages (F&B) segment. Similarly, we understand the importance of cables having the best bending radii along with faster data transmission when it comes to requirements for automation and robotics. For segments like these, we have developed cables under the brand name HITRONIC and ETHERLINE. We also offer customised plug-n-play cable assembly solution, ÖLFLEX CONNECT, to provide complete end-to-end solution to our customers.

What are your major milestones in these two decades?
The journey has been very successful and this would not have been possible without the support of our customers and partners. At the very beginning, we catered to OEM for industries such as machine tools, textile, photovoltaic, robotics and the automotive industry. Further to the success of our first plant, we set up our second manufacturing unit in Pilukedi, Bhopal, to cater to a wider segment of customers. Today, both our manufacturing plants have state-of-the-art machinery and follow strict safety norms that enable us to have a production capacity of more than 2,00,000 km of multi-core cables and 2,16,000 km of single core wires per annum.

Now, after two decades, we have specialised products manufactured to meet the specific needs of industries including automation, F&B, building infrastructure, railways and metros and many more, which have been witnessing considerable growth over the last few years. We have been a part of all the major metro projects, key solar energy projects and several plant engineering projects. With these key milestones achieved in our 20 years of operations in India, we have been growing at more than 15 per cent in the last four years with an estimated growth of 20 per cent for the current year.

What according to you makes LAPP India stand out?
We have brought some cutting-edge technology to India in the field of cable and connection technology. LAPP, today, stands uniquely among its Indian peers with significant capacity and an excellent manufacturing setup catering to a wide range of cabling needs. We have a robust quality control system to ensure that, at every stage, the manufacturing process is monitored and measured to deliver a highly reliable and durable product to our customers. We have also invested heavily in a well-equipped laboratory in India to undertake innovations and conduct standard tests on the cables manufactured. To serve our customers better and address their needs on time, we have two manufacturing plants, 23 sales offices, five warehouses and five service points spread across the nation. With this network, we are now successfully offering our range of 40,000 products, including cables, glands, conduits, cable ties, connectors to switches. Our products are of superior German quality meeting all the international standards for our customers. All LAPP’s products can now also be bought from our online store

You were the first to offer an online store for cables. What are its features?
Through LAPP’s online store, we plan to offer small and medium businesses the ability to buy directly from the manufacturers with a click of a button. The store has a user experience that allows our customer to make a hassle-free 24/7 purchase with a full portfolio of more than 20,000 LAPP products. The store provides product information, stock availability status, and delivery lead time details for the buyer to make their
purchase any time. The products will be supplied free of delivery charges across more than 18,000 locations across India. The store also offers our global products without levying any extra charges along with local products.

What is ‘LAPP — One company. One name. Worldwide’?
‘LAPP – One company. One name. Worldwide’ indicates that we have simplified our corporate brand to reflect that we are one company offering world-class products and services at all times to all our customers worldwide. Now, LAPP and all our eight product brands are under this parent brand logo.

Any special plans for the anniversary?
On our anniversary, we are all set to organise the second edition of the LAPP Innovation Award, where we are recognising and awarding customers across industries that are using LAPP products and solutions to solve a business challenge with an innovative solution. As part of our 20 years’ celebrations, we will be having a roadshow in the metro cities where we are felicitating our partners and customers for long partnership and association.Additionally, extending the celebration to our employees, LAPP India’s Annual Family Day will be themed on the concept of 20 years this year in the presence of the senior management of LAPP.

What are your latest products? Tell us about the marketing strategy that you adopt.
India is in the era of automation, robots and other new-age machines, which are reducing in size, yet demands for more complex performance. We offer ETHERLINE FD Cat 6A, that are highly flexible cables with transmitting data rate of 10 Gbit/s. We also offer ETHERLINE ACCESS, the managed and unmanaged switches, to fulfil the requirements of smart factories.

In addition to that, our waterproof and temperature-resistant industrial connectors EPIC SMART are designed and manufactured specifically for Asian markets with the promise of high performance at a cost-effective price. We also offer OLFLEX FIRE survival cables to provide optimum solutions under fire by maintaining the circuit integrity for temperatures up to 650C, 750C and/or 950C. These cables are specially designed for major infrastructure installations such as airports, metro rail, rail terminal and bus terminal along with building and construction management. With the help of ‘Make in India’ initiative, we plan to develop more products in India and market it to the world.

How do you view the Indian market vis a vis the global market?
India is the world’s sixth largest economy and not every potential feature of an Indian market has been tapped. The market is more dynamic compared to the global market. Due to the fast-evolving businesses in the nation, cable and connectivity market should scale-up and standardise products faster. If the market is backed by good R&D centres that are affiliated to academic or corporate research centres of the government, then the players in the wire and cable segment can develop more quality products for domestic consumption and also do an export of domestic products to international markets. India has a great potential in sectors such as infrastructure, renewable energy, metro, ports, railways, metals and mining, automotive and automation power plants (nuclear and thermal).

In an emerging economy like India, challenges are inevitable. One of the initial challenges we face in India is that the market demands world-class technologies at affordable pricing. Another key challenge that we faced was regarding infrastructure and logistics in ensuring that heavy-duty products are moved from one location to another for timely delivery. LAPP’s investment is considerable in creating a network of strategically located warehouses for fast-moving articles from source to destination within 48 hours.Additionally, the government’s decision to implement GST has eased our way of doing business. We will now be able to pass on the price benefit of reduced GST to the customers.

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