NI boosts focus on Indian market
In an attempt to bring together LabVIEW developers from all over India, National Instruments recently organised NIDays 2012 in Bangalore. On the sideline of this event, Spokespersons from National Instruments speak to Subhajit Roy and brief on the company’s business activities
Mr. Victor, NI gets global recognition in the field of graphical system design, what are your objectives for Indian market?Victor Mieres, Vice President, Emerging Markets, Asia/Row, NI: Indian market is something where we would love to invest. India is such a country where the largest number of engineers is graduating: a true matrix of potential. So the challenge is to bridge the opportunity gap. There are geographical and structural challenges too. But the proper understanding of the challenges actually helps achieve that objective. We are also going to make sure that we outreach to the potential customers who cannot afford or reach to our products. That’s why we use a strategy named Planet NI to engage as well as reach to the remote market place.
Could you elaborate on the ‘opportunity gaps’?VM: There are many. Since we have started in India 15 years back, we have been teaching the future engineers in such a way where one can buy software and hardware products in a platform base. What we doing with the approach is challenging by saying that we will give you the tool, but you have to put the IQ, you have to use your intelligence, and you have to innovate. That’s why we invested a lot in universities and engineering programs.
We also make customers experience the real-time operations of our products prior acquiring the same and witness the advantages.Your annual revenue for the year 2011 was almost $ 1.04 billion, how much the Indian market contributes and what will be your target for this year?VM: We don’t disclose our revenue per country. What I can tell you is that in Asia, the growth has been fastest among all our four regions. Almost 30 per cent of the total revenue comes from Asia, and India, of course, is the one of the major contributors to the success.
There are many challenges which are preventing the growth of graphical system design sector. How do you wish to take this with the alliance of your partner in future and what will be your plan for the next 5 years?VM: We invest quite aggressively in this region. The fact is that the company had decided to appoint a new region, which is going to be reported in the investment community as well as internally. It shows the kind of the mood focus on the emerging markets, specifically in India – an important part of the emerging market.
From the technological point of view, there are products which have been used around the world and engineers face where they are. The only piece perhaps will need aluma focuses in the matter of cost that are cost in the occasion that is talking about the productivity the fact that the engineers and scientist over here are paid less perhaps cost less for business point of view, it put pressure even more pressure to make sure that the value they bring is real.
So I think the investment in that area is going to be common. The opening is actually focused on that and we are supplementing the work which has been done in Bangalore with a large theme. The investment is very sizeable and they are going to make sure that the cost is one of the elements which they are going to watch very carefully while developing products.It is understood that you have focus in the emerging market but if you talk about the Indian market, it’s very cost sensitive. But, when it comes to NI products, its initial investment is higher. So how do you find the penetration of the products when it comes to the Indian market?John Pasquarette, VP Corporate Marketing & eBusiness, NI: It’s really been challenging. I think the answer can come in multiple directions and it’s calling the emerging markets as regions and then talks to first of all their home to the NI employees. Every time we do focus on an effort, people pay attention. Then we have cautionary measures where everybody can contribute ideas and then same time decisions are made collectively as a group.
Again when it comes to the manufacturing sector, India is more or large dominated by the service sector and your kind of products are more or large used by the manufacturing industry. How do you face these kinds of challenges and what is your commitment to the Indian market when it comes to the challenges from the industrial manufacturing sector?
VM: Yes, that is true. The good thing is that our service industry is incredibly important and contributes to the largest piece of GDP. Still something, which is going to be built, is used to build the roads that make the trend safer.
People don’t know much about graphical system design as it is so deep into electronics but it’s a very large growing business. It’s going to be big and things are going to be smart. So the trend is phenomenal and very smart. Manufacturing for us is a tremendous business and is really the value that we bring very well in technology as well as business impact terms.
Are you thinking of any kind of technology collaborations with organisations like DRDO as the market is good?Sujeeth Pai, Country Sales Manager, NI India: We are collaborating right now, but in terms of providing them our platform because that’s what we do best. We are also helping in terms of getting up the speed on our technology. Whether it is NPOL, which is into oceans, ADE or ADA, several DRD organisations are using our platforms to come up with the products.
So how do you find the opportunities in Indian defence market?SP: When we look at the defence market, we are doing both – the production and research. We have been doing business through the DRDOs, and we are a very well known name in the DRDOs. For defence production, a lot of companies are setting up offset programme. Though, we have just started getting into defence products through offset, many companies are working with us. Starting from being a part of defence research – by entering into offset – we are moving into the bigger pie of production.
NI has got a strong presence in the worldwide market. Also, a lot of multi-national automotive manufacturers are now venturing into Indian market. So do you have any collaboration to bring solutions for them?SP: Well again, there are also two parts in the automotive market: production and R&D. As far as the automotive production goes, there are a lot of testers like component testing. In a project with Tata Motors for door opening and closing mechanism, we did that. In production, we work through a lot of system integrators. If you look at Chennai or Pune, you’ll find a lot of system integrators which provide a complete automotive solution. As per the R&D, we are working directly with most of the Indian automotive manufacturers. For the global manufacturers, we don’t need to educate them about NI from the start as they have enough experience of working with us. They already have the experience, they use that experience, and they try to leverage and use the technology.
Mr. Victor, what was your objective behind conducting NIDays 2012? VM: This event, for us, is a continuation of a long line of events, globally. It is like a wave around the world which helps us communicate as well as share excitement about our new products. These kinds of events take an important role to put you in the market place. It is also important as so many NI employees attend the event and tell us about the values they gain. It is really powerful, enjoyable and energised experience as well as a celebration of technology and acknowledging the contribution of scientists and engineers. Through this event, we can also see and hear customers’ happiness and delight. It is really an important factor for us to see the impact what the customers are having using our platform and technology.
Mr. Pai, are you happy with the kind of response you have received during NIDays 2012?SP: Of course! I think the turnout was good – we had the highest number of registrations so far. More important, we are happy that people have witnessed three people who spoke on how our technology touched them as well as made an impact on their companies. For example, TCS spoke how everything is getting smarter, and by using NI they are able to test in time. We are very happy that we have a mix of new people as well as existing users, and I think it’s a great opportunity for us to show new users what our products are capable of. I’d also like to see that our existing user community is sharing with each other what’s happening.
NI boosts focus on Indian market