Inspiring Innovation [Feb 2012]

Quality always pays in the long run and the customers should look at a price-cum-performance ratio. If we are having higher price we also ensure that the product delivers in the longer run, which is beneficial in saving the cost
Rahul Yadav, Manager – Sales, Phoenix Contact
Phoenix Contact – An OverviewPhoenix Contact is a Germany based multinational company having subsidiaries in more than 45 countries. The company is into multiple component business and supplies components to various kinds of industries including automotive, process, telecom, railway, infrastructure and machine building. Its wide range of products include terminal blocks, PCB connectors, IP 67 Field Connectors, power supplies, to power conditioning equipment, surge arresters and a huge range of connectors IP 67.
With a manufacturing setup in Prithala near Faridabad, and headquarters at New Delhi the company has a mix of products to offer in the Indian market. Several products come directly from Germany whereas it also manufactures and sells from the country. Phoenix Contact India also exports certain products back to the parent company i.e Phoenix Contact Germany for distribution world over.
Perception on the Indian electrical industryThe Indian electrical industry is growing and the number of players is increasing. Excluding the year 2009, every year the industry has witnessed consistent growth during the last decade. With new products and technologies being rapidly introduced, the industry is getting comparable to any other developed country, therefore we see good growth. It’s a lucrative market for everybody.
New productsPhoenix Germany believes in continuous innovation. Each year the company introduces about 200 new products for different segments consisting of unique technologies and enhancement of product range; these are displayed at the Hannover fair for the first time. This year the company introduced some unique products for the solar industry, a very specific connector which involves tool free assembly, the product is called SUNCLIX which is first such product for solar application. We have also launched specialised connector for E-Mobility and PCB Connector which is of 135 Amps, another innovation from company.
Another innovative introduction is the Push-in Technology in the new modular terminal block range, PCB Terminal range and Relay range. With the new spring design, the Connectors with push-in technology offer a previously unattained wiring comfort with maximum contact quality. Its features include operation ease and reduction in operational time.
Another product called Bluemark is a UV technology based printer and is being used for the first time in industrial printing for high grade scratch less printing and harsh environment. It is safe for the environment and has less consumption of power; it is also a high speed printing as one strip takes 8 seconds to print. It can be integrated electrical design to save time and attain accuracy.
Phoenix has introduced the solution business for the first time in India offering solutions for different industries. From the Phoenix Contact’s point of view, we intend to provide industry and application specific solutions for the industry. It’s not only about a single product its about the technology, concept and idea which we have gained over the past 80 – 90 years interacting with various industries developing various products for them, hence using the knowledge gathered over the years to develop industry and application specific solutions. For eg: substation monitoring systems. In India we are focusing on energy transmission distribution system, water infrastructure industry, traffic infrastructure industry covering roads, tunnels, highway management, railway industry, automotive industry etc and regenerative industry which is one of the upcoming industries in India. Gradually, we will expand to other industries.
We have also launched world’s fastest IO system called the Axioline which supports Profinet Realtime and IRT. Apart from redundancy controllers, we have also launched Industrial PC which is modular and are wide range of wireless solutions in India.
Impact of ‘Cheap’ importsIn general, China is a country that manufactures products with different kinds of quality. Phoenix is also present in China producing superior quality products. There are other multinational companies offering good quality products but what we get from China and what is brought into the Indian market by the traders is not so good quality. There is a wide gap between good quality products and the cheap imported products, the only reason these products sell is the cost factor.
In the past these products failed miserably due to low quality. One of the examples is that in the telecom industry, we were selling surge arresters and other European companies were selling surge arresters and because of the price reason it shifted to Chinese companies but over a period of time there were cases of fire and the telecom players again shifted back to European companies. People look for immediate cost advantage, but in the long run it would not deliver. Therefore quality plays a very important role in the long run.
Educating customers is the best way to stop duplication of products. Nobody can stop a customer from buying their choice of products. People use it and find the problem areas and stop using it again. For solar application which is a new field we have a lot of products. We have seen an influx of Chinese components but again people are not realising that they are playing with fire and solar is a high technology area dealing in high voltage and tomorrow anything may happen. In the solar industry the warranty period by EPC suppliers is 10 to 20 years and the disregard for quality will be detrimental. People will learn from their mistake that is my perception and over a period of time, they will again come back to quality product manufacturers.
Pricing StrategyPhoenix is a top end brand and with this comes the responsibilities to deliver every time right quality, right services and our pricing policy is in accordance with it.
Market share and distribution networkPhoenix India started in the year 1993 and in a shorter span of time became the market leader in our area of activity. We have achieved the market leadership through good quality products, services and distribution network. Today, we have more than 200 dealers throughout India so the availability of products is guaranteed in each and every corner of the country, which is our assurance and a big advantage for our customers. Further we have our manufacturing and logistics here through which we deliver to our local customers. Over a period we have enhanced our presence in the Indian market and have been able to deliver in a fast and consistent way.

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