Safety Builds Trust [Nov 2011]

Safety Builds TrustPilz enters India with a  vision to work for a safe world, protect investment and environment in a safe way offering diverse and localised solutions to its customers step by step  Pilz Safeguards With an objective to come closer to the Indian and global clients and provide them with world class support for safety technology specific to their requirements, Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, the German multinational group in the field of automation recently entered the Indian market by setting up a wholly owned subsidiary, Pilz India, in Pune. The company provides safety systems and services for industrial automation.
As an expert in the safety of human, machine and the environment; Pilz caters to a wide array of sectors that includes automotive, wind energy, oil & gas, machinery automation, packaging and railway. With an acquired specialist knowledge of over 60 years, Pilz provides viable solutions to the most complex safety issues and thus helps companies to apply the best manufacturing practises.
The products include sensor technology, electronic monitoring relays, automation solutions with motion control, safety relays, programmable safety & control systems and an operating & monitoring range. The company also offers safe bus systems, Ethernet systems and industrial wireless systems for industrial networking.
Safety The Key  Pilz provides a comprehensive range of services, including an extensive selection of training courses. The area of consulting and engineering provides a comprehensive, competent service – from plant assessment to risk assessment, through to system implementation and safety sign-off at the customer’s premises.
When asked about the main objective behind entering the Indian market, Renate Pilz, President & CEO, Pilz GmbH said, “To be a good partner for the industry in India and come closer to the Indian and global clients and provide them with world class support for safety technology specific to their requirements”.
“India is a good market and is growing in leaps and bounds. Our products are easy to use which is a biggest advantage. It is our privilege to bring the technology and solutions to better standards.  Additionally, we want to match the safety standards in a safe way” opines Mrs. Pilz.
For Pilz, all the sectors are important. Mrs. Pilz expresses, “There are no target sectors, the business depends on the partnership, demands etc. From the safety perspective, India is a very good market for safety; this is not just specific for India”.
Pune – The HubPune is the hub or centre for the automotive industry in India. Elaborating on the company’s decision to invest in the country, Mrs. Pilz said, “After closely studying the Indian market for the past few years, we realised the potential in India’s booming economy and rising demand for automation in all sectors of the manufacturing industry. With our long experience and level of expertise, we are confident that we can effectively cater to the industry and be a part of its growth in India and across the globe.”Matthias Brinkmann, Area Sales Manager, Pilz Gmbh said, “India is expected to be the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world soon from the GDP point of view and in terms of machinery production. These facts attract us”.
Supporting this view, Klaus Stark, General Manager and National Operations Sales, Pilz Gmbh said, “We are offering solutions in all different industries but we had a very close look at the Indian industry in terms of infrastructure and other facilities. Research shows the growth rate in double digits in this country and this is the specific area we are working at”.
Pilz India intends to encash the growing opportunity in the Indian market. Commenting on selecting Pune to venture into Indian market, Mr. Brinkmann comments, “We are coming from the Stuttgart area which is the hub for automotive industry in Germany. Similarly, Pune is the hub for automotive industry in India. Therefore, seeing the similarity, we have chosen Pune as our headquarters here to develop our business in this place”.
To add value according to customers’ needs Discussing on the investments Mr. Stark expresses a different point of view, “It’s not only about investments, one needs to have the processes and quality in place otherwise achieving confidence and stability will become difficult which cannot be transferred by a simple production, we need a little bit more. Nevertheless if there is a need, we will take care of it. Adding value according to the needs of the customers will be our priority. We are going to offer a wide range of products that are ready to use”.    Though manufacturing is an important aspect but as of now the company is concentrating on setting up warehouses only. “We understand that manufacturing is a need, for us we want to serve the customers to the best possible ways we can. Our job is to use the right process and add applications needed to provide accurate solutions. That’s what we are looking at”, informed Mr. Stark.
Focus on increasing AwarenessAs far as business is concerned, the important markets for Pilz comprises of automotive, wind energy, oil & gas and machinery. Safety is of utmost importance but unfortunately it is still not mandatory in India. Mr. Brinkmann feels, “Unless and until awareness about the technology or awareness about the advantages, future benefits are known to the customers; the numbers will not increase and for the first two years our efforts will be to bring the awareness”.
“Pilz is here not only to offer various training courses and educational training to the customers; it also intends to impart knowledge to governmental institutions as well as to educational institutions and universities to raise the level of awareness. This is not just an initial business activity offered to customers but to spread the awareness factor through these institutions and educational institutions as well as the industrial organisations”, he comments.
The road aheadCommenting on the future plans in India, Mr. Brinkmann said, “We will open a sales subsidiary and a technical support centre in Chennai for the Southern part of India and open a sales and technical support office in Delhi to cover the Northern part of India”.    Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director, Pilz India explains further, “In the initial two years, we will be setting up technical centres in Delhi as well as Chennai because these are the core automotive hubs. Chennai is a very important market for wind energy. Of course Pune and Delhi are equally important for us. We want to be close to our customers and would like to know their local needs and then we can decide the volumes accordingly. The volume is less on the control side whereas on the sensors side it is more, we are sure to set record volumes in the coming years because of the awareness because when awareness is there, definitely volume will increase”.
He further adds, “As far as investments are concerned, as of now we will be investing only in offices, people and warehouse and with the warehouse we will be having a good amount of stock with us and when the market size increases, we will have the proper facilities in place”.
“Talking about the potential of safety in India, it will take years, we talk about millions of volumes but this is always related to the awareness of safety. This is just catching up in the automotive and oil and gas. We are happy to educate but in terms of investments if we look at the share in terms of investments, we would be very careful to invest. So this is a long term investment and it may not be in the near future like the next year or so.  This is an investment into the future because we not only see the growth ability in India but we also see the need”, said Mr. Stark.
He continues, “Last year the company had a turnover of 168 million euros and is heading towards 200 million that year.  So this is the overall safety volume. Being the market leader in that area, the number for India is pretty pretty small nowadays and this does not cover the investments. For a couple of years Pilz will have to support India not only by knowledge but also support in terms of investments. The market is not totally trickier. We invest in our company and put all the profits are put back into our company”. 
Pilz dreams for IndiaMr. Brinkmann shares his views, “Smart safe energy and mobility are the driving force for development in the future and Pilz is strongly focusing towards it. This does not mean we are just talking about safety in the wind energy side; we are talking about availability, security and safety of the investors. We have lot of experience in the processing, oil & gas, steel & aluminium industry as well as in the general machinery industry. These are the target industries we are focusing on at present in India”.
Pilz intends to work closely with its customers, discuss and develop solutions together. Customer satisfaction, quality of customer relationship and getting close to the important customer base are some of the prime reasons for opening their subsidiary in India. Additionally, development of the market, increasing business footprint in India along with getting closer to the market are other prime reasons.
Innovation is in the core of Pilz. The company spends an impressive 20 per cent of its investments for developing engineers.

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